The Schelling Architecture Award Nominations and the Theory Prize Winner 2016

This year, the Board of Trustees for the Schelling Architecture Foundation nominated three firms for its architecture prize endowed with € 20.000, all of which will be introducing themselves to the public and the voting board with brief presentations at the official award ceremony on 11/16/2016.

The Board of Trustees issued a statement on the three nominations to explain its selections:


In a time when cities across the world are undergoing extensive reconstruction and seeking out economical solutions for housing and public building projects, André Kempe and Oliver Thill are consistently and single-mindedly creating innovative, poetic, functional, and beautiful structures. Their buildings express a specific kind of restraint that forms a counter-model to today’s highly individualized architecture. With each new project, they prove their instinct for addressing social questions, as well as the relevance of architecture in social life. The Board of Trustees sees the architectural approach and creations built by Kempe Thill as outstanding ambassadors for the most pioneering construction taking place in Europe.


Flemish architects Jan De Vylder, Inge Vinck, and Jo Taillieu have, in just a few years, created a comprehensive oeuvre that questions quite a few supposed certainties about architecture. The majority of their buildings are located in Ghent, where the office was founded in 2008: unorthodox and ironic – mostly residential buildings, renovations, and additions, although the firm is increasingly taking on public spaces as well. Their architecture plays with the expectations of the individual viewer, their perceptual habits, and reinterpreting materials. Unfinished elements in their built architectural works are not left by chance; they are the result of a precise design and construction process which, in the architects’ vision, represent one guiding principle above all else: remaining open for change and improvisation as long as possible.


Mexican architect Rozana Montiel works with an interdisciplinary team to pursue not only the typical design activities of a young office, but also artistic projects to reinterpret public spaces. They also work to research design options for urban areas with the potential for development and societal problem areas which neither politicians nor professional groups would typically otherwise consider. Montiel combines analytic observation with appealingly direct, concrete design. She uses her critique of the status quo to develop architectural interventions that enter into a natural dialog with users and observers.

The Board of Trustees has already selected the following architect for the prize for architectural theory, endowed with € 10.000:


The Schelling Architecture Foundation is honoring British-Canadian architecture theory prize winner Doug Saunders for one of the new perspectives with which he is researching the causes and conditions for and influences on new areas seeing increased immigration in the western world. He also uses this perspective to develop foundations for urban planning which will, ultimately, decide the success or failure of our cities in the 21st century. He summarizes his observations and intensive research on the topic of immigration in twenty major cities on all continents in his 2011 book ‘Arrival City’ and his 2012 ‘Mythos Überfremdung.’
Doug Sanders will sit on the voting board on the evening of the event, and will be casting his vote as well.

The presentations by the nominated firms and the award ceremony will take place on:

November 16th, 2016 at 6 PM
at KIT / Fakultät für Architektur
Englerstraße 11
76131 Karlsruhe

The Schelling Architecture Foundation, founded by Trude Schelling-Karrer and Heinrich Klotz in 1992, is an independent cultural foundation which awards the prizes every two years. An alternating, independent voting board selects the nominees and prize winners. The curators are Peter Cachola-Schmal, Christiane Fath, Louisa Hutton, Dietmar Steiner, Wilfried Wang, Ludwig Wappner.