The international panel of the Detroit Waterfront District contest

The international panel of the Detroit Waterfront District contest: starchitects are going to choose the winners.

There will be 14 judges on the panel called to assess the most innovative projects for the regeneration of the Detroit Waterfront District: the contest of ideas run by Manni Group in collaboration with YAC – Young Architects Competitions is the theme of the second edition of the Manni Group Design Award, with a prize of €20,000.

Participants are asked to sustainably requalify this deserted area of the city of Detroit facing the river and immersed in the skyscrapers of downtown. Following the success of the debut edition, which involved designing the Xi’An station in China, again this year the commission includes architects and designers of ten different nationalities from the most prestigious firms on the international scene.


Manni Group is pleased to present the starchitects of the Manni Group Design Award 2020 panel.

Daniel Libeskind, Libeskind Firm. This Polish architect, naturalised American, is considered to be one of the best interpreters of Deconstructivism. He founded his famous architecture studio in 1989 in Berlin, after winning the contest to design the Jewish Museum in the German capital. In 2003, the firm relocated to New York to follow the re-development of the World Trade Center, currently under construction. The Libeskind firm, now with offices also in Zurich and Milan, is dedicated to the most diverse themes of design around the world: from museums to concert halls, from university centres to hotels, from trade centres to residential towers. Their best known works: the London Metropolitan University Graduate Centre in 2004, the Dresden Museum of Military History in 2011 and the Sapphire of Berlin completed in 2016, without forgetting the “Libeskind tower” nearing completion in the CityLife district of Milan. He has also held many lectures and has participated in international meetings conveying his great sensitivity towards art in all of its forms and original and sustainable architecture.

Marie Hesseldahl Larsen, 3XN. Class of 1979, after obtaining a degree in architecture from the Aarhus School of Architecture she joined the team at the Danish 3XN studio. She is in charge of defining and presenting projects that the studio submits to international contests. Specialised in Interior Design, she curated the interior of Bella Sky Hotel, Grow Hotel, the public areas of Stockholm Continental and the new Swedbank Headquarters in Stockholm. Of the many designs for public buildings that she has worked on, we would like to mention the Dublin Concert Hall in 2009 and the Indoor Arena of Abu Dhabi in 2010.

Giulio Rigoni, Bjarke Ingels Group. With a degree from IUAV of Venice in 2004, with a thesis on the reconstruction of Ground Zero in New York, he worked in Switzerland at the Livio Vacchini architecture studio in Locarno and at Herzog&de Meuron in Basel. From 2015-2017 he was the assistant professor of Sustainable Design at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio. In 2017, he joined the New York offices of BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, founded in Copenhagen in 2005 and now one of the most internationally-renowned avant-garde studios. For BIG Giulio Rigoni curates, from Italy, the SPFF – S. Pellegrino Flagship Factory project, the new headquarters of the historical Italian brand.

Jean Paul Uzabakiriho, Mass Design Group. He is the Design Director at MASS Design Group in Kigali, Rwanda. During his university career he analysed, in the field, the various architectures of west Africa; he then began working with MASS on health care projects such as the Doctors’ Residences and the Butaro Ambulatory Cancer Centre, and the design of the Bishop Masereka Medical Centre in Kasese, Uganda. Currently Uzabakiriho is the site manager for the construction of the residences affiliated with the University of Global Health Equity of Butaro, Rwanda.

Rodrigo Duque Motta, Duque Motta & AA. Born in Santiago, Chile in 1976, he obtained his degree in architecture at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 2001, where he is now a professor of Design. In 2003 he founded the Duque Motta architecture studio, very active in many sectors: from hotels such as Hotel Astronomico Elqui Domos and Hotel Casino Talca, to industrial design with the development of projects for the Quintay and Emiliana Vineyards; from the institutional area with the Faculty of Economics of the UDP, to the residential area with the design of the Duque House, which received an important award at the Architecture Biennale of Santiago in 2004. In 2007 he was awarded as the best architect under 35 by the Architect’s Association of Chile, and his publications in specialist magazines are distributed in 15 countries.

