Boonserm Premthada scoops 2019 Royal Academy Dorfman Architecture Prize

Elephant World Tower in Surin, Thailand
Thai architect Boonserm Premthada, founder of the architectural practise Bangkok Project Studio, is the 2019 winner of the Royal Academy Dorfman Award for Architecture. Pictured here, his Elephant World Tower in Surin, Thailand, which is currently in construction.
(Image credit: TBC)

The Royal Academy's 2019 Dorfman Award for Architecture was announced last night, with Thai architect Boonserm Premthada – founder of Bangkok Project Studio – scooping the gong. The prize also marks the start of the RA's Architecture Week – the institution's summer celebration of inspirational building design. 

‘I am very happy to have been chosen as the winner of the Royal Academy Dorfman Award', says Premthada. ‘It gives me the opportunity to share my love of architecture and what I believe in with the world'. Premthada beat stiff competition from Mexican architect Fernanda Canales, Ireland's office TAKA, headed by Alice Casey and Cian Deegan, and Mariam Kamara of Atelier Masomi from Niger.

The coveted honour is an annual prize, which highlights the work of a practice or individual from anywhere in the world, who represents the ‘future of architecture'. Emerging architects with plenty of promise, young talents who make a difference in their local community and would otherwise remain largely unknown; this award was design to honour just those people, the ones who are starting to make waves and deserve wider recognition for worthy work in their respective countries. The ones that you know you will be hearing more about in the near future.

Boonserm Premthada

The jury was impressed by the ’extraordinary empathy, originality and poetic qualities’ in Premthada’s work

(Image credit: TBC)

‘All of the four Royal Academy Dorfman Award finalists have shared immensely impressive projects that demonstrate how inspiring architecture can make a difference to people’s every-day experience', Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator, Royal Academy of Arts. ‘They have highlighted why the Royal Academy Architecture Awards, now in their second year, are one of the most important aspects of the Royal Academy’s architectural activities. We believe in fostering architectural talent, enhancing discourse across the world and building greater awareness and knowledge of the role architects are playing in shaping our environments.'

Architecture Week continues today with a lecture by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, the winner of the annual Royal Academy Architecture Prize – the institution's highest architectural accolade. 

Take House 2

Taka Architects from Ireland were nominated for the award. Pictured here, their House 2. 

(Image credit: TBC)

Fernanda Canales Terreno House

Mexican architect Fernanda Canales, was also on the shortlist, for works such as Terreno House

(Image credit: TBC)

Atelier Massomi Religious Secular Complex

Atelier Massomi and her portfolio, including work such as Religious Secular Complex, was one of the nominees

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information visit the Royal Academy website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).