April 11, 2008
by Canadian Architect
Kathy Velikov and Geoffrey Thn of the firm RVTR have been named winners in the ArchitecturalLeague of New York’s 27th annual Young Architects Forum Competition.
Their work, along with that of the five other winners, will be displayed on the Architectural League’s website at www.archleague.org and in a catalogue to be published by Princeton Architectural Press. A public exhibition of the work will open to the public May 8th at the Urban Center at 457 Madison Avenue in New York City, and will remain on display through July. As part of a series of public lectures by competition winners, there will be a lecture by Velikov and Thn, along with co-winner Xu Tiantian, of the firm DnA _ Design and Architecture, Issaquah, Washington and Beijing, at the League on the opening night of May 8.
This year’s Young Architect’s Forum theme, Resonance, focuses on how emerging architectural practices engage issues that matter to the world at large, and what innovative working techniques and operations these firms are deploying to realize their work. Velikov and Thn, collaborators in the Toronto-based RVTR with Colin Ripley and Paul Raff, were recognized for their works in architecture and urbanism, including S.W.A.M.P. House, a flexible off-grid vacation home (which received a 2005 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence), a model sustainable development master plan in China, Xin Yuan: Nexus | Park | City (Changchun China), and as team leaders of North House, a collaborative research project with the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University to develop an entirely solar powered prototype home that combines interactive technologies with leading edge building envelope components to create a highly responsive domestic environment. They were also recognized for the firm’s use of novel techniques to undertake global work at a variety of scales, and for their integration of professional and academic research practices in the development of unique collaborative models of design practice.
RVTR was recently formed with a mandate to develop a small, agile, professional firm that combines intensive research with deep capacity in the design and delivery of remarkable architectural and urban projects that address contemporary matters of concern. The firm operates internationally, with current projects in Canada, the United States, China, Thailand, and Argentina.
Kathy Velikov and Geoffrey Thn are both Assistant Professors at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, and Colin Ripley is Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Ryerson University where he is Graduate Program Director for Ryerson’s M.Arch. degree.
“The model of practitioners involved in architectural education is not new”, says Velikov, “however, RVTR is committed to maximizing the potential for research based projects that work across the boundaries between the practice and the institutions. It is our goal to leverage the various opportunities that this situation presents to take on various types of questions and projects beyond the traditional reach of architects and with an intense and deep research base behind the work.”
Founded in 1881, The Architectural League of New York is an independent forum for thepresentation and discussion of creative and intellectual work in architecture, urbanism, and related design disciplines. Since its inception in 1981, the Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum has provided many of the leading talents of succeeding new generations of architects and designers a valuable opportunity to present their work and ideas.
Previous winners include Steven Holl, Billie Tsien, Neil Denari, Stan Allen, Douglas Garofalo, Rick Joy, Office dA: Monica Ponce de Leon & Nader Tehrani, Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis, Preston Scott Cohen, Julia Czerniak, Anuradha Mathur & Dilip da Cunha, and Teddy Cruz, as well as the Toronto firms WilliamsonWilliamson and Lateral Architecture: Lola Sheppard and Mason White. Historically, winners of the award have gone on to develop critically acclaimed work, becoming significant figures within the global field of architecture.