RSHP wins Royal Academy architecture prize

05 July 2017

The team behind Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partner’s Geneva Airport extension has won the prestigious Royal Academy Turkishceramics Prize for Architecture.

The £10,000 prize for an outstanding work of architecture, which they shared with a team from Herzog & de Meuron, was awarded today (4 July) in a ceremony at the Royal Academy in London.

This year’s architecture room at the summer show was curated by Farshid Moussavi, and focused on construction co-ordination drawings for the first time.

Bahadir Kayan, one of the judges, said: “Moussavi’s call for construction co-ordination drawings brought together an outstanding show that unveils the unseen beyond models and images. Congratulations to RSHP and Herzog & de Meuron, who go to share the prize this year, for their outstanding submissions.”

Speaking after the team received the award, Douglas Paul, an architect at the practice, said: “On large infrastructure projects it often takes many, many years to take the project from concept to completion. In the case of Geneva Airport’s Aile Est it will take at least ten years. Much of this time is spent by the architect trying to lead a vast range of consultants, the client body, experts, contractors, suppliers towards a common goal. It is not always glamorous work.

The RA exhibition takes a refreshing and relatively rare interest in the process that leads to the executed work; the construction drawings. Gate 1 of 7 expresses the interest of RSHP – and Graham Stirk in particular – in the coordination and expression of structure and services which will ostensibly be exposed in the finished building. The static superstructure with its network of services contrasts with the dynamic arms of the telescopic air-bridges whose position varies depending on the size and model of the aircraft arriving at the stand.”

When completed, aile_EST (the east wing) project will represent an important improvement for Geneva Airport in terms of flexibility of its operation and passenger comfort. It will enable an increase in the amount of medium-haul and long-haul flights the airport is able to undertake, and strengthen its position as a European airport.

The new pier will replace an existing temporary building with a processor with passport control booths for immigration and emigration, and Schengen and non-Schengen arrival and departure gates with airline lounges at mezzanine level.

The project is a collaborative approach between consultants based in four countries, which means good communication, including good technical and visual communication, is especially important. The building will be energy positive when built, with innovative sustainability features.