The panel of the “Xi’An Train Station” contest: an opportunity for dialogue with international starchitects

8 Oct, 2019


Info Utili Blogpost-1

14 panel members and € 25,000 in prizes: these are the figures of the first edition of the Manni Group Design Award, an invitation to design the new train terminal of the Chinese city of Xi’An, which is fast expanding, complying with the principle of sustainable construction.

A challenge that Manni Group, with the support of YAC, presented to the architects of the world, in the context of internationalisation as the company’s development driver. The contest’s panel was just as international and first class: its members, of seven different nationalities, will be the ones to judge the competing designs and declare the winners.

The designers vie, aside from the prize money, for the prestigious opportunity to show their talent and to face the judgement of the starchitects. In addition, the winning designs will be transmitted in architecture format and will be displayed in national and international events, while all finalist projects will be published on the Young Architects Competition site (link), the online platform that promotes architecture competitions and involves a community that numbers over 4,000 designers from around the world.


Manni Group is pleased to present the prominent members of the first Manni Group Design Award committee.


Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects.

A German architect who took on British nationality, born in 1961: he teaches in several institutes in Europe and in the United States, such as the University of Illinois in Chicago, Columbia University, and Harvard University. Since 1988, he has been coordinating and actively collaborating in the projects of the Zaha Hadid studio in London, of which he took the reins as director in 2016, following the death of its founder. Among his most famous designs are the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein (Germany) and MAXXI - Centre for Contemporary Art and Architecture of Rome, which won the Stirling award in 2010; he is also the founder of the architecture discipline of parametricism.


Ben van Berkel, UNStudio.

A Dutchman, he studied architecture at Amsterdam’s Rietveld Academy and then at the Architectural Association in London. In 1988, he founded a studio with Caroline Bos, which, ten years later, became UNStudio, a network of professionals in architecture, urban and infrastructure development based in Amsterdam: with this studio he signed several international projects, such as the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany, Raffles City in China, the Arnhem Central Station in the Netherlands, the Technology and Design University in Singapore. His most recent projects include the underground of Doha in Qatar and the Canaletto Tower in London. In 2009, UNStudio also opened offices in Shanghai. Currently Ben van Berkel teaches at Harvard University, where he holds the prestigious Kenzo Tange chair at the Graduate School of Design.


Stefano Boeri, Stefano Boeri Architetti.

Born in Milan, he trained at the Polytechnic University of Milan and at the IUAV University in Venice; as well as an architect and urbanist, he is also an architecture theoretician. He has been at the helm of the magazines Domus and Abitare and has curated numerous international architecture and design exhibitions; his studio, with headquarters in Milan and offices in Shanghai and Tirana, is active in projects that range from the design of urban visions and architecture to interior design. He is a full professor at the Polytechnic University of Milan and manages the Future City Lab at the Tongji University of Shanghai, a post-doctoral research programme that examines in depth the transformations of global metropolises with regard to the issues of biodiversity and urban forestry. Since 2018 he has been the Chairman of Milan’s La Triennale Foundation.

Antonio Cruz, Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos.

Having been awarded a bachelor’s degree from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Antonio Cruz founded his own architecture studio in Seville in 1974, in collaboration with Antonio Ortiz. He is responsible for numerous famous international projects: the Atletico Madrid stadium, the New Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, the Cartuja stadium in Seville, the Public Library of Seville and numerous other infrastructures in the Andalusian city. A professor at the polytechnic universities of Lausanne and Zurich, Cornell and Columbia University and the Pamplona School of Architecture, he has held the famous Kenzo Tange chair at Harvard. Antonio Cruz recently received several international honours, such as “Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects”, “Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion” and the Gold Medal for Architecture awarded by the Superior Council of Spain’s College of Architects.


Gong Dong, Vector Architects.

Founder of the studio Vector Architects in 2008 in Beijing, Gong Dong was appointed “Distinguished Plym Professor” by the University of Illinois and has been teaching design at Tsinghua University since 2014. His works have won numerous awards and have been exhibited in international shows like “Freespace 2018” of the Venice Biennale. His most representative projects include the Restructuring of the Captain’s House in the Chinese province of Fujian, the Seashore Library and the Seashore Chapel at Beidaihe New District, the Chongqing Taoyuanju Social Centre, the Suzhou Intangible Cultural Centre. Many designs have been published by international magazines, such as the “New York Times”, “Domus”, “The Architectural Review”.


Francesco Fresa, Piuarch.

Francesco Fresa founded the studio Piuarch in 1996, in collaboration with German Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario. The Milanese studio became one of the most famous architecture collectives of the past 20 years, drawing its strength from the cohesion that allows different backgrounds and identities to launch a multidisciplinary approach to the different projects. Piuarch is busy with various architectural topics, with the designs being made mostly in Milan: from retail to offices, from residences to the recovery of cultural and urban architecture, keeping as the common denominator the meticulous attention to the relation between the urban and landscape, cultural and social context. Representing the studio, Fresa holds several positions in Italian and international universities, he is a Design Ambassador and speaker at Italian embassies in various Countries around the world.


Volkwin Marg, GMP Architekten.

Born in 1936, in 1965 he founded the studio GMP Architekten in Hamburg, together with Meinhard von Gerkan. Chairman of the BDA (German Architects’ Association) from 1979 to 1983, he has been a professor at the Faculty of Architecture at the Aachen Technical University and is currently a member of the German Academy for Urban and Regional Planning of the Freie Akademie der Künste of Hamburg and Berlin. His projects include the restructuring of the Olympiastadion of Berlin, the stadiums of Durban in South Africa and Belo Horizonte, Manaus and Brasilia in Brazil.

Giovanni De Niederhausern, Pininfarina.

With a degree in Engineering and Architecture from the University of Bologna in 2008, he has collaborated with numerous architecture studios including Iosa Ghina Associati. In 2009 he became Affiliate Researcher at MIT Senseable City Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and began a collaboration with Carlo Ratti Associati as designer and project manager, then becoming CEO in 2017 with the task of opening a branch of the studio in the United States. Since 2019 he has been Chief Architect at Pininfarina, the famous car design firm in Turin, currently in rapid international growth.

Written by

Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group
Raffaele Bulgarelli - Digital Marketing Expert at Manni Group

Raffaele, Digital Marketing Expert of Manni Group, works in synergy with Isopan, gaining insight into the technical world of sandwich panels and keeping pace with the latest trends in the building industry. Thanks to his training in Architecture, he has a keen eye for online topics and activities involving designers and architects.

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