Tamayouz Excellence Award


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 architecture from the Near East, North Africa and further afield. 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 showcase excellent architectural examples to promote and provoke architectural debate.

The first place winner is Lesia Topolnyk from Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, supervised by Floris Alkemade, Rob Hootsmans and Peter Veenstra. The second place winner is Jacopo Donato from Polytechnic of Turin, supervised by Marco Trisciuoglio, and the third place winner is Bryant Lau Liang Cheng from the National University of Singapore, supervised by Dr Cho Im Sik. The award also recognises seven honourable mentions and the architecture school of the year.

The winners and honourable mentions were selected out of 908 submissions, representing 151 universities from 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 in September.

The winners and honourable mentions were selected by Tamayouz’s jury panel, which met in October 2019 at Coventry University in the UK. The judges this year were:

  • Professor Kanan Makyia, The Sylvia K. Hassenfeld professor at Brandeis University; Massachusetts, US
  • Ayad Al Tuhafi, Owner and director of Ayad Al Tuhafi Architects; London, UK
  • Sebastian Hicks, Course director of architecture at Coventry University; Coventry, UK
  • Jerome Goyard, Senior architect at Fevre Gaucher Architects + Urbanists; Paris, France
  • Ben Maltby, Global shelter and infrastructure lead at Save the Children USA; London, UK
  • Ben Flippance, Design director for IDP Group; Coventry,UK 
  • Felipe Samaran Salo, Dean of the Architecture School at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria; Madrid, Spain
  • Prisca Arosio, Urbanist and researcher; Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Stefanos Adamakis, Partner at Adamakis Architects & Associates; Volos, Greece

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

The winners of Tamayouz International Award 2019
*The winners’ selection and ranking are based on the judging panel’s unanimous decision on all entries.

First place – Lesia Topolnyk from Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, supervised by Floris Alkemade
In Lesia Topolnyk’s project, ‘Un-United Nations Headquarters’, the architect examined new opportunities emerging within the interlocking realms of politics and architecture. The author explores the role of architecture in absorbing conflict and fostering its fruitfulness within a divided society. The project transforms the Sevastopol naval base into a trade port, positioning Crimea as a gateway to Ukraine and Russia.

Jury Comments

“This project was brilliantly drawn and explained. It is provocative and was chosen as a seed for debate regarding the role architecture can play in drawing attention to conflicts.

“The building creates a space for discussion within a radical form in contradiction to orthodox typologies. It resolves complex social interconnectivity with clarity and simplicity. The site was well-chosen for its connection to both local and global political situations.

“The project was measured by the panel more as a manifesto for the power of architecture to transform societal conventions, rather than as a real architectonic proposal. However, with that said, the programme is completely uninterrupted by any other architectural, cultural, constructional, or economic forces. It simply creates a corridor. It is admirable for its simplicity and for creating an architecture that does exactly what it intends to – provide a vessel for political discussion.”

Previous slide
Next slide

Second place – Jacopo Donato and Caterina Giacomello from Polytechnic of Turin and University of Turin, supervised by Marco Trisciuoglio and Fabio Armao
In their ‘Building Peace in Mosul’, the architect aims to create a project that acts as a driving force for sustainable peace through the act of inserting the population directly into the city. The project replaces camps with temporary, self-sufficient cells that can be inhabited. The intention of the project is to not only offer an initial emergency solution that alleviates the wounds of the inhabitants of Mosul and provides a comfortable space to await the reconstruction of the city, but also stimulate the process of realisation and empowerment

Jury Comments
Tackling the difficult problem of repopulating a war-torn city or country is not an easy task and unfortunately, it is always relevant. This proposal’s long-term plan seems to grasp a lot of the fine intricacies of the problem and develops a rhetoric for a proper response reaching far into the future.

“The vision and objective is clear, and the student’s appreciation of the long-term negative impact of tent camps is an excellent starting point. Injecting people slowly into the fabric of the city is a very worthy beginning to reconstruction. The modular construction proposal seems feasible, and by making a system that is easy to assemble, the project could be initiating a pilot project for cities all over the world that currently require reconstruction.

“We believe that beginning with the public space around a monument is an excellent starting point because it generates and accelerates urban growth as the project intends.”

Previous slide
Next slide

Third place – Bryant Lau Liang Cheng from the National University of Singapore, supervised by Dr Cho Im Sik
In Bryant Lau Liang Cheng’s ‘Mixed-Used Prototypical Housing Skyscraper’, an attempt to redefine the notion of vertical living and the use of the skyscraper as a social apparatus is proposed. The architect sets forth an architecture that allows all residents to partake in not just the design of their own units, but also the programmes within the building

Jury Comments
“This student is grappling with a very complex socioeconomic and four-dimensional challenge, which is to be commended. The idea of a flexible building that can adapt to its community’s needs is valuable, and on the whole, the project is convincing. It is well visualised and properly documented, as it tackles the problem of an overpopulated metropolis with an elegant solution.

