The international jury of the “Xian Train Station” Contest: an opportunity to dialogue with worldwide archistars

14 jurors and € 25,000 of cash prize: these are the numbers of the first edition of the Manni Group Design Award, an invitation to design the new railway station of the Chinese town Xi’An, in strong urban expansion, respecting the principles of sustainable building.

A challenge that Manni Group, supported by YAC, launches to architects all over the world, with a view to internationalization as a driver of company development. An outstanding jury of seven different nationalities, will judge the projects in the competition and declare the winners.

Up for grabs, in addition to the cash prize, it’s a prestigious opportunity for designers to show their talent and confront the judgment of the archistars. Furthermore, the winner projects will be transmitted to architecture formats and be exhibited in national and international events, while all finalist projects will be published on YAC website, the online platform that promotes competitions in architecture and involves a community of over 4,000 designers worldwide.


Manni Group is glad to present the leading jurors of the first Manni Group Design Award commission.

Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects.
German architect naturalized British, he is born in 1961: he teaches in many institutions in Europe and in USA, such as the University of Illinois in Chicago, Columbia University and Harvard University. Since 1988 he coordinated and actively collaborated in the projects of the Zaha Hadid studio in London, of which in 2016, when his founder passed away, he became director. Among his most renowned projects, we mention the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany and the MAXXI-Center for Contemporary Art and Architecture in Rome, winner of the Stirling Award in 2010; finally, he founded the architectural discipline of Parametricism.

Ben van Berkel, UNStudio.
Dutch, he studied architecture at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and then the Architectural Association in London. In 1988 he founded a studio with Caroline Bos, which became UNStudio ten years later, a network of professionals in architecture, urban development and infrastructure based in Amsterdam: van Berkel signed many international projects such as Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany, Raffles City in China, Arnhem Central Station in the Netherlands, Singapore University of Technology and Design. Recent projects include the Doha subway in Qatar and the Canaletto Tower in London. Since 2009, UNStudio has also opened a branch in Shanghai and currently Ben van Berkel teaches at Harvard University, where he holds the prestigious Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design.

Stefano Boeri, Stefano Boeri Architetti.
Milanese, he studied at the Politecnico di Milano and the IUAV University of Venice; besides being an architect and urban planner, he is also an architectural theorist. He directed the magazines Domus and Abitare, and has curated numerous international exhibitions of architecture and design; his studio, based in Milan and with offices in Shanghai and Tirana, ranges from the design of urban visions and architectures to interior design. He is a full professor at the Politecnico di Milano and directs the Future City Lab at Tongji University in Shanghai, a post-doctoral research program that explores the transformations of world metropolises in relation to biodiversity and urban forestry. Since 2018 he is the President of the La Triennale di Milano Foundation.

Antonio Cruz, Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos.
Graduated at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Antonio Cruz founded his architectural studio in Seville in 1974 in collaboration with Antonio Ortiz. Many of his internationally renowned projects: the Atletico Madrid stadium, the New Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Cartuja stadium in Seville, the Seville Public Library and numerous other infrastructures in the Andalusian city. Lecturer at the Polytechnics of Lausanne and Zurich, the Universities of Cornell and Columbia and the Pamplona School of Architecture, held the renowned Kenzo Tange chair at Harvard. Antonio Cruz has recently been awarded with several international honors, such as “Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects”, “Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands” and the Gold Medal for Architecture awarded by the Superior Council of the College of the Architects of Spain.

Gong Dong, Vector Architects.
Founder of Vector Architects in Beijing in 2008, Gong Dong was named “Distinguished Plym Professor” by the University of Illinois and teaches design at Tsinghua University since 2014. His works have won numerous awards and have been exhibited in international events like the “Freespace 2018” of the Venice Biennale. Among the most representative projects, there are the restructuring of the Captain’s House in the Chinese province of Fujian, the Seashore Library and the Seashore Chapel in Beidaihe New District, the Chongqing Taoyuanju Social Center, the Suzhou Intangible Cultural Center. Many projects have been published by international magazines such as the “New York Times”, “Domus”, The Architectural Review “.

Francesco Fresa, Piuarch.
Francesco Fresa founded the Piuarch studio in 1996 in collaboration with German Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini and Monica Tricario. The Milanese studio has become one of the most famous architectural collectives of the last 20 years, drawing strength from the cohesion that allows different backgrounds and identities to initiate a multidisciplinary approach to different projects. Piuarch deals with various architectural themes, mostly realized in Milan: from retail to offices, from residences to the recovery of cultural and urban architecture, while still keeping great attention to the relationship between urban and landscape, cultural and social context. Representing the studio, Fresa holds numerous speeches at prestigious Italian and international universities, is Ambassador of Design and speaker at the Italian embassies in different countries of the world.

Volkwin Marg, GMP Architekten.
Born in 1936, in 1965 he founded the studio GMP Architekten in Hamburg with Meinhard von Gerkan. President of the BDA (German Architects Association) from 1979 to 1983, he was a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture of the Aachen Technical University and is currently a member of the German Academy for Urban and Regional Planning of the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg and Berlin. His projects include the restructuring of the Berlin Olympiastadion, the Durban stadiums in South Africa and the Brazilian stadiums of Belo Horizonte, Manaus and Brasilia.

Giovanni De Niederhausern, Pininfarina.
After graduating in Engineering and Architecture at the University of Bologna in 2008, he collaborated with many architectural firms such as Iosa Ghina Associati, among others. In 2009 he became an Affiliate Researcher at the MIT Senseable City Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and started a collaboration with Carlo Ratti Associati as a designer and project manager, later becoming its CEO in 2017 with the task of opening a US office. From 2019 he is Head of Architecture at Pininfarina, the famous Turin car manufacturer currently booming on an international scale.


Useful infos

Manni Group Design Award cash prize: € 25,000

Participation: individuals or teams of architects of any nationality can participate, as long as at least one member is under 35.

Submissions Deadline: 19 December 2019

Early bird Deadline: 20 October 2019

For any information or support request contact YAC at

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