Harvard University Graduate School of Design has announced Erik L’Heureux, an American architect based in Singapore, as the winner of the GSD’s 2015 Wheelwright Prize, a $100,000 traveling fellowship aimed at fostering investigative approaches to contemporary design.
L’Heureux, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is currently an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore and leads his own practice, Pencil Office. His winning proposal, “Hot and Wet: The Equatorial City and the Architectures of Atmosphere,” focuses on the architecture of five dense cities in the equatorial zone — Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Pondicherry, India; Lagos, Nigeria; São Paulo, Brazil — where he will examine traditional and modern building strategies that mediate extreme climate conditions while addressing the mounting pressures of rapid urbanization and climate change.
The Wheelwright Prize is now in its third year as an open international competition for early-career architects. The 2015 cycle received nearly 200 submissions from 51 countries, including Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Poland, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, and more. This year, the jury honored three finalists — L’Heureux, Malkit Shoshan (Amsterdam), and Quynh Vantu (London) — inviting them to present their work and research proposals in a public event at the GSD. The finalists’ presentations, as well as a lecture by Gia Wolff, winner of the 2013 Wheelwright Prize, took place in Piper Auditorium at Harvard GSD on April 16, 2015, and can be viewed on the GSD’s website.