Prix Versailles 2017, il premio che supporta il connubio tra cultura e architettura commerciale

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consegna entro il 31 gennaio 2017

Torna anche quest'anno il Prix Versailles 2017, il premio dedicato all'architettura commerciale e al suo rapporto con la cultura. Anche quest'anno viene lanciata una sfida agli architetti e ai designer che decideranno di concorrere, chiedendo loro di abbinare due mondi apparentemente distanti e contraddittori tra di loro: la cultura e l'architettura commerciale. Il commercio, infatti, è associato al funzionalismo utilitario, all'immediatezza e a uno stile povero ma pratico.

La cultura, al contrario, persegue la bellezza, la creatività e gli ideali disinteressati. Considerando che esistono degli esempi in cui queste due sfere convivono, il Prix Versailles vuole modificare lo stato di cose che vede rare realizzazioni di questo genere promuovendo la funzione di cultura e commercio.

Il premio riconosce le strutture più meritevoli, sia in termini di architettura d'interni che di esterni premiando le migliori soluzioni nell'ambito di quattro categorie di concorso: Shop & Stores, Shopping Malls, Hotels e Restaurants. Per ciascuna categoria saranno previsti premi speciali per gli interni e per gli esterni degli edifici concorrenti.

Culture and commercial architecture: two domains that are often depicted as contradictory. Indeed, commerce is associated with utilitarian functionalism, immediacy, playing it safe, and an impoverished style. Whilst culture is associated with beauty, creativity and a disinterested ideal.

Naturally, this opposition is not systematic, and there are many high quality examples of their coexistence. However, such examples remain a rarity. The end goal of the Prix Versailles is to alter this state of affairs by merging these opposites together.

This perceived contradiction is emblematic of a stage in the modern era that is on the brink of becoming outdated. The new period into which we are entering demands quality in all things: culture needs to break out of its ivory tower, without overlooking commercial aspects. Conversely, commerce must progressively adopt the goals of environmentalism, quality, creativity and innovation. Where we saw disjunction before, today's era calls for conjunction.

The Prix recognizes the most remarkable structures, in terms of both interior and exterior architecture. Because the Prix is associated with Versailles, we want that world renowned symbol of beauty and elegance to serve not as a model but as a beacon or impetus for quality commercial architecture, today and tomorrow.

There are four categories within the Prix: Shops & Stores, Shopping Malls, Hotels and Restaurants (hereafter referred to as "the Categories"). Special prizes for ‘Interior' and ‘Exterior' architecture are attached to each of the Categories. These awards are manifested in the form of a trophy awarded to each prizewinner.


Any shop/store, shopping mall, hotel or restaurant with a minimum built surface area of 100 m² accessible to the clientele that has opened or has re-opened (provided the work involved the total closure to the public) between midnight 30 January 2016 and midnight 31 January 2017, the times referring to the time in Paris (France), may be the subject of a submission at the initiative of the general contractor and/or the project owner.


There are some steps in the selection process.

Entries can be freely filed, in French or in English, via the online form provided for that purpose (and available at, between now and 11:59 pm CET on 31 January 2017.

Six judges panels will examine the submissions, depending on the projects' locations, divided between six regions: Africa and West Asia - Central America, the South and the Caribbean - North America - Central Asia and the Northeast - South Asia and the Pacific - Europe. For each Category in each Region, a prix and special prizes for Interiors and Exteriors will be awarded to the projects receiving the most points.

The world judges panel will examine the entries for the global selection process. Only projects that received a continental prix or special prize in 2017 will be eligible respectively for the world prix and special prizes.


The world prix and special prizes will be awarded to the winners during a ceremony to be held on 12 May 2017 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.


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