2018 European Prize for Architecture to Sergei Tchoban

John Hill, Katinka Corts
19. September 2018
Sergei Tchoban (Photo: Holger Talinski)

He builds mainly in Russia and Germany. He draws, exhibits, and publishes. Now he will be given this year's European Prize for Architecture by The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

Architect Sergei Tchoban will be awarded the European Prize for Architecture on September 28th at a ceremony in Athens. As the driving force behind both Russia's SPEECH and Germany's Tchoban Voss, Tchoban's style of architecture is diverse, with a wide variety of shapes, surfaces, colors and sustainable approaches. Additionally, he hasn't limited himself to particular building types, instead embracing cultural buildings, religious places, and even office buildings. Most impressive might be his drawings, which he makes with watercolors, charcoal, pastel crayons and even — at least on the outside of his eponymous foundation's Museum for Architectural Drawing in Berlin — stone.

The delight of Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President and CEO of the Chicago Athenaeum, in giving the award to Tchoban is clear: "[T]his highly innovative and creative Russian/German architect ... has been instrumental in shaping in our time an unprecedented and inspiring discourse between art and architecture with the keen ability to bridge and transform imagination and the creative mind into the actual built works in the environments in which they are placed." Furthermore he states, "His is a most rare, thought-provoking, and profound approach to architecture, extensions of his life, his philosophy, and his intellect, that fuse the power of imagination into the final end product—the building."

The prize should be understood as an impetus for supporting progressive ideas in buildings and the built environment. It recognizes the commitments and achievements of European architects who are critical, intellectual and artistic in their designs for buildings and cities. In recent years the European Prize for Contemporary Architecture has gone to Bjarke Ingels (Denmark), GRAFT (Germany), TYIN Tegnestue (Norway), Marco Casagrande (Finland), Alessandro Mendini (Italy), Santiago Calatrava (Spain/Switzerland), LAVA (Germany), and Manuelle Gautrand (France).

Future Bridges III (Drawing: Sergei Tchoban)
Architectural Capriccio, Piazza Venezia or Two Worlds No. 2 for Film Stage (Drawing: Sergei Tchoban)

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