On the afternoon of September 24th, the 9th Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize award ceremony was held in the China Hall of Science and Technology. The ceremony, sponsored by the Architectural Society of China and supported by the International Union of Architects (Union Internationale des Architectes), is the most recognized and praised award in the architectural field in China. Yan Huang, Vice Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Jun Song, China Association for Scienceand Technology Secretariat Chief, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering Fellow Liangyong Wu, Chinese Academy of Engineering Fellow Zhaoye Guan, Guoxin Ma, Jingtang He, Dunshan Wei, Shiling Zhen and KaiCui, Internationally-known architects including the President of theInternational Union of Architects Thomas Vonier and the President of Architects Regional Council Asia Rita Soh Siow Lan, descendants of Liang Sicheng including Jian Liang, Kui Yu, and Xiaodong Yu, many of the previous award winners, professionals in the architecture field, professors and university students, and media represents are among the 200 audiences who witnessed the honorarymoment of the award ceremony.
Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize is named after the distinguished Chinese modern architect and educator Sicheng Liang. The prize aims to encourage architects' and architectural scholars' creativity, prosper architectural creation, and advancethe level of architectural design, theoretical studies, and architectural education. The purposes of this prize expand to explore and identify deep meanings and values of Chinese traditional architectural culture, incorporate architectural wisdom into artistry, integrate national and international ingenuities, and progress the communications between innovative architectural theories and technological inventions. In 2000, the Ministry of Construction(MoC) of the People's Republic of China and the Architectural Society of China(ASC) established Liang Sicheng Architectural Prize, as an international prize to reward and honor architects, architectural theorists, and architectural educators who have made significant achievements and outstanding contributionsin the field of architecture.
The award ceremony was hosted by Kai Cui, Chinese Academy of Engineering Fellow andthe vice president of ASC. Secretariat Jun Song, Thomas Vonier and Vice Minister Yan Huang, each made an address and affirmed the contribution of Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize in thriving the Chinese architectural culture, bridging the communication and collaboration among Chinese and foreign architects, and encouraging outstanding architectural designs while congratulating the awarded architects. Vice Minister Yan Huang expressed fivehopes for the construction professionals: adhere to the concept of green development, pay attention to cultural inheritance, shoulder more social responsibilities, strengthen professional responsibility, and adhere to open exchanges. Chinese architects and their counterparts in the world are facing similar challenges, i.e. they are expected to work together to make the construction industry better and better.
Jun Song, China Association for Science and Technology Secretariat Chief
Thomas Vonier, President ofthe International Union of Architects
Yan Huang, Vice Minister ofHousing and Urban-Rural Development
The president of Architectural Society of China, Long Xiu, announced the awards list: Weimin Zhuang and Meinhard von Gerkan had the honor to win the Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize of the year. Weimin Zhuang has acquired the title of National Design Mater and National First-Class Registered Architect and is currently the dean of the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University and the head and chief architect at the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University. Meinhard von Gerkan is an acclaimed Germanarchitect who is the founding partner of world-known internationalarchitectural company, Gerkan, Marg & Partners (gmp). After presented the introductoryvideos about the two prize winners, Vice Minister Yan Huang, secretariat Jun Song, former Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Chunhua Song and president Vonier each awarded the winners with medals and certificates of honor.
Long Xiu, The president of Architectural Society of China
Professor Weimin Zhuang expressed his "four lucky charms": he was admitted to the department of architecture of Tsinghua University at the beginning of thereform and opening up, caught up with the tide of national construction in the early 1990s, joined the International Union of Architects and dialogued with peer architects around the globe, and made progress together with many peers. He said he would continue to fight for the construction career he loves.
Afterwinning the prize, Professor von Gerkan said that architects have contributed a lot of works all over the world. For him, architecture is full of meaning and connotation. The single standard of architectural meaning underlined by architecture is the commonweal of each project's society, and architecturalculture should play a dominant role in different cultures.
Weimin Zhuang, Winners ofthe 9th Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize
During Zhuang's and von Gerkan's presentation, the two prize winners shared their insights of architectural creations and understandings on the architectural culture. As both agreed, besides building profound academic knowledge and technical experiences, architects must demonstrate responsibilities to the society and appreciation of architectures' social values. In Professor Zhuang's presentation, "Design for Social Responsibility," he reviewed Mr. Liang Sicheng's efforts in promoting the development of Chinese architecture andintroduced the establishment, the historical origin, and the holisticapproaches of the Architecture Department in Tsinghua University. This presentation, through the sharing of selected projects, elaborated that architectural design should not only focus on improving public functions and services but also undertake essential social responsibilities at more extensive levels, such as in the aspects of humanity, communities, environmental conservation, regional cultures and so on.
Professor von Gerkan, Winners of the 9th Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize
Professor von Gerkan's presentation, titled "Meaning: The Credo of Architecture," held the idea that meaning is a credo of architecture and the faith of architectural designs. It is meaning that encompasses all controversial ideologies in the architectural discourse and reflects societal values as a whole. Professor von Gerkan summarized the meaning of architecture into four basic principles: simplicity, structural order, variety in uniformity, and identity. With dozens of his projects in built in different cities and cultures, Professor von Gerkan illuminated how architecture with distinct types and dimensions promote the identities of cities and architectural cultures through the creation of meaningin architectures. He also demonstrated that the only parameter of the interpretation of meaning in architecture design is the public welfare resembled by each project.
