Joshua Prince-Ramus, principal at the New York firm REX Architecture, has won the prestigious biennial Marcus Prize, claiming $100,000 in the process. He is the first American to receive the distinction.
Bob Greenstreet, dean of the School of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which administers the award, commented: “He is headed to the pantheon of greatness…and yet his ideas are still evolving.” In 2008, Esquire magazine went so far as to dub Prince-Ramus the “savior of American architecture.”
Prince-Ramus focuses on efficiency in his projects, outlining the need for architecture to achieve its functional purpose. To accomplish this he identifies the basics, what the building really needs to do. Arranging these components, he creates analytical models which in turn gradually form the building blocks of the structure. From here Prince-Ramus can now focus on making these components work together and actually move on from the concept. This process can be seen in the gallery below.
During one of his TED Talks, Prince-Ramus said, “It’s time for architecture to do things again, not just represent things,” further indicating that the functional requirements of clients should be a priority for contemporary architects, voicing his apathy for the profession to be seen as an art.