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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. Zhang Ke Awarded 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal

Zhang Ke Awarded 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal

Zhang Ke Awarded 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal
Zhang Ke Awarded 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal, Beijing Micro Yuan’er (2014). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture
Beijing Micro Yuan’er (2014). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture

Chinese architect Zhang Ke, the founder of the firm standardarchitecture, has been awarded the 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal. Presented by the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Finnish Association of Architects SAFA, the Architectural Society, the Alvar Aalto Foundation and the City of Helsinki, the medal recognizes an architect who, in the words of the Museum of Finnish Architecture, is "exceptionally accomplished in the field of creative architecture and has carried on Aalto’s legacy of sustainable, humane design."

Beijing Micro-Hutong (2013). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture Tibet Niyang River Visitor Centre (2010). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture Shanghai Novartis Office Building (2016). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture Beijing Micro Yuan’er (2014). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture + 25

Tibet Niyang River Visitor Centre (2010). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture
Tibet Niyang River Visitor Centre (2010). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture

The award jury, which comprised Toshiko Mori, Tina Saaby, Asmo Jaaksi, and Vesa Oiva, sought this year to recognize an emerging talent and to emphasize the humanist side of architecture in a year that has been defined by political instability. In their citation for Zhang Ke, the jury praised him as an architect who "stands to resist against the context of China’s rapid urbanization and to promote individuality in an effort to manifest an alternative point of view, going against the commercial mainstream of the country’s standard practices."

Tibet Namcha Barwa Visitor Centre (2008). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture
Tibet Namcha Barwa Visitor Centre (2008). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture

"He demonstrates an extremely high understanding of details and material crafts in his architecture in sometimes very challenging circumstances, such as in remote communities with limited access to technology," they continued. "His architecture serves a big idea and a big picture that is universal even though each project is very specific to its program and locale. It is because his designs are coherent at every level from materiality, to approach to the program and to understanding of its social aspects."

Beijing Micro Yuan’er (2014). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture
Beijing Micro Yuan’er (2014). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Alvar Aalto Medal was first awarded to Aalto in 1967, and has been awarded only intermittently since then. Zhang Ke is the medal's 13th recipient and joins a list that includes James Stirling, Jørn Utzon, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Glenn Murcutt, and Steven Holl. The last recipients to receive the prize were Spanish architects Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano of the firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, who received the medal in 2015.

Zhang Ke. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture
Zhang Ke. Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture

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About this author
Rory Stott
Author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Zhang Ke Awarded 2017 Alvar Aalto Medal" 12 Sep 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/879518/zhang-ke-awarded-2017-alvar-aalto-medal/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Beijing Micro Yuan’er (2014). Image © ZAO/standardarchitecture

重磅!张轲成为2017年度阿尔托奖第一位获奖中国建筑师

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