The 2020 Essay Prize Competition
An essay contest in Three stages open to all current full-time registered students in an undergraduate architecture degree program, undergraduates majoring in architecture, or diploma students in accredited schools of architecture worldwide. 25,000USD Purse.
The Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Design Excellence endowment was established in the Department of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley College of Environmental Design to promote the investigation of architecture as a social art. Each year the PRIZE Committee selects a topic important to the understanding of the interaction of people and the built world that becomes the focus of the Essay Competition.
The Committee poses a Question on this website related to the topic. Typically, students enrolled in any accredited undergraduate architecture program or diploma in architecture program throughout the world are invited to submit a 500-word essay proposal in English responding to the Question. This year, architecture students must team up with undergraduates from allied arts and social sciences programs and submit proposals in teams of two. (For general requirements see the To Enter page).
From the pool of essay proposals received, approximately 25-28 are selected by the PRIZE Committee as particularly promising. The selected student teams become Semifinalists. These Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2,500-word essay, again in English, expanding on their proposals. A group of readers, composed of Committee members and invited colleagues, selects five-to-eight of the best essays and sends these Finalist essays to a jury of international academics and architects to select the winners.
At the conclusion of the Essay Competition submittals, all Semifinalists are also invited to submit for a BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship. Details for the Fellowship will be announced in the Spring 2020. Past Travel Fellowship Competition requirements, winning submissions, and follow-up reports by the winners are available to read here on the website.
United States Post Office, Albany, California, U.S.A. This is typical of the thousands of post offices in the country that, despite the computer age, are in constant use by the local community.
Edificio de Correos y Telegrafos (Mail and Telegraph Building), Valencia, Spain. 1922. This Central Post Office building is popularly known as the “Palacio de Comunicaciones” (Palace of Communications). Miguel Angel Navarro, Architect.
San Francisco Department of Public Health Headquarters, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Beijing National Aquatics Center,
Beijing, China. The “Water Cube” at the Olympic Park. PTW Architects and the Arup Australasia engineering group, together with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and the CSCEC Shenzhen Design Institute. See: https://www.chinahighlights.com/beijing/attraction/water-cube.htm
Sunday Community Market at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DVM) Office, Oakland, California, U.S.A. This DMV is one of 180 such offices in California, all of which issue driver's licenses, identity cards, and vehicle registrations.
Temescal Branch Library,
Oakland, California, U.S.A. 1918. One of sixteen libraries in the Oakland Public Library
system. Charles W. Dickey and John J. Donovan, Architects.
Biblioteca Latino-Americana Victor Civita (Victor Civita Latin America Library), at the Latin American Memorial,
São Paulo, Brazil. Oscar Niemeyer, Architect. The Library is part of a much larger, multi-building cultural center. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_America_Memorial
Mercat Central (Central Market),
Valencia, Spain. 1914-1928. Alejandro Soler March
and Francesc Guàrdia i Vial, Architects.
Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. The largest indoor aquarium in Europe. Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates led by American architect Peter Chermayeff.
Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai, China. Originally built in 1930, Robert Fan Wenzhao, Architect. In 2007, in recognition of its historic and cultural importance to the community, the entire hall was moved 66 meters to facilitate the construction of a new elevated highway. It has been fully conserved for a new lifetime of community use.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Today’s bazaar is a complex of large blue and turquoise domes constructed by the government in the Soviet era during the 1980s on the site of former markets that have been in operation for over 2000 years. See: http://uzbek-travel.com/about-uzbekistan/facts/chorsu-bazaar/
Christmas Market at the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN),
Warsaw, Poland. Designed by Soviet architect Lev Rudnev
in what has been called the "Seven Sisters"
(Stalinist) style, the 1955 building has survived post-Communist era calls for its demolition. It “houses various public and cultural institutions such as cinemas, theaters, libraries, sports clubs, university faculties and authorities of the Polish Academy of Sciences
.” The building is slowly overcoming its history as a symbol of totalitarianism and has become a true community resource. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Culture_and_Science
UVA Nuevo Occidente,
Medellín, Colombia. Public and community spaces including swimming pool, dressing rooms, and recreational terrace; a ballroom, toy library, classroom workshop, cinema auditorium and children's playground; multiple classrooms, administrative offices, commercial premises and viewing terrace and, in addition to a multi-purpose Coliseum, synthetic court and urban gym. See also: https://www.lafargeholcimfoundation.org/media/news/projects/a-new-icon-of-community-empowerment-in-medellin-uva-de-la-imagin
(Photo: Benard Acellam)
Cultural Development Center of Moravia (CDCM),
Medellín, Colombia. Rogelio Salmona, Architect. Designed with an auditorium for 350 people; thirty private and soundproof cubicles for practice; three multiple classrooms for meetings, rehearsals, training or practice; galleries; and a number of playgrounds for various activities. See also: http://stealth.ultd.net/?p=1318
(Photo: Benard Acellam)