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October 9, 2019

Second 2019 RAMSA Prize Winners Announced

Second 2019 RAMSA Prize Winners Announced

The Partners of Robert A.M. Stern Architects are pleased to announce that Justin Lai and Ronald Ostezan won a 2019 RAMSA Prize, the second of two to be awarded this year, with their proposal Argentina Between the Wars: Housing as a Style, Not a Typology. The RAMSA Prize is now a $6,000 travel and research grant awarded to individuals within the firm. Currently in its fourth year, the two-week-long fellowship promotes exploration into a location’s sense of place and is intended to encourage RAMSA staff to engage in targeted, in-depth research into a city, town, or region in a way that can meaningfully inform design work. In addition, the prize allows staff to pursue personal interests as an extension of the firm’s research-based design approach.

Mr. Lai and Mr. Ostezan will investigate the architectural styles of residential buildings completed between 1920 to 1940 in the Argentine cities of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza, Rosario, and Mar del Plata. "A sense of place in Argentina is dependent on these buildings. Distinguished by style, they collectively represent an Argentinian architecture known for eclecticism – suggesting that architecture can respond to and represent the fabric of its surroundings," said the winners.

The jury—RAMSA Partners Gary L. Brewer, Meghan L. McDermott, and Paul L. Whalen—felt that their proposal to study multi-family residential building styles in a Latin American country was relevant to RAMSA's work. "Their proposal was clear, well-written, feasible, and aligned with the spirit of the prize," the jury statement read. "Justin and Ron's subject is a fascinating example of a South American culture incorporating not only Spanish influences, but ideas from all over Europe. And of course, multi-family residential is a significant building type for our office."

In addition, the jury congratulates the two runners-up:

  • Daniela Déu and Avleigh Du, Jože Plečnik, Designing an Identity for Ljubljana
  • Alejandro Duran and Christopher Tritt, Nordic Parallels: Town Halls and Other Public Edifices

The inaugural prize recipients, Javier Perez and Robert Moldafsky, traveled to Mexico and the Caribbean to study Spanish Colonial architecture. The 2017 prize recipients, Robert Cannavino and Mark Santrach, studied early-20th-century social housing in Amsterdam. Kristen Gates and Thomas Nye, the 2018 prize recipients, recently traveled to India to study and compare Sir Edwin Lutyens’ early-20th-century work for Imperial New Delhi and Le Corbusier’s mid-century designs for Chandigarh. And Caitlin Baransky and Brenna Drecker, recipients of the first Prize of 2019, will travel to Japan next month to catalogue and analyze six preserved Samurai Districts.

For more information about the RAMSA Prize, visit

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