The four buildings in the running for the RIBA International Prize 2018 were announced on 12 September with one of them being the Central European University (Phase 1), Budapest, by Dublin-based practicie O’Donnell + Tuomey. It is a new university campus in the heart of Budapest that successfully links old buildings and courtyards to create vibrant new spaces. As part of a major redevelopment of the Central European University, the architects have added a new limestone-clad building to a street in the heart of Budapest. Drawing on the city’s unique vernacular, the new design skillfully knits together several historical buildings and courtyards to create an internal sequence of spaces and routes. The project brings a total of 35,000m2 of new space to the inner-city campus, and consists of a new library, an auditorium, teaching and learning facilities, study rooms, and a café.
The prestigious prize, awarded every two years, rewards the most inspirational and significant new buildings across the globe and celebrates international architectural talent.
The shortlist also includes:
- Children Village, Brazil, by Aleph Zero + Rosenbaum. A new boarding school on the edge of the Amazon offering education and accommodation to the children of rural farm workers.
- Toho Gakuen School of Music, Tokyo, by Nikken Sekkei. A new virtuoso music school designed to visually connect, rather than isolate, practising musicians.
- Il Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), Milan, by Boeri Studio. The second of two residential towers in Milan in which trees and humans coexist, designed to set a new standard in sustainable housing.
The fours buildings have been selected following a rigorous judging process, from a long list of 20 exceptional new projects in 16 countries.
The shortlist will now be finally judged by a distinguished Grand Jury chaired by Elizabeth Diller, partner of acclaimed US firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and including Joshua Bolchover, Co-Founding Director of Rural Urban Framework; Gloria Cabral, Partner of Gabinete de Arquitectura; Peter Clegg, Senior Partner of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Kazuyo Sejima, Founding Partner of SANAA.
Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey of O’Donnell + Tumey said:
We are delighted to see the CEU on the shortlist for the RIBA International Prize. This has been a special project for us. An open campus for a liberal-minded university, the project took us on a journey of discovery into the architectural, cultural and urban morphology of Budapest, involving us in sometimes sympathetic, sometimes controversial discussions with the city authorities during the design process. We wanted the building to ft into its context, but to fit in by standing out. Now that its built, the project seems to be widely accepted and well understood as belonging to its place, a new part of the old city.