Awards for Critical Discourses

Awards for critical approach and mentoring in architecture. Researchers-architects Ştefana Grădinaru and Ştefan Cristian Popa and professors Ana Maria Zahariade and Vladimir Šlapeta receive the trophies of the second award gala of East Centric Architecture Triennale 2016.


Sunday, October 2nd, 2016, at the National Theatre Bucharest the prizes of East centric Architecture Triennale for Critical Discourses were awarded, together with the honorific awards “Our Teachers”, concluding the third module of the landmark event in Europe. The winners are architect-researchers Ştefana Grădinariu and Ştefan Cristian Popa, both active in Romania and the UK, and Professors Ana Maria Zahariade (Romania) and Vladimir Šlapeta (Czech Republic).

Critical Discourses module is an act of theoretical and critical analysis of the phenomenon of architecture and built environment in general, in Central and Eastern Europe through an essay competition addressed both to professionals from the field of architecture and to those of related cultural fields. Following the 45 entries, the jury selected 11 essays, their authors participating in presentation sessions in these days. The winners were announced by the famous theorist Alberto Pérez-Gómez (Canada) - President of the Jury, reflecting the two approaches that were revealed during the judging.


Ştefana Grădinariu – architect and researcher in the UK, has been awarded the prize for the “Practical Perspectives” section, for her essay on the intensive industrialization process “Being a part of the ECA Triennale has been an extraordinary experience for me, as it comes as a validation for my interest in Romania’s architectural, political and social environment, especially that my formation took place abroad.


Ștefan Cristian Popa – winner of the “Theoretical Perspectives” is an architect at Foster+Partners and Ph.D. candidate at Architectural Association in London. “I’m honored to receive this prestigious award. The entire process of participating in the Triennale was composed of several phases, from the evaluation of the essay, to its presentation, along with an objectively critical debate. I have discovered the value of the research undergone in the Central and Eastern European space, to each I feel a certain bond.” declared Ştefan Cristian Popa, author of the winning essay “Notes on the Mioritic Space”.


The nominees have been awarded with prizes of 250 Euros each, while the winners received 1000 Euros and the ECA Triennale trophy. All of the essays can be found in the publication N(arr)ations - Essays on East and Central European Architecture, edited by Arhitext Publishing House. The book can be found in all partner locations of the Triennale (TNB, ARCUB Gabroveni). After the 9th of October, when the event ends, the book will be available for purchase on http://www.arhitext.com/.


Special Prizes for “Our Professors”

Throughout the ceremony the Arhitext team intended to celebrate mentorship, thus awarding two special prizes for professors from the region to which the Triennale is dedicated to. Ana Maria Zahariade – Professor at UAUIM Bucharest and Vladimir Šlapeta – Honorary FAIA and Professor at the Architecture Faculty within the Technological University in Brno, Czech Republic have received the ECA Triennalle trophies.

After 1989, Ana Maria Zahariade contributed to upgrading the architectural education system and development of research in the field, in the overall cultural context. The architecture theorist’s activity is reflected in the numerous articles, conferences and publications, which have become a benchmark for the profession. In 2013 she won the Herder prize; she obtained scholarships from Getty and Getty-NEC and studied at Nantes Institute of Advanced Studies (2011–2012).


Professor and Dean (2006-2010)at the Architecture Faculty of the Technological University in Brno, Vladimír Šlapeta was also professor, dean and rector of Architecture Faculty in Prague. Since 1994 he is member of Academy of Arts in Berlin. Among the many publications and essays stand out: Brno Functionalists (Helsinki), Czech Functionalism 1918-1938 (AA London), Czech Cubism (Princeton), and the distinctions received include: Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA Hon, 1992) Award for Art (Berlin 1992), Hon FRIBA 1997. He is the author and co-author of more than 40 exhibitions in Prague, New York, Vienna and Helsinki. The two professors join prof. Sandu Alexandru and Emil Barbu Popescu, awarded at the previous edition of the Architecture Triennale.

The prizes awarded conclude the critical discourses module, yet the Architecture Triennale continues for one more week, the exhibitions being open daily from 10:00 to 18:00 at National Theatre Bucharest, ARCUB Gabroveni and Architectural Culture Center of UAR. The next weekend is dedicated to the debates and lectures of the Agora Experiments associated project, as well as to the Closing Gala of 2016 edition of the triennale.