The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence 2020
Berkeley Prize 2020

Winning Essays

Winners of the twenty-second annual BERKELEY PRIZE Essay Competition are announced by University of California, Berkeley Professor Emeritus of Architecture and City & Regional Planning Raymond Lifchez, Chair of the international Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence. 
The Essay Competition timeline started on 15 September 2019 with all submissions due on 1 February 2020.  Since then, the unprecedented upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has also changed the entire academic landscape.  The potential longer-term effects of the pandemic on higher education generally and architecture programs specifically are still unclear. 
In the long-term, the PRIZE hopes to adjust its outreach to respond to any new realities.  For the moment and as a direct reflection of the hardships caused by both the virus and subsequent population lockdowns worldwide, this year’s PRIZE awards have been expanded.  
Each year, the PRIZE Committee and the Jurors look to identify the most outstanding work among the many excellent essays and the research that those essays describe.  This year, all of the submissions will be honored:  
  • For the Finalists, there is the “best of the best” First, Second and Third Prizes, and five Honorable Mentions totaling 35,000USD.  
  • In addition, and in lieu of applying for this year’s necessarily cancelled BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship Competition, all Semifinalists will receive a cash award of 500USD.  
In total, 52 students are recognized and honored for their 26, two-member team, essay submissions as described below.

First Place Prize 

Rhiddhit Paul (architecture) and Abhradeep Chakraborty (planning) at the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India for: Nests for a Phoenix: Building Life After Death (9000USD)

Read Bio | Read Proposal | Read Essay

Second Place Prize 

Poonam Parikh (architecture) and Khushali Haji (urban design) at the C.E.P.T. University, Ahmedabad, India for: "Ahmedabad: Growing through a History of Community and Conflict" (7500USD)

Read Bio | Read Proposal Read Essay

Third Place Prize

Michael Tsang (architecture) and Elisa Ynaraja Rodriguez (civil engineering) at the University of Bath, Bath, UK for: "The Storytellers of Bristol: An Exploration of Community Created by Theatre” (6000USD)

Read Bio | Read Proposal Read Essay

Honorable Mention

Claudio Cabana (architecture/environmental design) and Henrike Scholz (international relations) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada for: The Learned City: Civic Buildings, Information Inequality, and the Digital Divide” (2500USD)

Read Bio Read Proposal | Read Essay

Honorable Mention

Vladimir Kositsyn (architecture) and Zhenya Nasledskova (environmental design) at the Moscow Architectural Institute, Moscow, Russian Federation for: Moscow Civic Buildings and Their Variability through the Prism of Time” (2500USD)

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Honorable Mention

Elizabeth Njeri Mugo (architecture) at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Stephanie Brenda Wanjiru Munene (law) at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya for: For the love of Museums” (2500USD)

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Honorable Mention

Madhura Vaze (architecture) at B.K.P.S. College of Architecture and Nabha Joshi (economics) at the S.P College, Pune, India for: “Public Markets: Building Community, Building Economy" (2500USD)

Read Bio | Read Proposal | Read Essay

Honorable Mention

Jingni Wu (art) at Beihang University and Xinxing Chen (architecture) at the Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China for: Elder-Friendly Community Building: Civic Space Creation under the Renovation of the Hutong Area” (2500USD)

Read Bio | Read Proposal | Read Essay



Fatima Aamir & Maria Hunaid Samiwala

Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture & Habib University  Pakistan

Fatima Pona Arbab & Amal Hashim

Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture & Habib University

Amalia Dewi Ardianingsih & Rahadian Imam Nur Arif

Technische Universität Berlin 

Job Aronda & Ashaba Precious Makerere University Uganda
Shravan Arun & Diana Anghel

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

United States

Shubangi Bagre & Divya Bagre

School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal & Hahnemann Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Bhopal

Afrah Atique Farooqui & 

Tooba Kamran

University of Karachi

Noor Hamdan & Yara Am Ali American University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates
Adefila Inioluwa & 

Ola Vincent Omotade

Federal University of Technology, Minna

Pranjal Kulkarni & Mukul Katiyar

Maulana Azad National Institute Of Technology


Natanael Lopez & Milda Svegzdaite

Kaunas University of Technology & Vilniaus Dail?s Akademija

Zoya Nasir & Ayman Babar

Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture & Habib University


Reva Saksena & Zoofishan Fatima

School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal


Samuel Simonetta & Daniel Rivera

Savannah College of Art and Design

United States
Rishika Sood & Sarthak Jain

Madhav Institute of Technology and Science &

Sardanad Mandir Sangeet Mahavidhyala

Gunraagh Singh Talwar & 

Pranav Wahi

School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal & Vivekanada Institute of Professional Studies

Leticia Teodoro & Marcelo Gonçalves Unicamp & 

Pontificia Catolica de Campinas



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Planetario de Medellín Jesús Emilio Ramírez González (Medellín Planetarium), Medellín, Colombia. Marco Aurelio Baquero, Architect. See: (Photo: website.)
El Parque Explora, Medellín, Columbia. Interactive science museum. Alejandro Echeverri + Valencia Arquitectos, Architects. See: (Photo: website)

United States Post Office, Albany, California, U.S.A. This is typical of the thousands of post offices in the country that, despite the computer age, are in constant use by the local community.

