Prix de Rome Architecture: 8 nominees countdown

Prix de Rome

Prix de Rome Architecture gives out a prestigious prize only every 4 years and is highly prestigious. This year it will be issued October 15th. Eight nominees are listed, young top architects from the Netherlands. Each delivered a design for the Prix and re-thought the crossing of the Meent and the Hoogstraat in Rotterdam city, Netherlands. Although this project is fictive, it can boost their carreers forever so the stakes are high.

The eight architects / urban designers were nominated for good reason: they are promising talents and we are likely to hear from them again. So to become “experts” of Dutch architecture you should invest into knowing them. I will help you a little bit; here are the short biographies of the nominees. Up to October 15th I will complete the list and we will know which talent has won the contest.

Donna van Milligen Bielke

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Van Milligen Bielke is a young architect who graduated in 2012. She graduated with a prize winning design for the Amsterdam Stopera. This building, a combination of the city hall and opera house, is a complete eyesore to her. She dislikes the closed structure of it and created a plan that proposes an open structure. Inspired by the painting Victory Boogie Woogie (Mondriaan, 1942-1944) the design led to an open network of smaller buildings, lanes and plazas.

It is difficult to know what we can expect of her for the Prix de Rome. Will she continue this open structure idea? Perhaps she surprises us all with a complete new perspective. We will know the 15th of October…

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Jasper Nijveldt

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Nijveldt is the youngest of contestants. He graduated from the Technical University of Delft as an urban designer. His designs are integral propositions for re-development of cities, stations, neighborhoods etc. With his graduation project he won the second prize of the Archiprix of 2013. It is inspired by Chinese walled cities.

His urban plan for these cities is to create a grid that looks like agricultural plots. These are often different of shape and various in use of land. By putting walls along the plot lines this variety can be sustained in the city without it looking like a mess. Since walls and enclosed spaces are already traditional in China, this idea fits in well with existing norms. What makes the design great is the complexity in which all urban systems are integrated. Sustainability, quality of life, sorts of soil; a complicated plan with a fresh outcome. Will his plan for the Prix de Rome be just as integral and fresh?

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Florian Idenburg

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Idenburg is an architect who graduated from the technical university of Delft in 1999. Since then he worked for SANAA in Tokyo, where he created two buildings for art museums. After that he established his own bureau in New York; SO-IL (Solid Objections Idenburg Liu). Together with his companion he creates remarkable designs for buildings, parks, exhibitions etc.

Their first project, temporary urban design Pole Dance in New York, won the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program of 2010. It was a larger than life play game with balls, directed by poles. More recently, the architects have designed the exhibition Bad Thoughts in the museum of contemporary art in Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum). They also made an artwork moved by wind called the Dichroicarus in Milan, Italy. Their work can be described as colorful and creative. Let’s see how much play we will find in Idenburg’s design for Prix the Rome.

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Marieke Kums

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Kums is an architect who graduated from the technical university of Delft in 2005. She went on with a Fullbright Scholarship at the University of Boston, US. She worked for Dutch Rem Koolhaas’ OMA and SANAA in Tokyo. Finally she started her own bureau: Studio Maks. In the meanwhile she lectures at various universities and judges for architecture prizes.

With Studio Maks she designs buildings, landscapes, art pieces and more. Her projects look clean and fluent. They seem to be inspired by nature, but they flirt with surrealism or anti-natural materials. Her Cloud Table is an excellent example. Her designs secured many architecture prizes for her.

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Steven Delva

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Delva graduated from the Academy of Construction (Academie van Bouwkunst) in 2008. This made a landscape architect of him, thinking much about ecological, geographical as well as aesthetic questions. Immediately upon graduating he established his own bureau Delva Landscape Architects. It’s going well with a second office in Antwerp and employees.

In his designs Delva works a lot with nature, often in relation to urban landscapes. An example of the natural work is the roof garden in Chicago, where nature finds itself in the middle of skyscrapers and traffic. Another example of these crossroads is the plan for a park right next to Schiphol. Here the function of people in relation to the surroundings and their history are emphasized. Did Delva integrate nature in his plan for the Prix de Rome as well, in the center of Rotterdam?

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Kees Lokman

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Lokman is the most academic of the contestants for the Prix. He graduated from the University of Wageningen in 2006 and has done a great variety of work since. In 2012 he completed another master in Design at prestigious Harvard University. But ever since his graduation in 2006 he has been teaching architecture, urban design and other courses at various universities.

Another merit is his platform Parallax Landscape. With this organisation he keeps track of and designs solutions for environmental questions. The nature and relationship of the human kind with it plays a major role. He dares to address problems like energy sources, climate change and food shortage. Perhaps his design for Prix de Rome involves one of these questions in the case of Rotterdam.

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Tim Prins

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