The Schelling Architecture Foundation has announced Juhani Pallasmaa and Diébédo Francis Kéré as the recipients of its Architecture Theory and Architecture Prizes, respectively, for 2014. Awarded once every two years since 1994, the Schelling Prizes are prestigious awards that historically have been reasonable predictors of the Pritzker Prize, with Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor, Kazuyo Sejima and Wang Shu all receiving a Schelling Architecture Prize some years before their Pritzker Prize.
This year, the Schelling Prize's "indigenous ingenuity" theme was inspired by the 2012 Theory winner Kenneth Frampton's theory of Critical Regionalism, with the prize asking "how can inventive and directly comprehensible architecture satisfy human needs in an appealing way?"
More on the winners after the break
Announced as the Theory Prize Winner ahead of last night's ceremony, the jury cited Pallasmaa's "lifelong contribution to the culture of architecture," highlighting "his passionate exploration of the phenomenological approach."
"Driven by insight into the existential essence of architecture, Pallasmaa has been encouraging - through decades of work as an architect, teacher, lecturer, writer and editor - the development of an awareness and sensitivity for architectural phenomena," they said.
As the winner of the Theory Prize, Pallasmaa also acted as a voting member in the selection of the Architecture Prize which was chosen on the night after short presentations by the three nominated architects: Kéré, Anna Heringer and Carla Juaçaba. In selecting Kéré as the winner, they praised how "using local means and with numerous participants, he manages to turn the opportunities of globalization into reality."
Though he is based in Berlin, much of Kéré's work focuses on his home country of Burkina Faso, where he creates locally specific designs, constructed using local materials and talent. Working between Europe and Africa, Kéré has previously said that in his work he is "trying to bridge the gap" between developed and developing countries.