Alireza Taghaboni scoops inaugural Royal Academy Dorfman Award

Alireza Taghaboni scoops inaugural Royal Academy Dorfman Award

The Royal Academy of Arts in London not only launches its two new architecture awards this week, celebrating the winners of the field’s two new prestigious gongs; it also kicks off a week of architectural festivities that will span lectures, award presentations and discussion panels, especially designed to promote architecture’s critical role in our world and culture.

The respected London institution has announced the winner of its inaugural Royal Academy Dorfman Award. Alireza Taghaboni, founder of Next Office in Iran, scooped the coveted honour, beating off competition from Anne Holtrop, founder of Studio Holtrop (The Netherlands and Bahrain), Rahel Shawl, founder of RAAS Architects (Ethiopia), Architectura Expandida (Colombia), and Go Hasegawa, founder of Go Hasegawa and Associates (Japan).

Pictured here, one more design by the 2018 Royal Academy Dorfman Award winner, Villa Guyim by Alireza Taghaboni Projects

The jury praised the winning architect for his ‘extraordinary achievement in realising buildings of high architectural quality in today’s turbulent context of Iran’. The winner was selected by a jury including architects Louisa Hutton RA and Richard Rogers RA, Harvard Dean Mohsen Mostafavi, BBC broadcaster Razia Iqbal, artist Conrad Shawcross RA and critic and curator Joseph Grima. It represents excellence in architecture and ‘the future of architecture’, say the organisers.

‘I am overjoyed to win the first Royal Academy Dorfman Award for Architecture’, says Taghaboni. ‘I want my architecture to have a productive purpose in a country where the context is political.’

The series of events during the 2018 Architecture Awards Week will also include the Royal Academy Architecture Prize Lecture by Japanese architect Itsuko Hasegawa, who was the first ever recipient of the particular prize, announced earlier in the year (both this and the Dorfman Award are generously supported by the Dorfman Foundation).

Further events at the RA this week include an afternoon of discussions and presentations by students, educators, and the finalists of the Royal Academy Dorfman Award and a panel discussion about the worldwide influence of Japanese architecture, with speakers such as Itsuko Hasegawa and architect Takeshi Hayatsu. §

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