Last week the RAP, the Rotterdam Architecture Prize, was awarded in the Timmerhuis as part of the Month of Architecture in Rotterdam. The professional jury, led by architect Ninke Happel, has selected 10 projects out of the 38 that are eligible for the prize. Lyongo Juliana is on the jury for the Rotterdam Architecture Prize 2023. ‘I think that as an architect you have a social responsibility. With high-quality urban planning and architecture, I want to come up with solutions for social issues. That is what I also look for when I look at the nominees. I think that the winner of this award really achieved that.’

During the selection the jury paid particular attention to the contribution that the buildings make to the city. Do they give something back that supports Rotterdam in its development into an accessible and inclusive, healthy and climate-neutral place? What qualities have they seen or missed as a jury? In what ways does the architecture of Rotterdam set an example and which aspects does it need more attention? During a conversation at the ceremony, led by Geert Maarse, they elaborated on this and discussed it with each other and the audience.

After an extensive jury day and much deliberation, a unanimous winner emerged. The winner is a project that can serve as an example and which improves the quality of life in the city. That was abundantly clear to the jury with het Zuider Gymnasium. That is why they awarded this project the RAP 2023! The jury expresses great appreciation for the efforts of action groups and the municipality, which have managed to prevent the planned demolition of the Zuiderziekenhuis. ‘With the establishment of the gymnasium in the gatehouse of the former Zuiderziekenhuis, this monumental complex is facing a new future,’ she says. Het Zuider Gymnasium is ‘a learning environment in which the history of the community is tangible and palpable’ and ‘brings connection and an optimistic view of the future.’

An honorable mention goes to het Getijdenpark Eiland van Brienenoord. The jury expresses its great appreciation for the decision by the municipality of Rotterdam to use the park to make the river visible and experienceable as an ancient lifeline and ecosystem in the middle of the city. The other honorable mention went to The Hudsons, a housing project in the Bospolder-Tussendijken district. Housing construction remains an important and urgent task for the city of Rotterdam, which offers opportunities to further complete the city, the jury concludes.

Over 6000 people voted for the audience award, this year it was won by the Fridtjof Nansen School.

You can read more about why these projects were awarded in the jury’s report