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arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, the Italcementi award for female architects

07/02/2014
• 2014, Italcementi's 150th anniversary year, is also the centenary of the birth of architect Lina Bo Bardi, an extraordinary designer of stunning buildings in reinforced concrete, whom arcVision Prize will honor with a Special Award
 
After the extraordinary success of the first edition, won by Brazilian architect Carla Juaçaba, arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, the  Italcementi Group's international architecture award, is returning for the second year. The prize recognizes female designers whose work incorporates technological innovation, sustainability and culture in a harmonious combination of function and style
 
The Prize highlights women's achievements in contemporary world architecture by focusing on the qualities a modern designer needs for an original approach in developing advanced, non-conventional solutions, and a sharper, more mature sensitivity to the human and social context. "We instituted the arcVision Prize to recognize the work of female architects who create sustainable and social innovative projects and ideas aspiring to improvement, beauty and functionality in construction and housing," said Italcementi CEO Carlo Pesenti. "Architects whose ‘feminine' approach and vision combine technology and environment, materials and form, style and efficiency to create models that transform the city and the community. We're sure this year's prize will attract important projects, worthy of Italcementi's 150th anniversary, an important milestone that bears witness to the work, commitment and passion of everyone who has helped make our company a world leader in construction materials. We want to mark the formation of Italcementi through an historic parallel with Lina Bo Bardi, a great designer born one hundred years ago in Italy, who today could be described as an "archistar" of her time."
 
As in 2013, all the members of the Jury will be women, outstanding professionals who have distinguished themselves in promoting a responsible and innovative socio-economic and architectural vision.
 
The members of the Jury selecting the winner of the 2014 prize will be Shaikha Al Maskari (an Abu Dhabi businesswoman and member of the board of the Arab International Women's Forum-AIWF), Vera Baboun (Mayor of Bethlehem), Odile Decq (owner of the Odile Decq firm in Paris), Louisa Hutton (English founding partner of the Sauerbruch Hutton architectural practice), Suhasini Maniratnam (an Indian actress, producer and writer deeply involved in community service), Samia Nkrumah (born in Ghana, president of the Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Center), Kazuyo Sejima (owner with Ryue Nishizawa of the SANAA architectural practice in Tokyo), Benedetta Tagliabue (founding partner with Enric Miralles of the EMBT architectural firm in Barcelona), Martha Thorne (born in the USA, director of the Pritzker Prize), Elena Zambon (chairman of the Italian pharmaceuticals company Zambon S.p.A.).
 
"It's fascinating to see what women are doing in architecture," said arcVision Prize jury member Benedetta Tagliabue, founder with Enric Miralles of the EMBT Miralles/Tagliabue architectural practice, "because we don't know yet whether we women can create a slightly different, more sensitive architecture, and whether we can run an architectural practice in our own way. Last year we awarded the prize to architect Carla Juaçaba, in recognition of her creative intelligence and ecosustainability, which for architects should be a contemporary issue, not an issue for the future. I shall be very excited to see the projects and work of the candidates for this year's prize." 
 
Over the last few weeks, a group of Advisors―architects, academics, critics, representatives from the trade press―selected the candidates for the 2014 prize. The technical-scientific Commission then drew up a short list to be presented to the Jury who will meet in Bergamo from March 5 to 7. 
 
The results of the arcVision Prize will be announced by the Jury on March 7, at a press conference at i.lab, the Italcementi Group research & innovation center in Bergamo, and published on March 8, International Women's Day. 
 
Once again this year, the projects and profiles of the shortlisted candidates will be presented in a special edition of arcVision, the magazine published by the Group since 1997 to promote ties between corporate culture and architectural culture.
 
During the press conference, Stefano Casciani―scientific director of the arcVision Prize Women and Architecture―spoke about Lina Bo Bardi: "The 2014 arcVision Special Prize for Lina Bo Bardi is a tribute to all the contemporary female designers who have fought and continue to fight for an equal role for women in civil activities and the development of an egalitarian, progressive and engaged design culture. Lina Bo Bardi is recognized internationally as a cult figure in the history of this struggle, through her contribution to the development of an architecture that is profoundly modern in its social implications, structural brilliance and educational vocation. The MASP (São Paulo Museum of Art), the Casa de Vidro (now home to the Lina and P.M. Bardi Foundation) and the SESC-Pompéia center are still active in the promotion of the arts today, but they are also testimony to the original and unique poetic through which Lina Bo Bardi showed all female architects the way toward a fully independent quest for expression. We are delighted that we have succeeded in involving the Lina Bo and Pietro Maria Bardi Institute in our Prize. On March 7, at the presentation of the arcVision Prize, a special award will be made and a lecture will be given about this extraordinary woman." 
 
Lina Bo and Pietro Maria Bardi Institute 
The Lina Bo and Pietro Maria Bardi Institute was founded in 1993 to conserve and promote the work of architect Lina Bo and her husband art critic Pietro Maria Bardi, who played a pioneering role in the development of Brazil's modern artistic culture. Besides protecting the copyright on the Bardis' work and their cultural legacy, the institute promotes awareness of Brazil's artistic culture at national and international level, through exhibitions, lectures and publications. The institute is located in the Casa de Vidro, the Glass House designed by Lina in 1950 as her private home in São Paulo. On her death, at the Glass House in 1992, her husband Pietro donated the building to the institute. An admirable example of Lina's innovative architectural work, the Glass House has been declared a national architectural heritage site. It houses the library, a large archive of photographs, films and video material and part of the Bardis' art collection. 
 
arcVision.org 
At the press conference, Italcementi presented arcvision.org, a platform for analysis and reflection on construction and architectural issues, yet another manifestation of the Group's interest in the creation of an innovation design culture. The portal also offers a new perspective on a long story of experimental work with cement, which began with the formation of the F.lli Pesenti School at Milan Polytechnic in the 1920s and the creation, in the postwar period, of the ISMES institute for experimentation on the static and dynamic behavior of reinforced concrete, and has continued over the years through cooperation with many distinguished names in architecture: Gio Ponti, Pier Luigi Nervi, Frank O. Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Santiago Calatrava, Zaha Hadid, Richard Meier and many others.
 
arcvision.org is a journey through the experience of the Italcementi Group and the world of architecture, with items, topics, links, images and categories. Current issues and innovations, the latest news and forums, as well as a specialist archive kept constantly up to date with original papers and research. The project publishes educational material for design work in every area, from universities to architectural firms, from manufacturers of building products to construction site specialists, from scholars of aesthetics to journalists from the business press. An invitation to meet and debate, to contribute to the creation of a comprehensive information collection and knowledge exchange.
 
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