The RIBA Charles Jencks Award

The RIBA Charles Jencks Award was established in 1993 in recognition of those who have made an outstanding contribution to both practice and theory in architecture. Set up with the prize money Charles Jencks received from the Japanese Nara Gold Medal for Architecture in 1992, the Jencks Award is presented at a public lecture given by the recipient at the RIBA in London.

The principle behind the award is to acknowledge the multiple intelligences at work in architecture, and celebrate the other forms of thinking and production can drive architecture beyond design.

Previous winners have included Peter Eisenman, who used philosophy as basis for his practice; Zaha Hadid, whose paintings were the medium that drove her work; and Rem Koolhaas, whose polemical journalism pushed and provoked his research-based projects.

The Jencks Foundation and the RIBA will continue the award as a way of recognising Charles Jencks’ vast contribution to architectural culture, and in order to honour the plurality of perspectives that he celebrated in his works as a writer and critic. It will also acknowledge the broader cultures of architecture globally and the changing issues which the profession addresses, constantly expanding the idea of theory and recognising new challenges and forms of practice.

Winner of the 2023 RIBA Charles Jencks Award

The Jencks Foundation at The Cosmic House and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) are pleased to announce Dogma, a Brussels-based practice focused on the relationship between architecture and the city, as the 2023 recipient of the Charles Jencks Award.

Given annually, the award recognizes an individual or practice who has made a major contribution to both the theory and practice of architecture.

The award will be celebrated with a lecture by Dogma on their significant portfolio of work and approach to Architecture at RIBA headquarters, 66 Portland Place on Thursday 16th May 2024. We would love for you to join us. To book tickets, please use the button below.

Dogma will host a lecture at RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London on Thursday 16 May 2024. Tickets will be released and can be booked through the RIBA website starting from January 2024.

Founded in 2002 by Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara, Dogma’s work on large-scale urban design projects and exploration of the relationship between theory and practice continues to have a major influence on the profession, particularly among students, through both their thought processes and representation of architecture. In addition to design projects, members of Dogma engage passionately with teaching, writing and research, with Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara teaching at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Faculty of Architecture, KU Leuven respectively.

Lily Jencks, founder of the Jencks Foundation and jury member said: “Few architects have had a greater influence on students’ thinking and representation over the last 10 years than Dogma. Through teaching, exhibitions, competitions and books, they follow a clear and uncompromising project to dismantle the relationships of architecture and capital.

While Dogma have not built many projects, all of their work takes the material construction of buildings seriously, and has implications on the building profession. They are an important counter to the commercialized architectural profession, using their deep knowledge of architectural history and theory, to propose alternative ways for us to live together.”

Previous Winners

2022 Forensic Architecture

2021 Anupama Kundoo

2019 Ensamble

2018 Alejandro Aravena

2016 Niall McLaughlin

2015 Herzog and De Meuron

2013 Benedetta Tagliabue

2012 Rem Koolhaas

2011 Eric Owen Moss

2010 Steven Holl

2009 Charles Correa

2008 Wolf D. Prix, Coop Himmelb(l)au

2007 Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, UN Studio

2006 Zaha Hadid

2005 Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Farshid Moussavi, Foreign Office Architects

2004 Peter Eisenman

2003 Cecil Balmond


Judging Panel

The jury has been assembled to ensure there is a breath of experience and consists of the following key members:

  1. Lily Jencks
  2. RIBA President (or President-elect if the award event takes place after they have taken over the presidency)
  3. A Head of School of Architecture or a Senior Lecturer in the field of History and Theory of Architecture
  4. A past winner of the RIBA Jencks Award
  5. Architecture broadcaster or curatorial director at a cultural institution
  6. The RIBA Director of Education as non-voting Chair

Selection Process

The judging panel are asked to submit up to 3 nominations each with a short citation as to why they have chosen each nomination. The RIBA organizer prepares a summary of information about the nominees and distributes this prior to the meeting. The judges then meet at the RIBA for a 2-3 hour discussion and debate. Judges should be prepared to present and defend their nominations. Conversation and debate should be passionate and congenial, with picnic lunch included (if there is time).

The judges will review both the built work and bibliography of the nominated architects. Books on or by the architects should be made available from the RIBA, and the jury should consult all possible media (videos, internet interviews etc) to consider their vote.

Following intense debate a winner is chosen by voting. The winner is invited to give a lecture at the RIBA and travel arrangements are made by the RIBA organiser.