Last night alongside my colleagues, I headed down to 66 Portland Place- the home of the RIBA, to attend the Jencks Award 2015 Ceremony which was followed with a lecture by the winners: the great Herzog & de Meuron. The award was given for their major contribution internationally to both the theory and practice of architecture.
This year, the award’s recipient was decided by a judging panel comprising Jencks, RIBA President and Chairman of Hodder and Partners Stephen Hodder, Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones and AA director Brett Steele (and chaired by RIBA Director of Eduation David Gloster). Their lecture was named ‘Treacherous Transparencies’. It focused on the work of a selection of their favourite artists and architects, and how these precedents were integrated and inspired them with projects of their own. They are no doubt creating some amazing structures globally, namely so my favourite that they presented was an almost-complete home for a pair of ‘collectors’ so to speak in Napa Valley, California, where they were constructing something quite pure INTO the landscape. This combination of such a lightweight structure set within the heavy earth worked so well and highlights the delicacy of the build. There is something spectacular about the pairing of nature and architecture and how to balance the two.