Today, the architectural design competition of the EU TUMO Convergence Center for Engineering and Applied Science entered its second stage with a shortlist of three of the world’s leading architecture firms as finalists. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, RCR Arquitectes and MVRDV were selected by a jury led by Hashim Sarkis, dean of the MIT Department of Architecture and Urban Planning and curator of the 2020 Architecture Biennale. The three finalists will work in Yerevan with the jury and the Convergence Center team during a two-day workshop leading to the selection of the winning firm.
Daring and innovative, BIG’s architecture works at “the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia.” With offices in Copenhagen, New York and London, the Bjarke Ingels Group has a global footprint, with unique projects across the world. The firm’s Amager Resource Center in Copenhagen is a waste-to-energy plant with a stack that blows vapor smoke rings into the air and features a ski slope on its roof.
RCR Arquitectes is a recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the field’s highest honor. It is led by a team of three architects who have worked together for decades from the small town of Olot, Catalonia. Exemplified by their Soulages Museum in Rodez, France, RCR’s work “creates lasting and meaningful spaces,” deploying modern materials and strong geometries that resonate with their natural settings.
MVRDV is a Dutch architecture and urban design practice known for its highly collaborative, research-based design method. The firm’s reputation was propelled by its famous design for the Rotterdam Market Hall, covered by an apartment building in the form of a giant vault. More recently, MVRDV unveiled the Tianjin Binhai Library boasting undulating bookshelves around an illuminated central sphere.
Also participating in the first stage of the competition were some of the world’s major architecture firms including Japanese luminaries Arata Isozaki, Shigeru Ban and Kengo Kuma, leading international practices such as Dominique Perrault, Mossessian Architecture and AECOM, and rising stars FABRICations, Nicolas Laisne and Barozzi Veiga.
An initiative of the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, in partnership with the European Union and the French University in Armenia, the Convergence Center is the region’s most ambitious new education ecosystem for engineering and applied science. With a budget of over 25 million euros, the project will create an open platform and vibrant community bringing together learning and entrepreneurship and connecting students, young professionals and local ventures to their global peers.