RIBA Announces Winners of the 2007 RIBA International Book Awards

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced at an awards ceremony last night, the two winners of the 2007 RIBA International Book Awards. Interpreting the Renaissance: Princes, Cities, Architects by Manfredo Tafuri. Yale University Press won The Sir Nikolaus Pevsner International Book Award for Architecture, and Stone Conservation: Principles and Practice, by Ed: Alison Henry. Donhead Publishing won the Sir Robert McAlpine International Book Award for Construction.

The annual RIBA International Book Awards aim to highlight the rising influence and standard of architectural writing and publishing. They celebrate the important contribution writing makes to the dynamic activity of creating buildings and transforming the landscape in which we live.

The Sir Nikolaus Pevsner International Book Award for Architecture recognises outstanding writing on architecture and architectural practice, the preservation of buildings, historic and theoretical research and analysis. Supported by the British Architectural Library, part of the RIBA Trust, with media partner The Architectural Review.

Adrian Forty, jury chair said about the winning title:
“Manfredo Tafuri’s Interpreting the Renaisssance is a testament of the author’s lifetime of research into Renaissance architecture. Published posthumously (Tafuri died in 1994), Interpreting the Renaissance presents a totally new account of Renaissance architecture. Based upon extraordinarily thorough archival research, and detailed knowledge of Renaissance scholarship, it overturns the orthodox account of Italian Renaissance architecture that in its early period was one of equilibrium and humanist harmony, and which displaced the destabilised, transgressive character of Mannerism. This view, created by the nineteenth century German scholars Jacob Burckhardt and Heinrich Wölfflin, and perpetuated through the twentieth century by scholars such as Erwin Panofsky and Rudolf Wittkower, is now, with Tafuri’s book, no longer sustainable. Instead, Tafuri shows that that the so-called ‘humanism’ of early Renaissance architecture was just as disturbed and inconclusive as that of the Mannerist period. There are also remarkable chapters on the cities of Rome and Venice, which draw out the relationships between urban development and Renaissance architecture. Densely argued, with many qualifications and much detail, once read, the history of Renaissance architecture will never be the same again.”

The Sir Robert McAlpine International Book Award for Construction recognises exceptional writing on the construction and restoration of buildings, building design and building methods, and the use of new materials and technologies across the construction industry. Supported by RIBA Bookshops with media partner Building Magazine.

Max Fordham, jury chair said about the winning title:
“Here is a book which is both specialist and technical, an edited collection of pieces with a message. ‘Stone Conservation’ is a winner because it fits the brief; it is about building construction, conservation and refurbishment. Above all of this there is a passionate dedication to the topic which, although it is a collection of pieces by different authors, shines out through proper writing.”

The awards ceremony took place at the Naval and Military Club, London. Winning publishers received an RIBA International Book Award plaque and authors were presented with a cheque for £1,000.

The 2008 RIBA International Book Awards will be officially launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2007.

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