“We found the expression of the building modules playful and considerate of occupation. The multilevel exterior space, which enables the building to deliver quite human-scale elements whilst acting within a monumental scaled object, is interesting.
“It would be interesting to see how the building manages the landscape at ground level, and how this interacts with the community.”
Previous slide
Next slide

Honourable mentions
*Arranged in alphabetical order

Aqel Abueladas from German Jordanian University, supervised by Mohammed Khaled
In Aqel Abueladas’ ‘Archaeological Research & Awareness Center’, the architect has created a solution to protect Pella (located in the northern part of Jordan Valley) from vandalism and destruction as it awaits UNESCO World Heritage recognition. The project outlines an architectural intervention centered on an Archaeological & Awareness Center that serves archaeologists and gives the local community and site visitors the opportunity to learn more about the region’s history.

Jury Comments
“This project features an interesting approach in its treatment of the building as an excavation. It is very elegant and offers respite from the heat and sun. The project also has a very mature approach to its intervention in the landscape, and avoids a visual competition with the adjacent archaeological excavations.

“Furthermore, the integration of the different courtyards is well-delivered, as they take into account the site’s topography, materials and colours. The hand-drawn sketches show the time spent researching the site and project before the proposal was drafted.  

“We would have liked to see how this building manages light and ventilation at such depth. Studies on how the negative volumes could explore daylight would have been interesting.”

Jamil Al Bardawil from Notre Dame University Louaize, supervised by Charbel Tannous
In Jamil Al Bardawil’s ‘Research Centre for Renewable Energy’, the architect proposes to activate the space beneath the Mdeirej Bridge – the largest bridge in Lebanon, and one of the tallest in the Middle East. The intervention, which proposes a research centre for renewable and clean energy, would address the electricity problem in the country, where power shortages in the areas surrounding the bridge reach up to 16 hours per day, and attempt to find sustainable energy solutions.

Jury Comments
“The problem of excessive energy consumption in some parts of the world and the shortage of it in others, along with inadequate, clean solutions to harvest it is a worldwide problem. This proposal tackles this problem in an innovative way, with an architectural gesture that follows what seems to be extensive research of the site, as well as the mechanical and engineering aspects of the design.

“What is commendable is that the parametric tools and ‘rules’ of the generative design that are used to produce the fluid volumes are utilised exactly as such – to extrapolate shapes based on logical building blocks.

“However, it would have been nice to see a circulation map with entrances, exits and connections between the different zones for pedestrians and cars.”

Jumanah Rizk and Basil Al-Taher from the American University of Sharjah, supervised by Faysal Tabbarah
Jumanah Rizk and Basil Al-Taher’s ‘Agritourism Resort in Marrakech’ is an agritourism proposal that aims to serve both locals and tourists of Marrakech, Morocco. It is an environmental response to the disappearing bee population, and proposes the planting of hibiscus fields to revive the local bee populations. Complementing the landscape plan is a resort, as well as public spaces for the adjacent school and nearby residential area.

Jury Comments
“This is a fascinatingly humble project that is simultaneously extremely imposing. The choice of subject matter and materials evokes a project that one might expect to sit subtly within a landscape. However, this project takes these elements and forms a dramatic slab of urban space above a river, whilst leaving the underparts able to breathe. This is in some ways conflicted, yet the elements have been resolved in a manner that legitimises the boldness of the intrusion in the landscape.

“The duality of the proposal – the reinforcement of the local apiculture via cultivating hibiscus plants and the introduction of it to more people – seems plausible and feasible. The architectural aspect of the proposal leaves many questions unanswered, though, from structural cohesion to morphological expression. The presentation of the actual proposal could also be clearer.”

Mariam Abbadi from Applied Science Private University, supervised by Dr Majda Yakhlef
Mariam Abbadi’s ‘The pathways to unknown: experience space, heritage, and archeaology’ comprises a set of masses and pathways that take visitors through an archaeological site, allowing them to explore the heritage of the region. The project also aims to support researchers in their study missions, by allowing greater access to the landscape.

Jury Comments
“This project is so well-integrated into its environment that it assumes the role of the natural topography and offers an exciting playfulness for the visitor. The project deals with the visual, haptic and sensory experience of the site through architectural geometry, proper framing, light and materiality.

“There are some well-choreographed experiences evident and the journey described in the texts is well-illustrated through the visual communication. The building modules are interestingly inserted into the terrain with a sensitive response to the topographical constraints.

