Central European University Phase 1 is selected by Civic Trust Special Award National Panel members as their favourite scheme from this year’s Award winning projects.
The Civic Trust Awards are amongst the most prestigious on the circuit, and rather hard to win. We have seen many fine projects tonight and the National Panel Special Award is the highest award that we can bestow. A project will have already won a Civic Trust Award in order to be eligible for it, and its recipient is agreed by the National Panel members.
It is perhaps akin to the Palme D’Or, Best in Show, Top slot on the podium.
The winning project has to be truly exceptional in every sense and whilst no project will ever be perfect, this year’s winner is in many ways truly remarkable.
As the distinguished editor Ian Latham remarked in February’s edition of Architecture Today…”the pairing of solid and void has been thoroughly interrogated to fully liberate its potential, burrowing upwards and outwards to form a remarkable sequence of horizontally and vertically interconnected spaces, drawing daylight into a landlocked plan.”
To me, it is a remarkable project, which combines a series of extremely skilful, bold and beautifully wrought new interventions in a beautiful historic city core. Its appeal is informed by the simplest notion of engagement of architecture with light, form, materiality and context.
Located in a world heritage site, the architects’ understanding of the morphology of the city is evident in a masterplan which links a series of separate buildings, courts and spaces to form a cohesive university campus in close proximity to the city’s cathedral and its famous river.
from Civic Trust National Panel Award Speech