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Winners announced for the International Urban Project Award 2020

Updated: 2021-03-25 13:14


Founded in 2019, the International Urban Project Award (IUPA) is presented by Bauwelt (Berlin) and World Architecture Magazine (Beijing) and supported by the Architectural Society of China (ASC), Messe München Company, and the MMU BAU Fenestration Co., Ltd. The award recognizes outstanding urban and architectural works that contribute to public space and people's lives. A main criterion for their selection is a persuasive urban design that could withstand challenging times and empower the city and its citizens.

Among the 80 candidate projects from 25 countries, five standouts from the United States, Brazil, South Africa and China ultimately won the 2020 award. A discussion about the designs was held at the BAU Congress China on Oct 30, 2020, and the winners received their awards at CADE 2020 Gala Night of Architects.

Overseas recipients who couldn't attend the events due to COVID-19 gave speeches about their projects via video link.

During the award ceremony, Professor Zhang Li, from the School of Architecture of Tsinghua University and a representative of the International Urban Project Award 2020 judging panel, shared his expectations and prospects for future urban development trends.


First prize
Hunters Point Library, Long Island City 2019
Steven Holl Architects, New York City

The Hunters Point Library is located in Queens, New York. It is separated into a children’s area, an adult area, meeting rooms and an outdoor theater. Against the backdrop of rapidly-built skyscraper condominiums, the library is a small-scale, sculpted building within a large-scale urban area. Inside the library, bright open spaces and niches are provided for intimate reading and meditation. Outside, active gathering places are available to the local community. Becoming an integrated part of a vibrant public park that lines the river’s edge, the Hunters Point Library brings a new critical function to community life.

First prize
SESC 24 de Maio, São Paulo, 2017
Paulo Mendes da Rocha, MMBB, Sao Paulo, Brazil

SESC 24 de Maio, which occupies the former headquarters of the Mesbla department store in downtown São Paulo, was redefined by architects and transformed into a place of culture and leisure. To make the building accessible to the public, the new design features a variety of semi-public spaces, including gymnasiums, indoor and outdoor swimming facilities, restaurants, educational spaces, and a rooftop swimming pool. In addition, it has multiple large open spaces, free passages and intensive activity areas on different floors, allowing it to serve as a focal point for the block and a spacious gathering place.

Special prize
Tank Shanghai, Shanghai, 2019
OPEN Architecture, Beijing
Along the banks of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, five decommissioned aviation fuel tanks and the surrounding site have been given new life and relevance. Together with a newly-created underground space and two stand-alone galleries, these iconic tanks were transformed into a vibrant new art and cultural centre. Conceived as both an art centre and an open park, the project pays tribute to the site’s industrial past. It seeks to dissolve the conventional perceptions of art institutions, with walls that separate museum goers from others, and instead sets out to be an art centre for all – a museum without boundaries.

Special prize
Songyang Culture Neighbourhood, Lishui, 2020
Jiakun Architects, Chengdu
Near the two temples - Confusion Temple and Chenghuang Temple - of Songyang County, an old and abandoned public activity building has been transformed into an active cultural center for the local community. The renovation project connects with the city through many small-scale public space facilities such as cloisters, squares, paths, gates, and roof terraces. The whole building complex provides a range of possibilities for rest and gatherings both internally and externally.

Special prize
Future Africa Innovation Campus, Pretoria, 2018
Earthworld Architects, Pretoria

The Future Africa Innovation Campus consists of a canteen, a conference center, a research building and 300 one-, two- and three-bedroom living units. Using local materials and resources, the project boasts a consistent and unique aesthetic design and a multifunctional quality. All parts of the building are connected to public spaces and public activities, and are able to facilitate interactions between researchers and residents.

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