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Iwona Buczkowska winner of the Jane Drew Award

09 of February '24

The chapter of the Jane Drew Award presented this year's honor to Iwona Buczkowska. The award is given by Architects' Journal and The Architectural Review to an individual who has raised the profile of women in architecture through her work and commitment.

Iwona Buczkowska is a graduate of the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris. Since 1978 she has been running her own studio, Atelier Iwona Buczkowska, in France. The architect has a track record of realizations in the field of social architecture, far from standard solutions wooden buildings, full of arches and bevels.

[Buczkowska] encourages us to think about the contribution of architecture to social ecology. She is both a pioneer of wooden construction and a fierce defender of the right to good housing. Buczkowska's buildings must be preserved and her ideas celebrated, justifies Manon Mollard, editor of The Architectural Review.

You can read more about her approach to empathetic design in the interview: The Man at the Center - about empathetic architecture and design freedom.

The architect and designer has received numerous awards. In 1989 she was awarded a gold medal and a special prize at the Fifth World Architecture Biennale in Sofia for her design of the Le Blanc Mesnil housing development, in 1994 she was awarded the Silver Medal of the French Academy of Architecture for lifetime achievement, and in 2003 she was awarded the People's Choice Award for her design of the Le Blanc Mesnil neighborhood (voted on by Internet users). She was awarded the Label d'architecture du XX siècle for her design of a residential building in Saint Dizier. Buczkowska creates residential buildings in the spirit of the garden-terrace idea, a concept developed on a neighborhood scale by Jean Renaudie, who in turn drew on the late modernist concepts of the Team X group.

Architecture is considered the mother of the arts. It is not only about proportion, space, function, construction, urbanism, landscape or nowadays also ecology - it is also subject to politics, economics, business, pressure. We are responsible for our design (aesthetics, concept, etc.) and the result, including, unfortunately, the modifications that have been imposed on us," Iwona Buczkowska wrote in Architecture&Business when asked about the condition of the architectural profession in 2022.

Some of her most famous projects include Pierre Sémard's Collège for 600 schoolchildren in Bobigny or a residential complex in Saint-Dizier. The architect reached for themes requiring exceptional precision and a holistic approach, referring to sociology or economics. At the same time, her projects retain a unique character and a creative approach to shaping solids. She also talked about her approach to architecture in the series "10 Questions to...".

This year's Jane Drew Award , in addition to Iwona Buczkowska, honored Ada Louise Huxtable, an American architecture critic who died in 2013. Other winners of this title include Zaha Hadid (2012), Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara (2015), Odile Decq (2016), Denise Scott Brown (2017), Yasmeen Lari (2020) or Kazuyo Sejima (2023).

elaborated: Wiktor Bochenek

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