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Architecture: Awards for Building with Stone

MIA-Pinnacle-Award for the building 2101 L Street, Washington D.C.: Lobby wall veneer of Statuario Veneto Marble, paving of Basaltina vein cut sandstone.(February 2009) Prizes for building with natural stone are an effective marketing instrument for the branch. Part and parcel of the award is not only the prize itself perhaps accompanied by a gala, but also publicity for the award-winner and his work. We had a look around the internet to compare how various countries treat publicity. Laudation is owed to the British where the yearly Natural Stone Award, and accompanying trade journal Natural Stone Specialist publish a pdf on the award-winner. Downloading it as pdf is free of charge (caution: 8,8 MB). The publication is of superior quality and contains many photos.

Praise is also due to the Marble Institute of America (MIA) with its yearly Pinnacle Awards for members. Interested readers will find all information on the institute’s site. Access to former award-winners is equally simple.

The Australian Stone Advisory Association (ASAA), on the other hand, is lack-luster in its presentation, which merely comprises a table of the winners and their projects as well as the stone suppliers. No links either to the award-winners or to their works can be found on the site of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RIAA) under whose auspices the prize is awarded (the ASAA only organises the event).

In Spain the marble association Associación de Empresarios del Mármol awards the Premio Macael on a yearly basis for exceptional use of Macael-marble. Here, too, award-winners and objects are merely listed. There is, however, a rather pompous report on the gala to the awards in the introduction.

Dismal is the adjective best describing the Marble Architectural Awards (MAA) presented at the Marmomacc trade fair in Carrara. The website only announces when the presentation of the award took place, and names the winners. With a considerable portion of luck, one might actually find links to the prize however only „projects“ are listed here. We immodestly draw the readers‘ attention to the site of BusinessStone.com; we have taken the trouble to pick out the links to the award-winners 2008.

We were able to find a pdf with the winners of the Premio Arch e Stone presented under the auspices of Consorzio Produttore Marmo Botticiono Classico and express praise for this, however there is no English translation. Is this a sign of great humility on the part of the Italians, who does not see themselves as important enough to compete on the international market?

We found very little in the internet pertaining to the French Prix d’Architecture Pierre Naturelle. It is awarded by the trade journal Pierre Actual together with trade associations on a yearly basis. Here, too, information is kept to a minimum.

Let us finally return to the USA where the Building Stone Institute awards the Tucker Awards bienially. Of course the 2008 award-winners can be downloaded in pdf format.

The Prism Awards presented yearly at the Coverings trade fair in Chicago pertain not only to natural stone. Here, too, award-winners and their works are compiled in a pdf.

Honourable mention is due to the prizes awarded by the American Society of Landscape-Architects (ASLA). They are not explicitly trimmed to the use of natural stone. But the award-winners afford numerous interesting examples, e.g. the Washington Monument.

Let us not forget the winners of the World Architecture Festivals, which took place in Barcelona in October 2008. Some works in natural stone were awarded prizes of excellence, among others the convention center in Baiyun, China, or the Opera in Oslo, Norway.