Kristen Gates and Thomas Nye were recently announced as the 2018 RAMSA Prize winners for their proposal, “Harmony of the Whole: Cities Beautiful in 20th Century India”. Separate from the $10,000 RAMSA Travel Fellowship, the firm’s partners grant the $5,000 RAMSA Prize to an employee or duo, as an opportunity for staff to engage in their own in-depth research abroad that can meaningfully inform their design work.

Gates and Nye’s proposal focuses on Edwin Lutyens’ 1912 plan for New Delhi and Le Corbusier’s 1950 plan for Chandigarh, which are “two chronologically and geographically adjacent examples of the rare opportunity to design new cities with public and institutional buildings, monuments, residences, and furniture all at once, under the direction of a single architect.” The winners will travel abroad for two weeks.

The prize jury — RAMSA Partners Paul L. Whalen, Gary L. Brewer, and Meghan L. McDermott — was intrigued by “the harmony of the proposal” and how it connects to the firm’s research-based design approach. “In our office we design everything from furniture and houses to parks and neighborhoods and even cities; it’s interesting to be reminded that there are other architects who have done the same thing. Lutyens and Le Corbusier’s work in India produced such different visual results that it will be fascinating to compare and contrast two examples of Europeans going to a faraway place and seeing how they responded to local culture, or not,” the jurors said in a statement.

The jury also selected three runners-up:

  • Monica Gaura for “Restoration of the Moroccan Riad: Culture, Climate and Courtyards of the Marrakechi Medina”
  • Maria Gabriela Carucci Alvarez and Cassie Nozil for “From the Inside: Architecture in Relation to the Female Form in the Time of the Indian Mughal Empire”