Most important architecture news of December 2015

1. 2015 RIBA President’s Medals winners announced


The Heteroglossic City – RIBA Silver Medal, Finn Wilkie, Mackintosh School of Architecture, Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the President`s Medals Student Awards. The awards, recognised as the world`s most prestigious in architectural education, were inaugurated in 1836. Three medals are awarded to “promote excellence in the study of architecture and to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide”: the Bronze for Part I students, the Silver for a Part II Student and the Dissertation Medal. See the winning projects on

2. Alberto Campo Baeza wins 2015 BigMat International Architecture award


Office Building in Zamora, Spain by Alberto Campo Baeza, © Javier Callejas Sevilla

Alberto Campo Baeza`s Office Building in Zamora, Spain has been announced as the winner of the 2015 BigMat International Architecture Award with the judges appreciating how the design combines “the contemporary nature of the building with a respectful understanding of its existing surroundings”. View all the award winning projects on

3. Detroit becomes first city in the US to be named a UNESCO `City of Design`


Detroit, UNESCO City of Design

UNESCO has included 47 new cities into its Creative Network, with Detroit being selected as the first “City of Design” from the United States. The Creative Cities Network is a selection of cities across the world that promotes the creation of creative and cultural industries. See the full list of cities on

4. Floating architecture will offer an `improved way of living`


Water-houses in Amsterdam`s IJburg Neighborhood by Marlies Rohmer Architects&Urbanists float in concrete tubs

Due to sea level rise and the shortage of development sites, the interest in floating buildings has increased. This led to proposals like mass housing on London`s canals or entire amphibious cities in China. People will increasingly live and work on water, as planning policies shift away from building flood defences towards accepting that sea and rivers cannot be contained forever, say the architects behind these proposals. See all the proposals on

5. Innovative concrete slab system uses up to 55% less concrete


Courtesy of Holedeck

Holedeck`s concrete slab system claims to use 55% less concrete than standard concrete structures, while reducing the thickness of floor plates to allow a greater number of floors in tall buildings. To find out more, visit

6. RIBA launches International Prize for world`s best new building


Richard Rogers will chair the grand jury for the International Prize

The Royal Institute of British Architects is launching its International Prize for the best new building in the world. The prize will be awarded to “the most significant and inspirational building of the year”, according to the RIBA. British architect Richard Rogers will chair the grand jury for the prize. Read more on

7. Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi win 2016 AIA Gold Medal


Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, © Frank Hanswijk

Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi have been announced by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as the winners of the 2016 Gold Medal award. In 2013, AIA changed its bylaws and allowed the award to be presented to up to two individuals working together, Scott Brown and Venturi being the first pair that received the Gold Medal. Read more on

8. These glass walls slide around corners to disappear from view


“Turnable” system by Vitrocsa

As shown in the image below, the “Turnable” system takes is an improved concept of the usual sliding doors. “Each panel can slide independently of each other and when they are moved out of the way can be completely hidden along a wall down the side of a building or stacked inside a pocket. Panels can freely slide around any number of corners allowing architects to design a massive opening with maximum views.” Read more on

9. Encore Hereux uses recycled materials to build Circular Pavilion in Paris


“Circular Pavilion” by Encore Hereux, Paris, France

Architecture studio Encore Hereux has built a pavilion outside Paris` city hall featuring a facade made out of reclaimed doors and insulation recycled from an old supermarket roof. The pavilion was built for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Paris between 30 November and 11 December 2015. The pavilion is intended as a model for sustainable architecture. The name describes the process that follows the circular “economy principles according to which one person’s waste becomes another’s resources”, said the architects to Dezeen. Read more on

10. December 3NTA Rotating Editor: Alcalá


Rotating Editor Alcala