by Ian Volner | Tuesday, July 26, 2011Northern Italian firm Iotti + Pavarini Architetti have been named the winners of the first-ever Renzo Piano Foundation Prize, a yearly award to recognize promising firms and designers under the age of 40. The prize was co-sponsored by Italy’s Association of Architecture and Criticism—Luigi Puglisi, chairman—and the honorees were selected from among some 70 applicants, each one vetted personally by the Pulitzer Prize-winning designer Renzo Piano.
Said the Genoese-born architect (whose current projects include Columbia University’s new campus in Upper Manhattan), “For many years [Luigi and I] have shared an admiration for young people, especially those that are architects. Young and architects, a winning combination. It was because of this that we thought about establishing a prize intended for Italian architects under 40 that have realized a project.”
Iotti + Pavarini clinched the award with their project Domus Technica, in the town of Brescello near the firm’s home base of Reggio Emilia. The building is a training center for the Immergas corporation, a regional leader in the manufacture of commercial and residential heating systems; it will facilitate research and development in thermal solar, photovoltaic, and other innovative heat-distribution systems, and is conceived as a serene, subtly modulated complex of semi-translucent volumes stacked one atop the other Association of Architecture and Criticismall of it set in a subdued landscape of greenery and paved paths.