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Established in 2008, the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize is awarded biennially to an innovative architectural or design solution that has preserved or enhanced a modern landmark or group of landmarks.
The first of its kind, the award acknowledges the growing threats—neglect, deterioration, or even demolition—now facing significant works of modernism, and recognizes the architects and designers who help ensure their rejuvenation and long-term survival. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the influential role modernism plays in our architectural heritage, and recognize modern buildings as sustainable structures with vital futures.
The prize is awarded in recognition of completed (built) work, and may be awarded for an individual project or a body of work. The award consists of $10,000 and a limited-edition Mies van der Rohe–designed Barcelona chair, created by Knoll in honor of the award. The prize is awarded to the designer, architect, or firm responsible for the work.
An independent jury comprising professionals from the fields of architecture, architectural conservation, journalism, and related fields selects the winner. The jury is chaired by Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.
World Monuments Fund awarded its 2012 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize to the Architectural Consortium for Hizuchi Elementary School for their restoration of Hizuchi Elementary School in Hizuchi, Yawatahama City, Ehime Prefecture, on Shikoku Island, Japan.
World Monuments Fund awarded its 2010 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize to Bierman Henket architecten and Wessel de Jonge architects for their exemplary restoration of the Zonnestraal Sanatorium, a little-known but iconic modern structure in Hilversum, the Netherlands.
The inaugural 2008 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize was awarded to Brenne Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, led by Winfried Brenne and Franz Jaschke, for its superb restoration of the former ADGB Trade Union School, a highly significant but little-known Bauhaus-designed landmark in Bernau, Germany.