Top 5 international architecture awards


By BAM Team

A large number of people admit that knowing they will be recognized for an outstanding job, drive them to make great efforts to achieve the goal. It seems that acknowledgment intrinsically carries with it a special motivation that makes individuals strive to excel.


While it is true that we know we won’t be rewarded for every good result delivered, and that the only motivation in life cannot be a reward, it is also true that there are certain awards that are worth pursuing.


In the world of architecture, there are several of these motivators that honor, internationally, the work of those who dedicate themselves to enrich the lives of others, through amazing spaces where they can relate to their identity, experiences, and love ones.


Although there are many, the most important international architecture awards are:

Annual award presented to architects whose work has consistently demonstrated significant contributions to both humanity and architecture. This award was established by the Pritzker family in 1979. It is one of the highest honors one can obtain as an architect and consists of $100,000 USD and a bronze medal.


As you may have seen in our recent news, the latest winners of this award (2021) are Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal, directors of Lacaton & Vassal (France), who have forged “a responsible and sometimes solitary path illustrating that the best architecture can be humble and is always thoughtful, respectful, and responsible”, in words of the jury.

Nantes School of Architecture (2009) Nantes, France. Lacaton & Vassal. Photo: Philippe Ruault

This award is presented to living architects in recognition of their creative distinction in the world of architecture. It was founded in 1967 and the first person to win it was Alvar Aalto himself, who was also the designer of the medal.


The most recent winner of this award (2020) is Bijoy Jain, Studio Mumbai (India) whose work “reflects an understanding of the unique geographical, climatic and social characteristics of the environment, giving insightful consideration to them in their design work”, in words of the jury.

Copper House II (2011) Chondi, Maharashtra, India. Photo: Studio Mumbai.

Annual award presented by The American Institute of Architects to living or deceased architects in recognition of an enduring influence on the theory and practice of architecture. This award was first presented in 1907 to Sir Aston Webb and its most recent winner (2021) is Edward Mazria


According to the AIA «living Gold Medal recipients are automatically elevated to Fellowship, Honorary Membership, or Honorary Fellowship in the Institute, as eligible», also members of the AIA Board of Directors, Strategic Council, and members of their firms can’t be nominated.

Rio Grande Botanic Garden Conservatory (1998) Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. Photo: Source

The triennial award is given to projects that stand out, innovate and define new parameters of architectural excellence, planning practices, historic preservation, and landscaping.


This award was established in 1977 and since then seeks to promote the materialization of concepts that respond to the real and aspirational needs of the societies of the world in which Muslims have a significant presence.


The recent winning projects (2019), whose studios will share $1,000,000 USD, are:

·      Revitalisation of Muharraq, Bahrain

·      Palestinian Museum, Birzeit, Palestine

·      Arcadia Education Project, South Kanarchor, Bangladesh

·      Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit, Bambey, Senegal

·      Wasit Wetland Center, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

·      Public Spaces Development Programme, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation

Alioune Diop University Teaching and Research Unit (2017) Bambey, Senegal. Photo: Chérif Tall

Annual prize awarded to an architect or group of architects whose work has had a significant direct or indirect influence on the evolution of architecture.


This award was established in 1980 and its most recent winner (2021) is Sir David Adjaye OBE since “At every scale, from private homes to major arts centres, one senses David Adjaye’s careful consideration of the creative and enriching power of architecture. His work is local and specific and at the same time global and inclusive. Blending history, art and science he creates highly crafted and engaging environments that balance contrasting themes and inspire us all”, in words of RIBA President Alan Jones.

Smithsonian National Museum of African American Arts and Culture (2016) Washington DC, United States. Photo: Nic Lehoux

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