The Eighteenth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2016
Berkeley Prize 2016
SHELTERING THOSE IN NEED: Architects Confront Homelessness
A one-room home, shelter for a migrant worker in Beijing, China.  Photo by Jose Guerrero, 2014.Makeshift shelters assembled migrant workers made from found materials, Beijing, China.  Photo by Jose Guerrero, 2014.Adaptive re-use of a storage container being offered as shelter on a nightly basis at the rate of 1USD per night in Shanghai, China.  Photo by Tony Lin, 2014.Park benches serve as “home” for those without shelter, each of whom neatly stack their belongings beneath their chosen spot in Hong Kong.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Abandoned shipping containers located near the waterfront (and one of the city’s refuse dumps) are commandeered by those without shelter who have transformed the steel boxes into living units, complete with pirated electricity in Shanghai, China.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Detail of the Shanghai, China shipping container shelters.  Here, the resident(s) have even created a small outdoor garden area by laying down a piece of found indoor/outdoor carpet to create a small area of “grass”.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Those without shelter live on the streets as best they can: on this day, trying their best to avoid being soaked by the frequent rain in Shanghai, China while they continue to beg for money.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.The Shanghai, China home for this double-amputee is a cart, pulled by his companion.  The slots underneath are stuffed with the two men’s belongings.  They survive by begging.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, Shanghai, 2015.An obviously educated man creates a home for himself in the exterior foyer of an abandoned building in Valencia, Spain.  Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.Urban Caterpillar Design for Rough Sleepers, London, UK, designed by Amy Brazier.The interior of a standard issue UNHCR tent. Many families live in tents like these for years. Photo by Christopher Herring.'The Right 2 Dream Too' encampment in the heart of Downtown Portland, Oregon, USA serves as a safe space for the city's homeless in a city where camping and sleeping outdoors is largely illegal. Photo by Christopher Herring.Homeless men and women sleeping on mats or bunked beds lined on floors of schools, gyms, and churches as at the First United Church Mission in Vancouver, Canada. Photo by Christopher Herring.A woman and child walk on the paved road of Killis Camp in Turkey. Photo by Christopher Herring.La Casa Supportive Housing Project in Washington DC, USA (Left) seeks to change the pattern of homelessness through design with a central location and on-site services. Designed by Studio Twenty Seven Architecture and Leo A Daly for the Department of Human Services. Photo by Christopher Herring.A project of Micro Homes Solutions, New Delhi, India. Photo by Christopher Herring.A homeless camp in Portland, Oregon, USA. Photo by Christopher Herring.A sidewalk shelter for pavement dwellers in Chennai, India.Concrete spikes under a bridge in Guangzhou City, China. Photo by Christopher Herring.Cynthia proudly sits outside the makeshift home she has constructed on the sidewalk in Fresno, California, a US city with over 3,000 homeless people and less than 300 shelter beds. Photo by Christopher Herring.A Homeless Encampment situated in Fresno, California, USA. Encampments under highway overpasses are common in the US, not only for the structural protection from the elements, but because highway property is not part of city jurisdictions and can avoid the frequent evictions of police faced by those on other public property. Photo by Christopher Herring.A makeshift encampment of a group of homeless people in Fresno, California, USA. The residents bordered their encampment with a homeless memorial with cardboard gravestones with the names of those who passed away on the streets marked by artificial flowers – an expression of both the dignity and resilience of this community and sad reminder of the perils faced by those without shelter. Photo by Christopher Herring.A Homeless Encampment situated in Fresno, California, USA. As in many US cities, such encampments are criminalized in the downtown core, but concentrated and tolerated in the industrialized outskirts. Photo by Christopher Herring.Tents:  A temporary homeless encampment on the sidewalk bordering the campus of the Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, U.S.A.  The City College is a community institution that provides a stepping stone to full-degree programs at other colleges and universities.  Inside the fence, 20,000 mainly low- and lower-income students pursue their dreams of a better life .  Outside the fence, the main preoccupation is to find a place to sleep.  Photograph by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.PATH Villas Osage Apartments is a 20-unit affordable housing development that consists of eight one-bedroom, six two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom units. To foster and enhance an uplifting community spirit between families and the PATH counselors the development features a central landscaped courtyard, a community room and a children’s play area that is observable from all units.PATH Villas Osage Apartments is a 20-unit affordable housing development that consists of eight one-bedroom, six two-bedroom, and six three-bedroom units. To foster and enhance an uplifting community spirit between families and the PATH counselors the development features a central landscaped courtyard, a community room and a children’s play area that is observable from all units.Woman with cart: A homeless woman in Los Angeles, U.S.A. arranges her meager belongings before looking for a place to sleep for the night.  Photograph by Benjamin Clavan, 2015.FLEEING EN MASSE: Migrants from Syria sleep along the walls of a 14th-century fortress in Kos, Greece. (WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES/WALL STREET JOURNAL AUG. 2015 FRONT PAGE).'Home.' City center, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2014. Photo by Benjamin Clavan.Even in Norway, with very visible government attention and programs, there are an estimated 6200 people with no place to live. Here, in the capital city of Oslo, at the steps of the Parliament Building on the busy avenue connecting the town center with the Royal Palace, a homeless woman tries to sleep and collect a few coins. (Photo by Benjamin Clavan, 2015)
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"Home." City center, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 2014. (Photo by Benjamin Clavan.)
Temporary winter night shelter at the First Unitarian Universalist Church and Center of San Francisco, U.S.A., 2015. (Photo by Christopher Herring.)


  • The Berkeley Prize for the 2023-2024 academic year has been suspended.
2016 Essay Prize Competition

Each year, the PRIZE Committee selects a topic critical to the discussion of the social art of architecture and poses a Question based on that topic. Full-time undergraduate students enrolled in any architecture degree program or majoring in architecture throughout the world (or teams of two students, one of whom may be from a collateral discipline) are invited to submit a 500-word Essay proposal responding to the Question.

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2016 Travel Fellowship Competition

Students: If you become a semifinalist in the Essay competition, you have the opportunity through the TRAVEL FELLOWSHIP to propose visiting a foreign locale for a hands-on research experience tied to the subject of your Essay.

2016 Travel Fellowship Competition »

Berkeley Prize News

  • 05/01/2023

    Berkeley Prize 2023 winners are announced! See details about the Essay Prize Winners and the Travel Fellows. Thanks to all who participated!

  • 12/22/2022

    Food for thought: STIR rounds up five architectural projects that displayed commitment towards community upliftment and helped reinvent a social identity.

  • 10/01/2022

    Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022 puts the spotlight on community and culture. Read or listen to the report here.

  • 09/15/2022


  • 09/14/2022

    Meet Ushna Raees, the newest member of the Berkeley Prize Committee.

    Ushna is a practicing Architect/ Designer based in Karachi, Pakistan and currently working for ‘arcop’ one of the most renowned firms in the country. During the course of her stint with ‘arcop’, Ushna has worked as Project Architect on several complex projects undertaken by AKDN (Aga Khan Development Network) and AKESP (Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan) in the Northern Areas which is a diverse terrain from cultural, social and geographical aspects. The projects comprise four Schools and an IT Park. She has assisted and been part of the team on the projects including a five star hotel (Serena) in Gilgit & Hunza, Office buildings (HBL Plaza, HBL Clifton, HBL Swing space), Emaar Mosque, Emaar village Islamabad, TCF vocational center, The Indus Hospital, Surjani Town Karachi, Panu Orchards Mansehra, Aga Khan Center etc.
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