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Spotlight : The Rice Design Alliance Prize

Antón García-Abril, Ensamble Studio : Architecture Award Winner

26 Mar 2009

First Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance Prize

To be awarded to Spanish architect Antón García-Abril

Rice Design Alliance Creates Award to
Recognize Emerging Architectural Talent

Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance Prize

Rice Design Alliance (RDA) announced new award to recognize exceptionally gifted architects in the early phase of their professional career. The award, called Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance Prize, will be given annually and carries a $1,500 cash prize.

Medina del Campo - Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance Prize 2009
image : Ensamble Studio

The inaugural Spotlight Prize will be given to Antón García-Abril, founder of Ensamble Studio/Materia Inorgáncia in Madrid, Spain.

While the first prize will go to an international architect, RDA Executive Director Linda Sylvan says the newly created award fulfills the RDA mission of improving the built environment in Houston.

“The Spotlight Prize is intended to showcase the best new designers, and bring their ideas to Houston. We see it as a way to invigorate our local design community with fresh ideas,” Sylvan said.

Eligible honorees for the Spotlight Prize must be within their first 15 years of professional practice. An RDA committee of architects and academicians will convene annually to consider local, national and international architects who demonstrate design excellence and promise a great design future.

RDA board member Lonnie Hoogeboom helped institute the Spotlight Prize and select this year’s winner.

SGAE Central Office
image : Ensamble Studio

“Garcia-Abril has a phenomenal body of work. His inventive design and construction methodology present architecture in new and surprising ways, such as infrastructural components in a residential context. The novelty and ingenuity of his work is what most impressed the committee. Antón is at the leading edge of the next wave of great architects,” Hoogeboom said.

Antón García-Abril founded Ensamble Studio in 2000. Key completed projects include a Concert Hall and Music School in Medina del Campo, Spain, and the Musical Studies Center in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. García-Abril also designed the gravity-defying Hemeroscopium residence in Madrid and the SGAE Central Office in Santiago de Compostela.

Location: Houston, Texas, USA

Rice Design Alliance Prize

García-Abril will be in Houston this spring to formally accept the new RDA prize. He will present his firm’s work at the Spotlight lecture.
DATE: Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009
TIME: 7.00 pm (pre-lecture wine reception begins at 6.00 pm)
PLACE: Brown Auditorium, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet.
Additional parking is available until 7 pm for $3 in the museum garage located at the corner of Binz and Fannin Streets.

Rice Design Alliance Charrette

Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance Prize Tickets
This event is free for RDA Members and students presenting identification. Tickets for nonmembers are $25, but those who join RDA that evening will receive a free ticket. Tickets are required for entry and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 6 pm the evening of the lecture. Seating is limited; attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

Rice Design Alliance Events

Rice Design Alliance
The Rice Design Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of architecture, urban design, and the built environment in the Houston region through educational programs, active programs to initiate physical improvements, and the publication of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston and Membership is open to the public. More information is available at or by calling 713-348-4876.

Ensamble Studio

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