Spotlight: The RDA Prize

RDA has created a new award to recognize exceptionally gifted architects in the early phase of their career. Spotlight: The Rice Design Alliance Prize will be awarded annually along with a monetary prize. The inaugural Spotlight Prize was given to Antón García-Abril, founder of Ensamble Studio/Materia Inorgáncia in Madrid, Spain.


García-Abril was presented the award on April 15, following a wine reception, at the Brown Auditorium of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  The $25 ticket price to attend the event and lecture was waived for RDA members and students.

While the first prize has gone to an international architect, RDA Executive Director Linda Sylvan said that honoring García-Abril still fulfilled the RDA mission of improving the built environment in Houston.

“The Spotlight Prize is intended to showcase the best new designers, and bring their ideas to Houston. We see it as a way to invigorate our local design community with fresh ideas,” Sylvan said.

Spotlight Prize winners must be within their first 15 years of professional practice. An RDA committee of architects and academicians will convene annually to consider local, national and international architects who demonstrate design excellence and promise a bright future.

RDA board member Lonnie Hoogeboom, who helped institute the award and assisted in the selection of García-Abril, praised his work. 

“His inventive design and construction methodology present architecture in new and surprising ways, such as infrastructural components in a residential context,” he said.  “The novelty and ingenuity of his work is what most impressed the committee.”


Antón García-Abril founded Ensamble Studio in 2000. Key completed projects include a Concert Hall and Music School in Medina del Campo, Spain, and the Musical Studies Center in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. García-Abril also designed the gravity-defying Hemeroscopium residence in Madrid (above) and the SGAE Central Office in Santiago de Compostela.

The Rice Design Alliance gratefully acknowledged the support and collaboration of the Consulate General of Spain for the success of this event.

Be Sociable, Share!