Tamayouz Excellence Award

TAMAYOUZ ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF ITS INTERNATIONAL GRADUATION PROJECTS AWARD FOR ARCHITECTURE 2020

Tamayouz Excellence Award is proud to announce the winners of its International Graduation Projects Award – the world’s largest international award for architecture graduation projects. Each year, the award invites students of architecture, urban design, planning and landscape design to submit their graduation projects.

The International Graduation Projects Award is part of Tamayouz Excellence Award’s seven-category awards programme that champions and celebrates excellence in architecture worldwide. The award is open to students of architecture, urban design, urban planning, architecture technology and landscape design, who are invited to submit their graduation projects. The award aims to recognise excellence in architectural design and education worldwide, and showcases excellent architectural examples to promote and provoke architectural debate.

The first place winner for the 2020 cycle is Umme Tahmina Haque from the University of Asia Pacific in Bangladesh, supervised by Mehrab Iftekhar. The second place winner is Rajab Elshahubi from the University of Jordan, supervised by Saleem Mokbel Dahabreh. And the third place winner is Faber Emilio from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, supervised by Juan Manuel Medina del Rio. The award also recognises seven honourable mentions, an architecture school of the year and a supervisor of the year.

The winners and honourable mentions were selected out of 1,089 submissions across all of its awards, representing 141 universities and 64 countries. Selection for the top 10 submissions was made based on the award’s assessment criteria, highlighting projects that are aspirational and transformative, and that tackle local and global challenges through holistic understandings of context. Tamayouz released a longlist and shortlist for the International Graduation Projects Award between November and December. 

The winners and honourable mentions were selected by Tamayouz’s jury panel, which met remotely in November 2020. The judges this year were:

  • Ayad Al Tuhafi; London,UK: Owner and director of Ayad Al Tuhafi Architects
  • Sebastian Hicks; London,UK: Course director of architecture at Coventry University
  • Jerome Goyard; Paris, France: Senior architect at Fevre Gaucher Architects + Urbanists
  • Ben Flippance; Coventry,UK: Design director for IDP Group
  • Dr Felipe Samaran Salo; Madrid, Spain: Dean of the Architecture School at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria
  • Prisca Arosio; Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Urbanist and researcher
  • Stefanos Adamakis; Volos, Greece: Partner at Adamakis Architects & Associates
  • Dr Rana Aytug; Coventry, UK: Researcher
  • Dr Nahed Jawad; London, UK: Founder of Nahed Jawad Architects
  • Ossaid Al-Eitan; Amman, Jordan: Founder of AlKafo for Construction Management & Design Consultancy

More information about our judges can be found on our jury page here.

After reviewing the projects, the jury commented: “We were delighted to see such high-quality submissions, illustrating the determination of architectural education despite the many challenges that were faced this year. Many students have clearly tackled issues that are common all over the world, from environmental disasters to feelings of isolation, and it is wonderful to see such effort trying to build a more positive future. Architecture can transform people’s lives in different ways, and we see here, the many approaches young architects are exploring. Perhaps one piece of advice we would like to offer is that architecture does not have to be spectacular – treating the city as the precedent and choosing humility sends a positive message.”

The prizes for the International Graduation Projects Award are: 

  • First Place: Master’s Degree Scholarship to Polytechnic University of Milan (sponsored by the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan) + Medal + Certificate + Invitation to attend the annual ceremony and the international design workshop.
  • Second Place: Medal + Certificate + $1500 Travel Scholarship to attend the annual ceremony and the international design workshop.
  • Third Place: Medal + Certificate + $1500 Travel Scholarship to attend the annual ceremony and the international design workshop.
  • Honourable Mentions: Medal + certificate
  • Architecture School of the Year: Medallion
  • Supervisor of the Year: Certificate + Medal

The winners of Tamayouz International Award 2020
*The winners’ selection and ranking are based on the judging panel’s unanimous decision on all entries.

First Place – Umme Tahmina Haque from University of Asia Pacific, Bangladesh; supervised by Mehrab Iftekhar
Umme’s project, ‘A Celebration of Trade and Tradition’, presents a self-grown historic business hub that celebrates the versatile activities of the local tradespeople of Asad Gang in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The project’s design objective is to connect the society with the economy, while maintaining minimal interventions with the pre-existing spaces. The project also re-introduces old trade systems and exhibits the local heritage while being beneficial for the future growth of the local economy and lifestyle. Implemented along .72 kilometres of the Chaktai Canal, the project demolishes existing illegal extensions while introducing pedestrian trails, preserving old shophouses and integrating newly designed extensions to accommodate the demand of facilities. 