Aspen Police Department Headquarters, Aspen, Colorado, U.S.A. Charles Cunniffe Architects. See:; and
São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil. Lina Bo Bardi, Architect. See:
Edificio de Correos y Telegrafos (Mail and Telegraph Building), Valencia, Spain. 1922. This Central Post Office building is popularly known as the “Palacio de Comunicaciones” (Palace of Communications). Miguel Angel Navarro, Architect.
San Francisco Department of Public Health Headquarters, San Francisco, U.S.A.
Seattle Public Library, Central Branch, Seattle, U.S.A. Funding was provided by a $196 million bond measure, called "Libraries for All," approved by Seattle voters. Rem Koolhaas, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), working in conjunction with Joshua Prince-Ramus, LMN Architects.
Beijing National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China. The “Water Cube” at the Olympic Park. PTW Architects and the Arup Australasia engineering group, together with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and the CSCEC Shenzhen Design Institute. See:
Sunday Community Market at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DVM) Office, Oakland, California, U.S.A. This DMV is one of 180 such offices in California, all of which issue driver's licenses, identity cards, and vehicle registrations.
Temescal Branch Library, Oakland, California, U.S.A. 1918. One of sixteen libraries in the Oakland Public Library system. Charles W. Dickey and John J. Donovan, Architects.
San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, U.S.A. 1915. Designed by Arthur Brown, Jr. of Bakewell & Brown, Architects. See:
Bunjil Place Cultural Center, Narre Warren, Victoria, Australia. Fjmt Architects. See:; (Photo: Trevor Mein)
Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan. Convention center, concert venue and exhibition space designed by Rafael Viñoly, Architect. See:
Biblioteca Latino-Americana Victor Civita (Victor Civita Latin America Library), at the Latin American Memorial, São Paulo, Brazil. Oscar Niemeyer, Architect. The Library is part of a much larger, multi-building cultural center. See:
Mercat Central (Central Market), Valencia, Spain. 1914-1928. Alejandro Soler March and Francesc Guàrdia i Vial, Architects.
Oceanário de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. The largest indoor aquarium in Europe. Designed by Cambridge Seven Associates led by American architect Peter Chermayeff.
Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai, China. Originally built in 1930, Robert Fan Wenzhao, Architect. In 2007, in recognition of its historic and cultural importance to the community, the entire hall was moved 66 meters to facilitate the construction of a new elevated highway. It has been fully conserved for a new lifetime of community use.
Xiafu Activity Center, New Taipai City, Taiwan. IMO Architecture + Design;
JC Cheng +Associates+Architects+Planners. See: (Photo:
Chorsu Market, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Today’s bazaar is a complex of large blue and turquoise domes constructed by the government in the Soviet era during the 1980s on the site of former markets that have been in operation for over 2000 years. See:
Wasit Wetland Center, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. X Architects. See: (Photo: Nelson Garrido)
Tabriz Bazaar Complex, Tabriz, Iran. United Nations World Heritage listing. See Recent Aga Khan prize-winning rehabilitation by ICHTO East Azerbaijan Office, Architects. See: (Photo: AKKA-Amir Anoushfar)
Shelter For Victims Of Domestic Violence, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Amos Goldreich Architecture + Jacobs Yaniv Architects. See: (Photo: Amit Geron)
Christmas Market at the Palace of Culture and Science (PKiN), Warsaw, Poland. Designed by Soviet architect Lev Rudnev in what has been called the "Seven Sisters" (Stalinist) style, the 1955 building has survived post-Communist era calls for its demolition. It “houses various public and cultural institutions such as cinemas, theaters, libraries, sports clubs, university faculties and authorities of the Polish Academy of Sciences.” The building is slowly overcoming its history as a symbol of totalitarianism and has become a true community resource. See:
Maitland Riverlink Gateway Building, Maitland, Australia. CHROFI and McGregor Coxall, Architects and Landscape Architects. See: (Photo:
Kings Place Offices, Music and Visual Arts Center, London, England. Dixon Jones, Architects. See: (Photo: website);
Aspen Volunteer Fire Department Headquarters + Fire Museum, Aspen, Colorado, U.S.A. S2 Architects. See:
UVA Nuevo Occidente, Medellín, Colombia. Public and community spaces including swimming pool, dressing rooms, and recreational terrace; a ballroom, toy library, classroom workshop, cinema auditorium and children's playground; multiple classrooms, administrative offices, commercial premises and viewing terrace and, in addition to a multi-purpose Coliseum, synthetic court and urban gym. See also: (Photo: Benard Acellam)
Cultural Development Center of Moravia (CDCM), Medellín, Colombia. Rogelio Salmona, Architect. Designed with an auditorium for 350 people; thirty private and soundproof cubicles for practice; three multiple classrooms for meetings, rehearsals, training or practice; galleries; and a number of playgrounds for various activities. See also: (Photo: Benard Acellam)
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