On May 5, 2021, Beijing time, the Union International des Architectes (UIA) announced at its headquarters in Paris the winners of 2021 UIA Gold Medal and other prizes.
Prof. Lu Jiansong and his team from HNU School of Architecture won the Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished, for his practice in Huayao tribe, Hunan Province.
UIA awards a Gold Medal and five prizes during the triennial UIA World Congress. The Gold Medal is the highest lifetime achievement award of UIA. The other special prizes are: the Robert Matthew Prize for Sustainable and Humane Environments; the Jean Tschumi Award for Architectural Writing; Auguste Perret Prize for Technology; the Patrick Abercrombie Prize for Urban Planning and Design; and, the Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished.
The Vassilis Sgoutas Prize is to commend the outstanding architects and teams for their contributions in improving the living conditions in poverty-stricken areas.
Prof. Lu Jiansong (upper right) and other winners.
The UIA congress commend Prof. Lu’s practice as a “pragmatic and elegant approach to modern architectural technology which has improved the quality of life for members of China’s Huayao tribe, an ethnic minority living in the Xuefeng Mountains in Hunan”.
Image presentation of Prof. Lu’s practice.
Huayao tribe is one of Yao ethnic minority who lives deep in the Xuefeng Mountains in Hunan Province. It is named after the brightly colorful folk costumes. HNU has been paired with Huayao settlements in Huxingshan Township, Longhui County, to help it escape poverty.
Between 2013 and 2021, the design team implemented more than 10 renovation practices in Huayao settlements. They combined modern architectural concepts and technologies with the local’s demands for improving quality of life, and explored affordable and workable approaches to renovate local kitchens, and an aid-the-poor strategy based on kitchen renovation. These practices have greatly boosted modernization progress of rural houses, and will help achieve the goal of improving living conditions in rural areas with local households as the center.