Jury Comment
​“The jury highly commended this project and its thorough investigation of the issues it aims to address. Its intention to recover the built and cultural heritage was recognised and the judges found the resulting architecture desirable and probable. 

“The judges also acknowledged the student’s consideration of the context and views. The consistency between the intent of the proposal and its resolution is successful. The judges further commended the project’s treatment of its surrounding areas, and found that the edges of the project are stitched in well. 

“The judges strongly commended this project’s prioritisation of the city and its humble approach to design.”


Second place – Rajab Elshahubi from the University of Jordan, Jordan; supervised by Saleem Mokbel Dahabreh
In Rajab’s project, ‘Tailors Market’, the architect proposes a market place in Amman, Jordan that resolves the needs of the neighbourhoods of Ras Al Ain and empowers the people with a strong sense of ownership and participation in society. Offering an intermediate platform that embraces textile professions, the project contains a fountain plaza that brings together two different domains: Talal street and Ali bin Abetaleb Street, thus providing potential for economic means and a space for socio-cultural interactions. The project also features a vertical market, which acts as an activity generator and is characterised by its duality of permanence and ephemerality, and a training centre situated on vacant land attached to the community. 

Jury Comment
​“The jury found this project to contain a high level of resolution. They found the explanations to be credible and well-studied, and the plans, drawings, renders and panels to show the strong talent of the architect behind the project. 

“The photos used were helpful and the student’s social investigation of the tailors was evident. The judges also felt that the project offered a good response that works well with the site limits and existing spaces. However, they felt that clarity on materiality was missing. In general though, they thought this project was excellent and well developed.”


Third place – Faber Emilio from the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia; supervised by Juan Manuel Medina del Rio
Faber’s project, ‘R&V, Resistance and Urban Visibility in Alto Fucha’, proposes a large tower in the upper part of the Fucha River, located on the Aguas Claras gorge. The tower offers dynamic housing with an emphasis on community and neighbourhood interaction. The building also provides public and work spaces. Aiming to address local issues such as alarming urban growth, high inequality and poverty, as well the global environmental crisis, the project hopes to increase the visibility of the urban element within the Bogota landscape. 

Jury Comment
“The jury found this project warm and inviting, and the presentation to illustrate the architect’s exceptional artistic process. The judges enjoyed the beautiful renders and commended the concept. 

“It is clear that the architect put great effort into all of the visuals and presented an exciting architecture with personality. However, the judges felt that the project didn’t fully address the problem it is responding to and could benefit from further development.”


Honourable Mentions
*Honourable mentions are listed in alphabetical order

Alina Kim from Hanyang University, South Korea; supervised by Jae Kyung Kim
Alina’s project, ‘Narrative of the Landscape’, is located in Almaty, Kazakhstan and aims to revive the dialogue between people and nature. Proposing a re-naturalisation of the old dam site and the creation of a museum of nature and visitor centre, the project hopes to restore the identity of the place and rediscover vernacular building traditions. 

Jury Comment
“The jury felt that this project presented an interesting building with nice inner spaces. The judges complimented the nicely drawn and explained project, and commended its integration with the surrounding topography. However, they felt that the shapes and colours of the building could take more influence from the context in order to further dialogue with nature.”


Hanine Issa from the University of Newcastle, Australia; supervised by Peter Fisher 
In Hanine’s project, ‘Unveiling the Hidden, Saifi 415’, the architect proposes a theatre to honour the excavated site on land lot 415 in the Saifi district of Beirut. Currently planned for a bank designed by Renzo Piano, the site features ruins that date back to the Roman Colonia which occupied Beirut between 4,000 BC and 600 AD. The project intends to dialogue with the surrounding urban community by using a series of platforms to draw visitors in from the backstreet down to observe the ruins and finally to the theatre. 

Jury Comment
“The jury found this project thought-provoking, and they commended the design of the building. As a symbolic proposal, they found it quite interesting, and the plans, models and drawings reflect the talent of the student. However, they felt that the solution could use more work and the proposal needs further clarification regarding the treatment of the ruins below the building as well as the construction process.”


Juan Pablo Zuleta Alvarez from UPB (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana), Colombia; supervised by Carlos David Gonzalez
In Juan’s project, ‘Water Infrastructure/Water Research Center’, the architect proposes a water research center in Medellin, Colombia that aims to investigate multiple issues in relation to water and the city. These are: the relationship between society and water in Medellin, and the processes of water purification and how infrastructure could provide better support in the understanding of natural cycles of water. The aim is to reconstruct the political and historical sense that the city’s water heritage represents.

