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Helmut Rhode Award 2022

Drawing – a connecting competence!

For the seventh time now, RKW Architektur + awarded the Helmut Rhode Award for architectural drawings. The award commemorates the formative competence of the office founder Helmut Rhode, but also sees itself as a bow to the art form of drawing drafts, impressions and spatial visions by hand. At the same time, drawing is always also communication – completely without language and therefore also internationally understandable.

This year’s competition was therefore also marked by a special focus on internationality. For the first time, we cooperated with the digital platforms Architonic, ArchDaily and German and promptly received a large number of entries from all over the world. Students from England, France, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Portugal, Austria, Ukraine and Hungary sent us their work and ideas.

So, our jury consisting of Lars Klatte and Christian Hein from RKW Architektur +, David Basulto, founder and editor-in-chief of ArchDaily, architect and founder Rina Rolli from studioser and Guenter Helten, founder of Hahn Helten Architektur, had a lot to do. The range of submissions was wide, the technical and creative level largely high. In the end, the verdict was Solomonic: a total of five works received equal recognition, with one jury member acting as godfather to the work in each case. As a result, five students were able to enjoy prize money of 1,000 euros each.

All works, their authors and the jury’s assessment are presented below.

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On October 24th the jury convened to choose
the winners of the Helmut Rhode Award 2022.

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They discussed and evaluated each work individually.

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Our 2022 jury (from left) 2022: Lars Klatte (senior partner at RKW), David Basulto (founder and editor-in-chief of ArchDaily), Rina Rolli (architect and founder from studioser), Guenter Helten (founder of Hahn Helten Architektur) and Christian Hein (partner at RKW).


The work of award winner Celine Carriere from the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

A breeze of a summer memory. Summers, in most memories, taste like salty wind or sound like splashing water. They come with exotic places or homey feelings. Shaped in geometries of summer, with striped patterns or light colors. Summers come in materials that want to be wetted, to then be dried by the sun. With noises of water and smells of heat. Summers want to be remembered.

A sketchbook of a summer marvel. Celebrating the memories of summer. Celebrating the surfaces, materials, smells, and noises, the rituals, cultures, and routines of bathing. Celebrating the ability to capture the topography, the roof detail, the reflection of the water, the change of seasons, the screw of the pool ladder, and the feeling of a cold bath, all in an open sketchbook page. Only to then turn the page.

A drawing of a circular bath on a lake. A drawing of a linear bath in a fjord. A drawing of a plane bath on a river. Drawings that touch the paper as subtly as the structures lay on the shoreline. With a gentle sense of atmosphere and a fine approach to structure. With a delicate use of color and a conscious decision for each drawn line. With a confident use of the paper and an attentive look at the accents to set.

A way to hold on to summer, even when winter is already coming.

Evaluation by Rina Rolli

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The work of award winner Lilly Averbeck from the Technical University of Dortmund.

The jury awards the design renderings for the glassblower’s house by Lilly Averbeck with an acknowledgement. The work is a design project for the most classic of building tasks, a four-story residential and commercial building in an urban perimeter block development. A design that blends beautifully with the historic surroundings of the neighboring buildings.

To give emphasis to the idea of introducing a contemporary architecture into a historic environment, Lilly Averbeck chooses the medium of the classical fine-colored ink drawing. Style, stroke, and the fine water coloring are based on the drawings of historical models, such as those by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Louis Le Veau, or even Francois Mansart. The successful combination of classical ink drawing and specific design idea has been achieved in this work in an outstanding way.

Evaluation by Lars Klatte

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The work of award winner Khyati Rajpara from the CEPT University of Ahmedabad, Indien.

The work „Making Place Visible through Drawing“ by Khyati Rajpara from CEPT University of Ahmedabad, India deals on four submitted sheets with the drawing analysis and exploration of the structure and tectonics of Poveglia Island in Venice. In a fifth sheet, she applies her resulting insights to the design of a „house as a city“ in her native Madhya Pradesh, India.

She approaches the found, visible urban structure and its constant changes and rewritings of the past with an archaeological eye, intellectually and artistically sophisticated, by transferring the technique of rewriting or reusing manuscript pages or scrolls, the palimpsest, common in the Middle Ages, as an allegory to her drawing-formal search. Thus, in an extension of a scientific-analytical approach to place, she creates an impressive, atmospheric and narrative level.

Via her used technique of drawing in layers with pencil, ephemeral forms of process-like sketches that continue to evolve have emerged. In this way, she opens up an impressive, poetic space for the viewer, with the possibility of their own interpretation and imagination.

Evaluation by Guenter Helten

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The work of award winner Greta Sophie App, Elisabeth Bley, Vincent Mank, Jonas König, Lara Grefer, Leonhard von Zumbusch, Felix Tepel, Piet Krause, Leon Schade, Lena Geiselbrechtinger, Olga Sulek, Paul Stockhausen, Anastasia Mirkina from the Bauhaus Universität Weimar.

Drawing is successfully used to represent a set of collective experiences into a unified architectural tool. It is an abstraction with intention and focus, useful as a starting methodology for further projects.

Evaluation by David Basulto

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The work of award winner Florian Hörtig from the Hochschule for Technik Stuttgart.

The submitted sketchbook by Florian Hörtig impressed the jury in a special way. His concept of drawing with parts from his studies, figurative sketches, color and form finding and the combination with other everyday items like tickets creates a collage-like diary, which is convincing through its credible authenticity.

This sketchbook fulfills the requirements of the prize and the jury, because the drawing exercise in many areas of life not only serves to find solutions and forms for architectural tasks, but also allows situations in everyday life to succeed with the power of freehand drawing as a credible note in the sense of a diary.

Only through this extensive training of freehand drawing, with leaving less successful drawings in the book as well, can a good tool emerge to make oneself understood.

Evaluation by Christian Hein

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Photos jury session and works Marcus Pietrek