Hariri Pontarini Architects winner of the 2019 RAIC International Prize

Hariri Pontarini Architects,

Doublespace Photography,

Santiago de Chile,

Architecture and Culture,

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) announced the Baha’i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile as the winner of the 2019 RAIC International Prize.  The architects are Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto, Canada.

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Hariri Pontarini Architects winner of the 2019 RAIC International Prize The distinguished Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama, FRAIC, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), and the RAIC Foundation created the RAIC International Prize in 2013 to raise the international stature of the RAIC and the Canadian architectural profession, and to encourage Canadian architects to aspire to international excellence. Originally called the Moriyama RAIC International Prize, the prize consists of a monetary award and a sculpture designed by Canadian designer Wei Yew. It celebrates a single work of architecture that is judged to be transformative within its societal context and expressive of the humanistic values of justice, respect, equality, and inclusiveness.  The prize is open to all architects, irrespective of nationality and location, for a building anywhere in the world. The winner is selected in an open, juried competition.
Now in its third cycle, the biennial prize received submissions from 12 countries across six continents. The winner was revealed on 25 October 2019, during an awards ceremony and gala at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, attended by over 260 members of the Canadian and international architecture community.
The winner is Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto with the Baha’i Temple of South America in Santiago, Chile (link). The architecture is designed to be a place of welcome and meaning for everyone. Its design aspires to commonality within diversity, and it has attracted over 1.4 million visitors since opening in 2016 The jury said: “The result is timeless and inspiring, a building that uses a language of space and light, form and materials, to express an interpretation of Baha’i philosophy and teaching that becomes universally accessible as a shared spiritual and emotional experience.” The jury’s comments continue: “The architects resolve a challenging and prescriptive program for a new Baha’i Temple near Santiago with a powerful form that creates a new landmark - a jewel - in a dramatic natural setting. During the day, the striking form is animated by the variations of light and shade on the building’s softly turning surfaces. At night, it stands like a lantern, softly lit from within.”
The Baha’i Temple of South America was selected by the six-member jury following site visits to each of the three shortlisted projects. In addition to the Baha’i Temple of South America, the finalists included: Edificio E, Lecture Building, University of Piura in Piura, Peru by Barclay & Crousse, of Lima, Peru; and Thread: Artists’ Residency and Cultural Center in Sinthian, Senegal by Toshiko Mori Architect, of New York, USA.
In addition to the main CAD 100,000 prize, three scholarships of CAD 5,000 were also awarded to students of Canadian schools of architecture on the basis of a written essay on the topic of ‘the moment when they decided to become an architect.’  The winners are Laure Nolte, Dalhousie University, Lucie Palombi, University of Montreal, and Odudu Umoessien, University of Manitoba.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: Siamak Hariri - Hariri Pontarini Architects - https://hariripontarini.com
Location: Santiago del Cile
Year: 2016
Images: doublespace photography, Guy Wenborne, Sebastián Wilson León
Find out more: https://raic.org/