There are four finalists competing for the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD) international travel fellowship this year. For the uninitiated, the Wheelwright Prize is almost like a Fulbright research grant, but for young international architects. Aimed at architecture graduates of the past 15 years, the winner will receive a sweet deal: they’ll take home $100,000 towards research outside of the United States (or if living internationally, outside their country of residence). Additionally, there are opportunities to lecture at the Harvard GSD and publish research in a GSD publication.
The four finalists are presenting their work at the Harvard GSD this April 20th. Last year’s award went to Erik L’Heureux, an architect and assistant professor based in Singapore. His proposal centered on studying architecture in equatorial zone cities like Jakarta and São Paolo.
The prize was founded in 1935 in memory of Arthur W. Wheelwright, and originally awarded to top graduates of Harvard’s GSD program. The prize opened up four years ago to young international architects beyond GSD. The prize has gone to a roster of notables that include I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, and Eliot Noyes.
Here is a rundown of the four finalists and images of their past work. The GSD selected the four finalists from a pool of over 200 entrants from 45 countries.
Chilean architect and assistant professor Samuel Bravo has a background working on earthquake reconstruction in historic areas in South America. His proposal is titled Cultural Frictions: A Transference, From Traditional Architecture to Contemporary Production.
Architect, designer, and curator, Matilde Cassani, from Milan, has worked on sustainable developments in Germany and rebuilding after tsunamis. Her studies have focused on public space, migrant communities, and modern sacred/religious spaces. Her proposal is titled Once in a Lifetime: The Architecture of Ritual in Pilgrimage Sites.
Barcelona-based architect Anna Puigjaner (MAIO) focuses on the impacts of flexibility in architecture and design. Her past work has explored adaptable, site-specific installations, as well as the connections and tensions between urban and domestic life. Her proposal is titled Kitchenless City: Architectural Systems for Social Welfare.
Pier Paolo Tamburelli
The fourth finalist is architect and visiting professor Pier Paolo Tamburelli, cofounder of baukuh architects (based in both Genoa and Milan). He has worked on mixed-use and public buildings, as well as masterplans and historic renovations. His proposal is titled Wonders of the Modern World.