Two Mexicans awarded Women in Architecture prize

4 April 2017

The Architectural Review’s Women in Architecture 2017 prize for Architect of the Year was given to Gabriela Carrillo of Taller Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, reports ArchDaily.

Mexican Architects: Gabriela Carrillo and Rozana Montiel

Another Mexican, Rozana Montiel, won the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture. Montiel is from Rozana Montiel Estudio de Arquitectura.

Both women were commended for “working sustainably and democratically with local communities”.

According to the judges, Carillo has that wonderful quality many Mexican architects have been known for: to work with the interplay of shadow and light. Her sensitivity to work within other architectural layers without destroying the existing, was also commented on.

Gabriela Carrillo,Taller de Arquitectura Mauricio Rocha + Gabriela Carrillo, Juzgados en Pátzcuaro, México. Image © Onnis Luque

Her design for the Criminal Courts for Oral trials in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán in Mexico particularly impressed the judges. The building is of stone with sloped, tiled roofs in response to high rainfall. The judges found the building to “skilfully answers a brief to design flexible spaces, comply with strict security rules and improve transparency in the judicial process.”

In turn, the “simple architectural spaces” in Montiel’s designs were highlighted. A lot was said of the way in which she engages with the communities who will use her architecture. In response, Montiel says architecture is political. “We can read in daily spaces the political priorities of our society. Architecture has the power to shape civic behaviour because, more than laying bricks, it lays the founding principles of public and social exchanges.’

South African born Denise Scott Brown was awarded the Jane Drew Prize, recognising women who has raised the profile of the sex within architecture.

Denise Scott Brown

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