After the prize ceremony, the two winners rolled out exhibitions and symposiums during the 10th China Weihai International Architectural Design Grand Prix and Habitat Festival held from the 25th to 28th of September. This event invited exceptional Chinese architects that are new to the field to participate in a touring exhibition. Meanwhile, this exhibition, by featuring two prize winners and their architectural works from full aspects, increased the publicity of the Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize and the history and culture of Chinese architecture, as well as expanded the reputationand popularity of Chinese architects internationally.
Since the introduction of the Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize, this prize has motivated numerous architects' and architectural scholars' creativity, produceda wide range of achievements that combined practicability with aesthetics and demonstrated high standards in architectural designs, academic researches, and architectural education. Sponsored solely by ASC, the Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize is an internationally awarded scientific and technological project supported by the China Association for Science and Technology and aims to lead worldwide architectural development. Since 2016, this prize has opened to candidates across the globe. The prize is to be awarded biennially to two winners. The candidates for the Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize should commit to promoting inheritance and innovation and demonstrating profound influence on the architectural culture. Candidates' design works should be widely accepted by the international architecture field on aspects including substantial societal, economic, and environmental benefits. Their academic achievements should have exceptional contributions to architectural studies and education. Currently, the nomination process for the 10th Liang Sicheng Architectural Prize has begun, and the deadline for application is December 10th, 2019.
The Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize provides a platform for gathering distinguished architectural scholars from China and around the world, and bridges architects worldwide to promote scholarly communications and professional collaborations. In the same time, this prize also channels more in-depth conversations and connections between Chinese and international architectural professions. The Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize prepares and leads a group of architects with both global perspectives and national confidence. While enhancing these architects' influences and popularities in the field of architecture, this prize also maintains the healthy development of international architecture professionals. The Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize establishes China's enthusiasm of communicating with the global architectural professionals with openness and inclusiveness, the goal to strengthen core competitiveness. It is of important significance for "Chinese designs" to go abroad, "international designs" get involved, and play actively in the international collaborations under the "the Belt and Road" Initiative.
About the Winners of the 9th Liang Sicheng Architecture Prize
Weimin Zhuang was born in Shanghai on October 16th, 1962. In 1980, Zhuang enrolled in the Department of Architectureat Tsinghua University, where he received his Ph.D. degree in Engineering in 1992. Zhuang has acquired the title of National Design Master and National First-ClassRegistered Architect. Currently, Zhuang is the professor, Ph.D. advisor, and the Dean of the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University. He is also professionally involved with the Architectural Design and Research Institutionat Tsinghua University as the head and chief architect. In the same time, he is the vice president of the Architectural Society of China (ASC) and won the Architectural Education Award in 2012. Zhuang's other professional positions include working as a council member of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the co-director of the Professional Practice Committee of UIA, androtating chairman of Canberra Accord. Zhuang's publications include Introduction on Architecture Programming, Environmental and the Design Principlesand Practices of Architecture Ecology-Oriented Integrated Skin, Architectural Programming and Design, etc.
Zhuang's architectural designs are highly claimed nationally and internationally, including the renovation project of the National Art Museum of China, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Shooting Range Hall, and the National Exhibition and Convention Centre in Shanghai. Zhuang received numerous national and international awardsin his professional career, including the Science and Technology Progress Award of the Ministry of Education, as well as numerous awards from the Architects Regional Council Asia, provincial-level awards, and design awards from architecture societies. In his professional practice, Zhuang insists on holistic approaches while adhering to the coherence of philosophy and operations, the integration of theory and methods, and the continuity of knowledge and skills. In the early 1990s, he became the pioneer in the theory of architectural programming in China and developed the design decision platform while taking the lead in consultations through design and construction processes. Besides, Zhuang actively participates in the development of the architectural field as well as promotes the professional communications and internationalization of Chinese architects.
Meinhard von Gerkan, Prof., Dr.h.c.mult, Dipl.-Ing, Architect BDA. Von Gerkan was born in 1935 in Riga, Latvia. In 1965, he co-founded the architectural partnership of von Gerkan, Marg and Partnerswith Volkwin Marg. In 1974, von Gerkan was appointed professor and the chair Afor Design at the Carolo-Wilhelmina Technical University in Brunswick from 1974to 2002. In 2007, he established the Academy for Architectural Culture (aac) as the president of the institute. He is a member of the Freie Akademie der Künstein Hamburg, Germany, and was also appointed as Honorary Professor of East ChinaNormal University, Advising Professor of Cinematic Architecture and UrbanPlanning Shanghai Tongji University, Visiting Professor at Nanjing Southeast University, Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Von Gerkanhas won numerous awards, including Fritz Schumacher Prize of Germany, Romanian State Prize, Grand Award of the Association of German Architects (BDA), Awardof the Baukultur Prize of the Association of German Architects (BDA); he was a recipient of the "Verdienstkreuz" (Order of Merit) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Von Gerkan has designed many architects for public transportations in both Germany and China, including the renovation project for AirportBerlin-Tegel, Berlin Central Station, conversion and extension of Chinese NationalMuseum, Tianjin West Railway Station, Grand Theater Qingdao, Christ Pavilionfor the Hanover Expo in 2000, etc. Von Gerkan's works are guided by fourarchitectural values: simplicity, structural order, variety in uniformity, and identity. During the cultural communication and exchange, von Gerkan, along with partners from gmp, introduced many extraordinary cultural architectures that successfully conveyed their understanding and appreciation of the traditional Chinese culture.