The jury of the Schindler Award 2010 has chosen the ten finalists in the biannual competition for students of architecture in Europe. The nominated projects will be presented at an award ceremony in Berlin on January 14, 2011, when one winner and four runners-up will be awarded cash prizes. There will also be three prizes totaling 50,000 Euros for participating schools of architecture, and two special mentions for projects that stood out for their rigorous site planning and creative technology.
The ten top projects (see attached list) were chosen from a total of 174 submitted by individual students or teams from schools of architecture across Europe. That compares with 125 projects submitted for the previous Schindler Award in 2008.
The current competition challenged architecture students to redesign parts of Berlin's Olympic grounds and to make it accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. The jury president, Françoise-Hélène Jourda, said the high number of entries, as well as the ideas put forward, showed that "access for all" was becoming a major issue for architects in Europe.
"It's interesting that in this Schindler Award, the students were far more focused on designs that delivered access for all and social sustainability than on creating architectural utopias," said Jourda, who is professor of architecture at Vienna's Technical University.
She added that architecture projects in future would be concentrated on revitalizing urban areas rather than designing grandiose buildings that failed to serve the needs of city dwellers. "This is why student competitions such as the Schindler Award are important: because it is the visions of young architects that provide ideas for repairing and revitalizing our cities to improve integration and create sustainable social environments.
The students competing in the Schindler Award 2010 were required to submit plans for revitalizing parts of Berlin's historic Olympic grounds and for improving public-transport access to the area. The site was chosen because it combined the competition's objectives of improving access for all as well as creating inclusive urban spaces that serve the needs of all their inhabitants.
Alongside the student nominations for the best projects, the jury also named three schools of architecture as deserving of awards. They will be given research grants in recognition of their support in pre-judging projects from their school for the competition, and for integrating the topic of accessibility into their curricula. Two other projects earned special mentions for their rigorous site planning and creative technology. All the students and tutors concerned will be invited to the Schindler Award prize-giving ceremony in Berlin on January 14, 2011.