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June 17, 2024

2023 RAMSA Prize Recipients Study Baroque Architecture in Brazil

2023 RAMSA Prize Recipients Study Baroque Architecture in Brazil

2023 RAMSA Prize Recipients Rabei Javaid Bhatti and Karolina Piorko are in Brazil this month studying late seventeenth-century and early eighteenth-century Barroco Mineiro architecture. Their research will include an analysis of civic and religious buildings in several towns located along the Estrada Real in the southeastern region of the country. Through the use of photography and vibrant watercolor, they will create a catalogue of Brazil's distinct Baroque architecture.

Rabei and Karolina’s proposal Baroque, The Soul of Brazil: Exploring Barroco Mineiro Along the Estrada Real was selected as one of three finalists by the prize jury—RAMSA Partners Gemma Kim and Michael Jones, and Associate Partner Kurt Glauber. The jury was captivated by the drawings and strong narrative of the proposal, as well as the subject matter. “Baroque architecture isn’t commonly associated with Brazil due to the prominence of modernist icons in the country. We’re excited to see examples of this style and how it is influenced by the climate and culture of this region.”

Following the jury selection, Rabei and Karolina’s proposal was named the winning entry by RAMSA staff through an office-wide vote. During their summer travels, they will visit various archives and universities in Brazil. Later, they will continue their research at RAMSA and present their findings in a fall exhibition and presentation. 

Launched in 2016, the RAMSA Prize is a $7,000 grant awarded annually to RAMSA staff to fund a two-week-long travel and research project exploring a location’s sense of place. The prize encourages staff to engage in targeted, in-depth research into a city, town, or place in a way that can meaningfully inform design work. It also supports collaboration with peers and the development of personal architectural interests as an extension of the firm’s research-based design principles. Previous recipients have traveled to Argentina, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, and throughout the United States and Caribbean studying a wide range of topics from social housing in Amsterdam to Art Deco architecture in Buenos Aires.

For more information about the RAMSA Prize, visit

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