citation: studio luz architects
“Campus d’espoir” (campus of hope), Haiti.
What Does Progressive Mean?
By: Ned Cramer
Fifty-four years have passed since the editors of Progressive Architecture magazine hosted the first P/A Awards jury. The profession has come a long way since then, and the venue of the P/A Awards program has changed as well—moving from Progressive Architecture, to Architecture, and now to ARCHITECT—but the mission of the awards remains the same: to recognize risk-taking practitioners and, more broadly, to promote progress itself in the field of architecture. ARCHITECT embraces this mission without hesitation. The P/A Awards will continue to flourish in these pages.
The P/A Awards matter to the profession, and not just because they’ve been around for more than half a century. The very best of institutions can stagnate. What makes the P/A Awards any different? As contributor Katie Gerfen notes in the introduction to this year’s presentation, the P/A Awards are designed to evolve with the times: “Every year, five respected members of the design community sit down in a room for two days to determine the current meaning of the words ‘progressive architecture’ and select projects that fit their definition.”
award: office dA
villa moda: new kuwait sports shooting club, Kuwait
Each round of the P/A Awards sees new jurors, new projects, new talent, and new priorities for the profession. Change is the constant. The P/A Awards, in other words, embody the profession’s faith in progress—the unceasing, collective desire to question, rethink, and improve on the status quo. It takes more than a magazine, or a group of jurors, to keep the faith. Progress is the responsibility of the profession as a whole. The P/A Awards, in the end, are a meaningful institution because architects continually pursue the next best idea and bravely submit their findings to a jury of their peers. Everyone should try it.
award: aziza chaouni
hybrid urban sutures: filling in the gaps in the medina of fez, Morocco
By Katie Gerfen
The most pressing question that faces the P/A Awards jury each year is not “Which of these projects will get an award?” but rather “What does it mean for a project to be worthy of a P/A Award?” One of the program’s great strengths is its open-endedness and immediacy. Every year, five respected members of the design community sit down in a room for two days to determine the current meaning of the words “progressive architecture” and select projects that fit their definition.
This year, the jury chose to give out four awards and four citations, not just in response to what they felt fit the description of good design, but also to address the fact that architecture is about much more than form and structure—it is about community, and individuals, and the issues that affect people on a local and a global scale.
This year’s awards comprise a community center dedicated to the idea that the medical profession needs to understand the political and social issues affecting their patients to give better care; a research project that investigates how marginal spaces in the medina in Fez can be reworked to better serve local residents; a single-family home that expands upon the progressive modern tradition of the Case Study houses; and a sports club in Kuwait that creates a sense of place in an unwelcoming climate.
Citations went to a school in Lebanon for women and working children; an orphanage that provides medical care and social services to an impoverished community in Haiti; a retirement community in Arkansas that creates social opportunities for elderly residents; and a Bahá’í temple that serves a congregation in South America.
One juror lamented during the proceedings that some of the firms submitting projects seemed to have forgotten “what the P stands for” in P/A, only to realize that by turning the term “progressive” on its head and analyzing the whole of a project—not just its form, but its function as well—a distinct group of projects emerged that address global issues and social welfare. By that definition, all of this year’s winning projects are progressive indeed.
citation: hariri pontarini architects
bahá’í mother temple for south america, Santiago , Chile
marc boutin architect
michael maltzan architecture
hariri pontarini architects
studio luz architects
university of arkansas community design center
citation: hashim sarkis
bab tebbaneh school for working children and for women, Lebanon