“However, the project would benefit from developing its plans in a less cellular manner. Regardless, it would be an experience to visit the place and discover new lights and spatial sensations.”

Ruddy Bou Zeid from Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, supervised by Antoine Younan
In his museum project, Ruddy Bou Zeid attempts to create awareness of Budapest’s “tremendous underground kingdom”, or a series of underground caves, through strategic links that connect them with the city. Bou Zeid aims to make the caves far more accessible and experienceable, as well as a nearby thermal spring.

Jury Comments
“This proposal features an extremely interesting premise and a keen observation from the author about the importance of bringing hidden treasures of our past back to light. The idea of connecting the subterranean areas with the city, thus reintroducing the citizens and the tourists to the forgotten caves should be almost compulsory in order to best preserve the town’s history.

“However, while the interior design is well thought out, the protruding part of the structure could be better developed. We would have preferred to see the connections with the underground caves be a little more sensitive. Perhaps the connections would be improved if they followed natural patterns, rather than pure, strong geometry.”

Talah Alshami and Lujain Halimah from Damascus University, supervised by Professor Jamal Alahmar
Talah Alshami and Lujain Halimah have proposed the rehabilitation of a neglected cement factory in Damascus, Syria, and its transformation into an incubator for entrepreneurs, a museum and a public park. The project tackles several issues, including the shortage of support for youth projects, the shortage of working spaces for entrepreneurs, and the rehabilitation of an industrial, neglected site that carries historical and cultural values.

Jury Comments
“This is an interesting project that balances re-use with new intervention. The latter is quite modest and controlled with little aggression, and the project reads primarily as a system. It is well researched and satisfyingly presented. Also, the choice between a short and long route for the visitor is a welcome one.

“However, the incubator building could benefit from incorporating integration, as well as a more interesting dialogue. Regardless, the design is connected in a smart way to the existing structure. And the presentation makes great use of very clear explanations and graphics.”

Zahiyah Alraddadi from Effat University, supervised by Dr Mohammad Fekry
Zahiyah Alraddadi’s graduation project comprises an open-air museum to be located in Madain Saleh in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. Spreading awareness of the historically rich city, which contains many inscriptions, cave drawings and water wells that date back to the first century BC, the project is designed to create a poetic spatial experience that connects visitors with the landscape, while also remaining contextual.

Jury Comments
“This proposal has a remarkably consistent narrative, both architecturally and graphically. The handmade sketches as well as the well-crafted and easy-to-read diagrams clearly communicate the author’s spirit. Spatially, a lot of merit can be found in the way emotions are conveyed via the design and materiality of the semi-hidden but layered structure.

“However, it would help to more clearly show how the building sits in plan in the site, which could be achieved via more defined diagrammatic work. Also, the exposure that is emphasised in the architecture exists primarily at a macro level. The rectilinear plan is conventionally cellularised, and more openness and experience of the landscape could have been added at multiple layers. In general though, it is a well-designed museum with good lighting effects.”

The Tamayouz International Supervisor of the Year Award
Tamayouz International Supervisor of the Year 2019 Award goes to Floris Alkemade, Rob Hootsmans and Peter Veenstra from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.

The Tamayouz International Architecture School of the Year Award
The Tamayouz Architecture School of 2019 goes to the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, which is responsible for the first place winner.

The prizes for the 2019 Tamayouz International Award are:
1st Prize: An MSc Scholarship for two years at the University Polytechnic of Milan + Flight and Accommodation for Ceremony + Tamayouz Medal + Certificate.

2nd Prize: A $1500 Travel Scholarship to attend the annual ceremony and the international design workshop, the scholarship covers accommodation, flights and workshop fee for winners + Tamayouz Medal + Certificate.

3rd Prize: A $1500 Travel Scholarship to attend the annual ceremony and the international design workshop, the scholarship covers accommodation, flights and workshop fee for winners + Tamayouz Medal + Certificate.

Honourable Mentions: Certificates.

Tamayouz Supervisor of the Year: Given to the supervisor of the winning project or the supervisor with the most entries supervised in the Top 10. Prize is a Tamayouz Medal + Certificate.

Tamayouz University of the Year: Given to the university of the winning project or the university with the most entries in the Top 10. Prize is a Tamayouz Medallion.

Tamayouz Excellence Award is sponsored by Coventry University, the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, Kufa – Makiya Charity, Dewan Architects + Engineers, Ayad Al-Tuhafi Architects, Bonair Ltd, the United Nations Global Compact – Iraq Network, IDP Coventry. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay tuned

Receive All the Tamayouz Updates

Skip to content