LONDON.- Casa Kike, a private house in Cahuita, Costa Rica by Gianni Botsford Architects has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) prestigious Lubetkin Prize, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz (UK) Ltd and supported by The Architectural Review, for the most outstanding work of architecture outside the European Union by an RIBA member.
The presentation of the prestigious Lubetkin Prize formed the climax of the RIBA National and International Awards dinner and ceremony, held at the London Park Lane Hilton Hotel tonight (Friday 27 June 2008), during the London Festival of Architecture. Winners of the RIBA National Awards and RIBA European Awards were also announced at the ceremony.
Speaking about the building, the Lubetkin Prize judge and RIBA President, Sunand Prasad said:
"The RIBA's Lubetkin Prize is now in its third year. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Mercedes Benz, whom we welcome as our new partners, we are able to extend the same scrutiny to awards outside Europe as we have long applied nearer home. This year's judges visited a gallery in the United States, a private house in Costa Rica and a British High Commission in Uganda and survived to report back to me and a panel of two other architects Glenn Howells and Denise Bennetts on what they had seen. My congratulations to Gianni Botsford, whose house for his father, shows that sometimes the best architecture can be small in scale but big in architectural ambition. All the shortlisted schemes show how innovative and inventive RIBA members' work can be on an international stage. We are also grateful for the continuing support of our media partners the Architectural Review, whose editor Paul Finch was one of the creators of this important international award."
Casa Kike beat off stiff competition from two other outstanding international buildings, New British High Commision, Kampala by Cullum & Nightingale Architects and the Akron Art Museum, Ohio by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU.
The three shortlisted buildings were seen by a visiting jury comprising Niall McLaughlin, architect and chair of the RIBA Awards Group and Tony Chapman, RIBA Head of Awards, who reported to the full jury which included architects Sunand Prasad, RIBA President, Denise Bennetts and Glenn Howells.
The prize is named after the world-renowned architect Berthold Lubetkin (1901-1990). Lubetkin's daughter Sasha presented the winning architects with a unique cast concrete plaque, based loosely on her father's design for the Penguin Pool at London Zoo, commissioned by the RIBA and designed and made by the artist Petr Weigl.