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Thirty under 50 architects in the running for the BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2008

The exhibition of works submitted by candidates will be opened to public by the14 November 2008 Lugano (ots) - On November 13th the prize-giving ceremony will take place in Mendrisio, to award the CHF 100,000 offered by the BSI Architectural Foundation, with the support of the Federal Office for Culture in Bern and the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio. On 17 September 2008, the winner of the first "BSI Swiss Architectural Award" will be announced by the architect Mario Botta, Chairman of the award's Jury. The award - promoted by the BSI Architectural Foundation, with the support of the Federal Office for Culture in Bern and the Accademia di architettura of the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio - is given to architects aged under 50, of any nationality, "that contributed, thanks to their work, to contemporary architectural culture showing a particular sensitivity towards environmental balance". Thirty candidates from 15 countries are in the running for this first edition of the award. They were selected by an international committee of advisors made up of internationally respected architects and architecture critics. The Jury for the prize comprises Mario Botta, the Chairman, architects Emilio Ambasz (New York) and Valentin Bearth (Chur), who is also the Director of the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, as well as Zhi Wenjun (Shanghai) and Davide Croff, a former President of the Venice Biennale. (For short biographies of the members of the Jury, see Attachment 1) "For BSI Bank, investing in culture has always meant helping to raise awareness of the importance of science and the arts in our daily lives and for the sustainable development of society", commented Alfredo Gysi, Chairman of the Executive Board of BSI AG and Member of the BSI Architectural Foundation. "Thanks to the merger of Banca del Gottardo into BSI, our commitment has now extended to architecture with the awarding of this prize. The award is the culmination of two years of work by the Architectural Foundation, which was set up by Banca del Gottardo and which now forms a valuable part of the heritage of the whole BSI Group". Mario Botta added: "This award represents an opportunity to recognise and raise the international profile of architects who can make an outstanding contribution to contemporary architectural culture. It is also a good occasion to reflect critically on ideas that favour first an ethical and then an aesthetic approach. The names selected can be considered as some of the most important architects working internationally today. Their sensitivity and professional commitment in their countries of origin highlight their diverse hopes (both fanciful and realistic), in contrast to the contradictions and confusion that are rife today in the debates within the field". This is the first edition of the competition, which will be held every two years. The prize fund is CHF 100,000. The award is attributed to an architect aged under 50, of any nationality, who has produced at least three major works that meet the aims of the competition. The candidates are selected by a team of international advisors, each one of whom can nominate up to three entrants who meet the criteria and objectives of the award. The members of the team of advisors are: Laurent Beaudouin, Nancy, Gonçalo Byrne, Lisbon, Alberto Campo Baeza, Madrid, Massimo Carmassi, Florence, Roberto Collovà, Palermo, Kenneth Frampton, New York, Dan S. Hanganu, Montreal, Yung Ho Chang, Beijing, Kengo Kuma, Tokyo, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, São Paolo, Boris Podrecca, Vienna, Anant Raje, Ahmedabad and Bruno Reichlin, Paris and Mendrisio. (For short biographies of the advisors, see Attachment 2) The candidates for this year's award are: 3LHD (Sasa Begovic, Marko Dabrovic, Tanja Grozdanic, Silvije Novak), Zagreb (Croatia), Adjaye Associates, London (UK), Jesus Aparicio, Madrid (Spain), Solano Benitez, Asuncion (Paraguay), Gion A. Caminada, Vrin (Switzerland), Alfonso Cendron, Venice (Italy), Dominique Coulon, Strasbourg (France), Richard Francis-Jones, Sydney (Australia), the NEXTenterprise (Ernst J. Fuchs, Marie-Therese Harnoncourt), Vienna (Austria), Sean Godsell, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia), Thomas Heatherwick, London (UK), Rick Joy, Tucson (USA), Alberto Kalach, Mexico City, Francisco Mangado, Pamplona (Spain), Mansilla & Tuñon, Madrid (Spain), Francisco and Manuel Aires Mateus, Lisbon (Portugal), Rahul Mehrotra, Mumbai (India), Quintus Miller and Paola Maranta, Basel (Switzerland), Marco Navarra - Studio Nowa, Caltagirone (Italy), OFFICE dA (Nader Tehrani, Monica Ponce de Leon), Boston (USA), Valerio Olgiati, Chur (Switzerland), Promontorio Architectos (João Perloiro, João Luis Ferreira, Paulo Perloiro, Paulo Martins Barata, Pedro Appleton, Adrian Beloso-Baker), Lisbon (Portugal), Sasa Randic, Idis Turato, Rijeka (Croatia), Joao Alvaro Rocha, Maia (Portugal), Enric Ruiz Geli (Cloud 9), Barcelona (Spain), S-M.A.O. (Juan Carlos Sancho, Sol Madridejos), Madrid (Spain), Beniamino Servino, Caserta (Italy), Shuhei Endo, Osaka (Japan), Antonio Jimenez Torrecillas, Granada (Spain) and Wang Shu, Hangzhou (China). The winner will be announced on Wednesday 17 September 2008, at a press conference to be held in the Spazio inBSI at the BSI headquarters in Via Magatti 2, Lugano, Switzerland. The prize-giving ceremony will take place on Thursday 13 November 2008 at the Accademia di architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland. At the same time, the works submitted by the candidates will go on display in the gallery of the Accademia, and a catalogue of the exhibition will be published in both Italian and English. Calendar of events - 17 September 2008, spazio inBSI, Via Magatti 2, Lugano, Switzerland Press conference to announce the winner of the competition. - 12 November 2008, Mendrisio, Switzerland, Accademia di architettura, Palazzo Canavée Press conference attended by the winner, and preview of the exhibition of works submitted by candidates. - 13 November 2008, Mendrisio, Switzerland, Accademia di architettura, Palazzo Canavée Awards ceremony and inauguration of the exhibition of works submitted by candidates. The exhibition Dates: 14 November 2008 - January 2009 Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 1pm-6pm. Closed Monday. Admission free Catalogue: In Italian and English, on sale to the public The BSI Architectural Foundation promotes knowledge, training and research in the field of architecture. It presents a biennal architectural award (BSI Swiss Architectural Award) and sponsors activities and projects as part of that event, including exhibitions, publications and presentations. The BSI Architectural Foundation is one of the BSI AG Foundations. BSI AG was founded in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1873, and is the oldest bank in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. Since 1998 it has been 100%-controlled by the Generali Insurance Group. BSI specialises in asset management and related services for private and institutional clients, and is present in the major financial markets worldwide. ots Originaltext: BSI SA Internet: www.presseportal.ch Contact: Chantal Stampanoni Koeferli Corporate Communication Phone: +41/91/809'45'61 Fax: +41/91/809'40'50 E-Mail:chantal.stampanonikoeferli@bsibank.com Internet: www.bsibank.com Nicola Navone Segretario del Premio BSI Swiss Architectural Award c/o Archivio del Moderno via Lavizzari 2 CH 6850 Mendrisio, Switzerland Phone: +41/58/666'55'00 Fax: +41/58/666'55'55 E-Mail: navone@arch.unisi.ch

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