Italian architect Marta Maccaglia has won the first Diversity in Architecture Prize. An international award intended to promote the visibility of women in architecture, it was established by Berlin-based association DIVIA, chaired by Ursula Schwitalla. Founder of the non-profit Asociación Semillas, headquartered in Lima, Maccaglia was recognized for her commitment to the construction of schools in Peru.
To be awarded every two years, the first DIVIA Award saw a total of 27 participants from five continents, as selected by the award’s advisory board. The DIVIA judging panel is composed of industry leaders, including Sol Camacho, Odile Decq, Rahul Mehrotra, and Martha Thorne. The winner of the award was chosen from a shortlist of five finalists, which also included May al-Ibrashy (Egypt), Katherine Clarke & Liza Fior (UK), Noella Nibakuze (Rwanda), and Tosin Oshinowo (Nigeria).
An exhibition dedicated to the finalists will run through May 13 at Berlin’s ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, where the award ceremony was held last Saturday.
“We were impressed by the consistency of the architectural approach in Marta Maccaglia’s projects, from small to large, while each project also reflects the local culture and the particularities of the place. Working in underserved regions, Maccaglia’s buildings respond to the dynamic needs of the community with a humanistic approach and bold commitment”.
Born in 1983, Marta Maccaglia graduated in architecture from Sapienza University of Rome before moving to Peru, which has become her home. Here she founded Asociación Semillas, with offices in Pangoa, Lima, and San Ignacio. This non-profit organization builds schools and other public buildings in the most remote areas of the Peruvian jungle, collaborating with various institutions.
“For me, education is the most important instrument for freedom,” says the architect. “If we want a better society, we need an educated population. Architecture can make a difference here – architecture is social”.
All images courtesy of DIVIA