The previous winner of this Award, one of the most prestigious in the field of accessibility in Spain, was also a former UIC Barcelona School of Architecture student, architect Sorina Brasoveanu
Nino Mgeladze, who graduated last year from UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, has won this year’s Schindler Spain Architecture Award, a celebration that included both the 8th and 9th Awards ceremonies given that last year’s was postponed due to the pandemic. At the ceremony held on the evening of Thursday 21 October at the Hotel Riu in Madrid, the jury chose her final degree project titled “Supra”, praising the “precision, quality, originality and effectiveness of this proposal to offer real solutions to the needs of society”.
“Supra” envisages the creation of a performing arts university in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat through the creation of new facilities that integrate elements such as ramps, lifts and mechanical ramps to increase mobility and access for all users. The project is based on the creation of a bridge-like infrastructure to combat urban segregation between three of the city’s districts. To this end, the project proposes the densification of the space surrounding the train tracks that cross L’Hospitalet and the transformation of the interstitial and underused spaces into a new linear park. “As architects, we sometimes forget that buildings and urban spaces are for human beings, for people of all kinds. That is why I designed this project not only for people with disabilities, but for the whole population, with a view to improving their quality of life and comfort”, explained Nino Mgeladze.
Former student Óscar Morte also won one of the four runner-up prizes for his project “In Fill”, which proposes the re-densification and rehabilitation of mid-20th century housing in L’Hospitalet, thereby generating a new model of cooperative housing that meets accessibility and sustainability criteria.
At the Awards ceremony, the two former students were accompanied by the director of the Accessibility Area at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, lecturer and architect Enrique Rovira-Beleta, who is also the director of the Postgraduate Degree in Accessibility: Universal Design Specialist. “We are hugely proud of this award, given that ours is the only School of Architecture in Spain that includes Accessibility as a compulsory subject in its curriculum, based on standard criteria and design for daily use for all,” explained the lecturer.
A prestigious jury
The Schindler Spain Architecture Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the field of accessibility, and its aim is to change the way young architects approach their work. A total of six Spanish universities participated in this year’s double Awards.
The jury tasked with assessing the projects included José Manuel Nieto, CEO of Schindler Iberia; Julio Touza Rodríguez, founding partner of the architecture studio Touza Arquitectos; Nieves Peinado, head of the Architecture/Accessibility Area of CEAPAT-IMSERSO; Delfín Jiménez Martín, architect and vice president of the Spanish Association of Universal Accessibility Professionals (ASEPAU), and Marcos Iriarte, editor-in-chief of the Economics section of the newspaper El Mundo.
As first-prize winner, Nino Mgeladze can choose from a cash prize of €12,000 or a professional internship in an internationally renowned studio. UIC Barcelona School of Architecture will also receive a further €12,000 to put towards improving accessibility during this academic year.
This is the second consecutive Awards in which former UIC Barcelona School of Architecture students have taken home awards from the Schindler Spain Architecture Award. In 2018, architect and former student Sorina Brasoveanu won the 7th edition of these Awards with her project “Drone City”. Similarly, in 2013, former students Daniel Riverola and Clara Valverde won a runner-up prize in the 5th edition for their project “Déjate llevar” (Get carried away).