Benedetta Tagliabue to receive 2013 RIBA Jencks Award



The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is pleased to announce that Benedetta Tagliabue is the recipient of the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award, which is given annually to an individual or practice that has recently made a major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture. The award will be presented to Benedetta Tagliabue on Tuesday 19 November at the RIBA in London, where she will give a public lecture, chaired by Charles Jencks.




Benedetta Tagliabue studied architecture at the Istituto di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV) and is now director of architecture firm EMBT Miralles Tagliabue, founded in 1994 in collaboration with Enric Miralles, and based in Barcelona and Shanghai. Benedetta’s studio works in the fields of architecture, design of public spaces, rehabilitation, interior and industrial design. Among her most notable built projects are the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning Scottish Parliament, Diagonal Mar Park, the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona, Campus Universitario de Vigo, and the Spanish Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. Current projects include The Business School of Fudan University in Shanghai, office towers in Taiwan and Taichung, public spaces of HafenCity in Hamburg Germany, and official protection dwellings in Madrid.




Benedetta’s poetic architecture, always attentive to its context, has won international awards in the fields of public space and design. She has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, Columbia University and Barcelona ETSAB, lecturing regularly at architecture forums and universities around the world. In 2004 she received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University. Benedetta is the director of the Enric Miralles Foundation, whose goal is to promote experimental architecture in the spirit of her late husband and partner Enric Miralles.




Citation on Benedetta Tagliabue by Charles Jencks:


“Think Global – Act Local”. Many global architects have paid lipservice to this maxim but only a handful have lived up to the challenge and had the patience and skill to turn it into a new art. Benedetta Tagliabue, with the firm that she and her late husband Enric Miralles started, has developed a new sort of architectural practice and way of building. Taking time and incorporating the depth of complexity that only time allows, her group and loyal team have together created what has been called an “agglutinative architecture”. I wouldn’t want to burden anyone with this pretentious and hard to pronounce phrase except in order to make them stop dead in their tracks, take a hard look at an urban scheme of EMBT, and think. It is made from many simple parts and put together as a ‘compound idea of many forms’. It derives an ornament from this process of agglutinate design, and many constructional methods directly expressed. It has the pleasant informal rhetoric of an adhocist approach. It presents the Time City as continual work in progress. It is tough, warm, surprising, complex, open-ended and very like the city from which it springs, Barcelona. While other architects there have rejected, or been frightened of extending some lessons of its master, Antoni Gaudi, EMBT has honoured this tradition without letting it down. Of no other practice can that be said. The theory of EMBT is always in the practice of this ‘time architecture of compounds’ and the unique office mentality that Benedetta Tagliabue has continued with today.




Charles Jencks announcing the recipient of the 2013 award:



“I am delighted to announce that the judging panel of the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award was unanimous in premiating the extraordinary talent and career that Benedetta Tagliabue has had, particularly while leading the EMBT Miralles Tagliabue studio to create a tough, warm, surprising, complex and open-ended architecture that is very much like the city from where it springs, Barcelona.”




The judging panel for the 2013 RIBA Jencks Award comprised landscape designer, architectural theorist and writer, Charles Jencks; Lily Jencks (Founder of LJA+Land and JencksSquared); Stephen Hodder (RIBA President and Chairman of Hodder and Partners); Farshid Moussavi (Founder and Principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture and Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design); Brett Steele (Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture); and David Gloster (RIBA Director of Education) as non-voting Chair.




Previous winners of the award include:



2012    Rem Koolhaas


2011    Eric Owen Moss


2010    Stephen Holl


2009    Charles Correa


2008    Wolf D. Prix (Coop Himmelb(l)au)


2007    Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos (UN Studio)


2006    Zaha Hadid


2005    Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi (Foreign Office Architects)


2004    Peter Eisenman



2003    Cecil Balmond

Royal Institute of British Architects Press Release 15 October 2013