AUSTIN, Texas—This year's Gabriel Prize, a $17,500 grant for the study of classical architecture and landscape in France, has been awarded to Joyce Rosner, lecturer in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin.
The award, given annually by the Western European Architecture Foundation, is meant to broaden students' knowledge and appreciation of European contributions to classical architecture.
Award winners embark on a three-month travel itinerary of France, focusing on a particular aspect of French architecture they've chosen to research. They spend much of their sabbatical sketching and measuring, and in the course of three months, produce three large renderings (large colored drawings). The laureates work closely with the foundation's European representative, a Parisian architect who serves to guide and assist their progress.
Rosner plans to focus on the formal French gardens created by André Le Nôtre, a renowned landscape architect of the 17th century. She plans on studying the gardens of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte and the Tuileries, all of which were designed or redesigned by Le Nôtre.
"By proposing to study French 17th century gardens geographically through drawings and watercolors, I am interested in approaching this project from the viewpoint of both 'space' and 'place'—balancing between the formal, geometric composition and the narrative," said Rosner. "By drawing and painting these extraordinary gardens, I hope not only to provide beautiful images, but also to explore new ways of understanding these gardens and of understanding the experience of occupying them."
To be considered for the award, candidates first submit illustrations of their work, along with an outline of the studies they are contemplating. A jury selects three candidates who are then invited to meet with a second jury. The second jury chooses the winner and a runner-up. Both juries are made up of architects, landscape architects, painters, professors and past Gabriel Prize laureates.
The Western European Architecture Foundation was founded by George Parker Jr. Parker was a Texan, a self-proclaimed American patriot and Francophile. He was a passionate believer in the humanizing power of classical architecture and he strove to find ways to bring its spirit to the United States. After his death in 1998, his foundation vowed to carry on that mission.
For more information contact: Amy Maverick Crossette, School of Architecture, 512-573-1078.