The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal have announced two Mexican architects as winners of their 2017 “Women in Architecture” Awards. This year’s Architect of the Year is awarded to Gabriela Carrillo of Taller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, while Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura’s Rozana Montiel was named the winner of the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture. Both women were selecting for demonstrating “excellence in design and a commitment to working both sustainably and democratically with local communities.”
“The judges were impressed with Gabriela Carrillo’s ability to design flexible spaces, and work with light and shadow to such compelling effect. And they were inspired by Rozana Montiel’s sensitive and perceptive approach to community buildings,” said Christine Murray, founder of Women in Architecture and editor-in-chief of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal.
The award organizers explain in a press release: “Carrillo, co-founder of aller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, seeks to find a balance between the language of existing buildings and contemporary architectural expression – considering how to insert a new building in the historic layers of a city without destroying these layers, and still make an impact.
The jury was particularly impressed with Carillo’s Criminal Courts for Oral trials in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán in Mexico, a stone oval building featuring sloped tiled roofs that respond to the region’s high precipitation rate. According to the judges, the building “skilfully answers a brief to design flexible spaces, comply with strict security rules and improve transparency in the judicial process.”
As founder of Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura, Rozana Montiel works across both built projects and design research. Particular attention in her work is given to urban rehabilitation and low-cost interventions that engage with local people.
The jury citation highlighted Montiel’s Veracruz Cancha (a sports court), San Pablo Xalpa Unidad Habitacional (a housing complex) and the Tepoztlan House as examples of “sensitive engagements with communities that activate simple architectural forms.”
Montiel says: ‘All architecture is political. We can read in daily spaces the political priorities of our society. Architecture has the power to shape civic behaviour because, more than laying bricks, it lays the founding principles of public and social exchanges.’
As winner of the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, Montiel will receive a £10,000 prize named for former director of design at the V&A Moira Gemmill. The fund will go toward support Montiel’s continuing professional development.
Also celebrated in the 2017 Women in Architecture Awards are Jane Drew Prize winner Denise Scott Brown and artist Rachel Whiteread, this year’s Ada Louise Huxtable Prize recipient.
Christine Murray said: ‘Denise Scott Brown’s wonderful architectural writing and thinking, her work and her wit have been an inspiring force for change. This honour squares the circle. Rachel Whiteread is an important influence and inspiration to the profession and richly deserving of the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize.’
News via Women in Architecture Awards.