The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has named Children Village by Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum the winner of the 2018 International Prize. Located on the fringes of a rainforest in northern Brazil, the project was praised by the jury for its “extremely positive social purpose.” It beat out three other finalists for the top prize, including Phase One of the Central European University in Budapest by O’Donnell + Tuomey, Nikken Sekkei’s Toho Gakuen School of Music in Japan, and Bosco Verticale in Milan by Stefano Boeri Architetti.
Managed by the nonprofit Bradesco Foundation—the same charitable organization that transformed an office building in São Paulo into a brand new high school—Children Village is a student dormitory at the Canuanã School that accommodates some 540 children. The project is comprised of two structures, each with 45 six-person units. A freestanding timber roof canopy supported by glue laminated timber beams and columns defines the two halves of the complex, which surrounds three planted courtyards.
RIBA’s announcement comes after a year of deliberation. Last December, 62 buildings were shortlisted for the award. A jury led by Elizabeth Diller of New York–based firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro made several site visits before naming Children Village the 2018 honoree. The first International Prize, awarded in 2016, went to Irish firm Grafton Architects for the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología in Lima, Peru.