Jury Comment
“The jury appreciated the student’s ambitions and rigour in creating this project. The judges found it to be beautifully drawn and spatially interesting; however, they felt that more clarity was needed with regards to the aim of the project, and that more connection between the resulting architecture and the text was needed. The jury also felt that the project could use more work in its relation with the city.”


Ken Sei Fong from FADU – Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism at UdelaR, Uruguay; supervised by Alejandro Baptista
Ken’s project, “Detritus: 3 Tribute to Destruction’, proposes an urban intervention in the maritime space of Uruguay’s Bay of Montevideo, where numerous commercial ships have been abandoned at the port to decay over time. The project offers a ‘theme park’, with the aim of transforming the negative into the positive. According to the student, removal of the ships comes at a great cost, legally and economically, thus, using them as a sort of attraction revives the lost structures and converts them into a usable public space. 

Jury Comment
“The jury found this project beautifully illustrated and the proposal’s concept to be suggestive and powerful. However, the judges felt that the project’s architecture could be more developed and resolved.”


María Rosario Ruiz Cabello from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina; supervised by Nahuel Recabarren
Maria’s project, ‘KM3 – Water Infrastructure as a Public Service’, the architect proposes a new infrastructure system that mitigates urban storm floods using a multidisciplinary approach that combines hydraulic engineering, landscape design, urban planning and architecture. The proposed KM3 aims to transform flooded cities into usable spaces by collecting the water for cultural, sports, recreational, and civic activities. The intention is to provide new opportunities for areas that have high rain seasons. 

Jury Comment
“The jury found this project to be full of merit, and that it rightly tackles one of the biggest problems facing humanity and earth today – water crisis, from scarcity to flooding. The judges also recognised the student’s attempt to offer solutions at different scales, which was appreciated but perhaps could have been further explored. While the jury found the project to be beautifully rendered with a lot of depth in the illustrations, they would have liked to see more clarity on the project’s usability when there is no flooding, as well as during the days after high-rain.”


Md Ridwanul Haque from Hochschule Anhalt – Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Dessau, Germany; supervised by Roger Bundschuh
In Md Ridwanul’s project, ‘8 Gardens in the Sky’, the architect presents a residential highrise for multigenerational living. With a research-based approach to designing for wellbeing and mental health, the project proposes a residential typology where emotional and psychological needs of the tenants are met through the offering of spatial experience. Based on the theory of Ulrika A. Stigsdotter and Patrick Grahn’s ‘healing gardens’, the tower contains eight different garden spaces with specific characteristics and identities corresponding to states of human awareness. People of different ages, as well as families of different sizes, are accommodated and encouraged to interact with one another through the shared spaces. Additionally, the gardens are open for public use as well, and can be directly accessed through the apartments.  

Jury Comment
“The jury appreciated the concept of the project, and the student’s intent to create something human. The jury also felt that the project was beautifully drawn and that the sketches were attractive. However, the jury felt that the project could use more work in terms of its location and its relation to its site. Furthermore, the jury would have liked to see the generational activity spaces better translated into the design, therefore offering a greater connection between the sketches and the plans.


Zahra Abdorrashidi from Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Iran; supervised by Farzin Izadpanah
Zahra’s project, ‘Accommodation on Najaf-Karbala Road’, addresses the issue of high tourism during the annual Arbaeen pilgrimage to Karbala, Iraq and the need for more accommodation for the pilgrims. Usually accommodated by Iraqi locals who open their homes to the visitors, the pilgrims number in the millions and travel to Karbala on foot. Therefore, the architect, inspired by the traditional rural Iraqi house known as Mudhifs, designed a complex with separate buildings that provide a place to rest, eat, worship, as well as tend to health and sanitary needs. The project also contains open spaces, a large yard and temporary accommodation camps for men, women and staff. 

Jury Comment
“The jury enjoyed this project, and felt that it offered a great analysis of an existing issue and resolved it quite well. The judges found a strong balance of intent, resolution and relevance in this project, and commended its investigation and explanation. The judges further found the project to have an interesting spatial richness that is full of local heritage. However, the jury was not convinced that this project would be able to accommodate such a high number of travellers and that the scale of the buildings and structures needed more work.” 


Architecture School of the Year goes to the University of Asia Pacific from Dhaka, Bangladesh for its student who won the first-place prize. 

Supervisor of the Year goes to Mehreb Iftekar for supervising the first place winning project. 


Tamayouz Excellence Award is sponsored by Kufa – Makiya Charity, Dewan Architects + Engineers, Ayad Coventry University, the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, British Airways, Al-Tuhafi Architects, Bonair Ltd, Final Fix Interiors, JT+Partners, LWK + PARTNERS, and the United Nations Global Compact – Iraq Network.