Marcos Rosello, aLL Design. Marcos began his career as an architect at John McAslan+Partner’s after earning his degree at Westminster University. With Will Alsop he founded aLL Design in 2011 and currently heads the British and international studios guiding the development of new projects, which include the sectors of Transport, Residential, Commercial, Educational, Hospitality, Mixed-Use and Regeneration. Rosello has participated as a judge in many architecture contests, such as the World Architecture Forum (WAF) and more recently the Chelyabinsk 2020 Airport, Conference Center and Park contest. His approach has always been very Design-oriented, a product balanced between creative and commercial, and the creation of a society oriented towards a more sustainable future.

Jorge P. Silva, Aires Mateus Architects. Born in Lisbon in 1976, he obtained his degree in architecture at the University of Lusíada in the Portuguese capital in 1998: from that year he began collaborating with the studio founded by Manuel Aires Mateus, for whom he has conducted numerous conferences around the world. He also coordinated numerous design contests and international projects: in 2002 for the international contest for the Grand Egyptian Museum (special prize), in 2008 the contest for the renovation of the Botanical Garden and the area of Mayer Park in Lisbon (winning project), in 2019 mixed-use buildings in the Brazza district of Bordeaux.

Michael Guthrie, IN-FORM Studio. He is the founder of INFORM Studio, with offices in Detroit, Chicago and Traverse City. Active in both the academic and design fields, creating museums, libraries, a recording studio, residences, commercial spaces, hospitality buildings and pedestrian bridges in the city of Detroit. He has earned numerous and important professional accolades, which include 31 AIA Design Awards and projects obtaining LEED certifications. Also, in 2003 Michael received the AIA Detroit Young Architect Award and was given the AIA Michigan Young Architect Award in 2004. His works have been published in Architecture, Architectural Record, Archiworld, CA Concept, Albenaa Magazine, and shown at numerous exhibitions in Detroit, Denver, New York and Cairo. In May 2011, IN-FORM studio was named Firm of the Year by AIA Michigan.

Clive Wilkinson, Clive Wilkinson Architects. Architect, designer and writer with special experience in the application of urban design thinking in interior design, especially in work and education places. Born in South Africa, he studied in the United Kingdom where he earned his degree at the prestigious Architectural Association School of Architecture of London. His studio, Clive Wilkinson Architects, was founded in Los Angeles in 1991 and is the global leader in workplace design. He has created unique spaces for Disney, Google, Macquarie, Microsoft, Nokia. In 2005, Wilkinson entered the ‘Hall of Fame’ of Interior Design and in 2006 he was named ‘Master of Design’ by Fast Company. Clive is a former chair of the board of AIA / LA, member of GSA National Peer Registry, and has been the keynote speaker at global conferences on media and design. In 2019 he published a book, The Theatre of Work, while his projects have received over 175 awards to date.

Adolfo Suarez, Lombardini 22. Architect and founding partner of Milanese studio Lombardini22, he heads Retail and Living design of the firm, where, thanks to his know-how he manages the entire life-cycle of the projects, from the preliminary analyses to construction, to redevelopment. The mission of the business unit L22 Retail is to generate and maintain value for commercial spaces, and some works have become reference case histories in the sector: Restyling of Centro Sarca in Milan, Relooking Project of choral and coordinated renovation of numerous Centri Unicoop Firenze, Freccia Rossa in Brescia and Forum Palermo. L22 Living, dedicated on the other hand to the residential sector, focuses on the new construction of sustainable and technologically advanced buildings, in building redevelopment and restoration and conservative redevelopment.

Giovanni De Niederhausern, Pininfarina. With a degree in Engineering and Architecture from the University of Bologna in 2008, he has collaborated with numerous architecture studios including Iosa Ghina Associati. In 2009 he became Affiliate Researcher at MIT Senseable City Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and began a collaboration with Carlo Ratti Associati as designer and project manager, then becoming CEO in 2017 with the task of opening a branch of the studio in the United States. Since 2019 he has been the Director of the Architecture Area at Pininfarina, the famous car design firm in Turin, in rapid international growth.