- American Architectural Foundation - http://www.archfoundation.org -

2016 Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellow and Scholar Announced

December 11, 2015, Washington, D.C. – The prestigious French-American Richard Morris Hunt Prize Jury convened at the Hotel de Talleyrand in Paris. Respecting its rule of alternating each year between American and French architects, the Jury awarded the 26th Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellowship to Lucas Monsaingeon and the 3rd Richard Morris Hunt Prize Scholarship to Florence Declaveillere.

Bridges: Monuments Balanced Above the Void

Exceptionally young for having such an outstanding career, Lucas Monsaingeon represents a brilliant example of enriching classic approaches to landmark conservation with ongoing developments in contemporary practice. The $20,000 Richard Morris Hunt Prize (RMHP) will allow him to spend six months in three periods in the United States researching, “Bridges: Monuments Balanced Above the Void.” He will investigate the maintenance choices of several iconic bridges. Monsaingeon will confer with all different actors responsible for the conservation and stability of the structures. This program will be assisted by the RMHP Managing Team.

A graduate of ENSA Marseilles-Luminy [1], an architecture school in Marseilles, France, and accredited as a Project Manager by ENSA Paris-Belleville [2], an architecture school in Paris, Monsaingeon has been responsible for the study and completion of work sites since 2010 with the architectural agency, Philippe Prost, AAPP [3]. He has managed large projects such as the Ring of Remembrance (Anneau de Mémoire), also known as the International Memorial of Notre Dame de Lorette [4], which commemorates fallen soldiers of the First World War in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. The Ring of Remembrance won the 2014 Equerre d’Argent Award for Culture [5]and was nominated for the 2015 European Mies Van Der Rohe Prize [6]. With the Prost firm, Monsaingeon was also responsible for the renovation of the Cité des Électriciens in Bruay-les-Buissons [7], a UNESCO landmark and French Monument Historique and winner of the 2014 EDF Low-Carbon Prize. Lucas also managed the structural and historical study of Vauban’s citadel in Lille, France [8].
The diversity of these projects accurately illustrates a twofold interest in historic and contemporary creations.

Monsaingeon is often asked to speak at symposia in France and abroad. Active in Shanghai (A Studios) and in Vienna (Calabi & Partners Architects [9]), he has been exposed to various national approaches to preservation.

Monsaingeon’s intellectual curiosity and diverse professional competence allow us to anticipate a constructive, informative research project with valuable guidelines for bridge conservation, a subject of major interest for architects.

RMHP2016_724x350 [10]

Florence Declaveillere and Lucas Monsaingeon.

The Evolution of American Riverfront Cities: Constructive Comparisons with European Case Studies

The dynamic architect, Florence Declaveillere, will receive $5,000 for a five-week program in the United States. Her strategic and contemporary research project, “The Evolution of American Riverfront Cities: Constructive Comparisons with European Case Studies,” with the focus on the importance of rivers in urban areas, is especially timely in the wake of the recent COP 21 [11]gathering in Paris.

Declaveillere has accomplished a great deal since graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure de Lyon [12] in 2012, where her master thesis won the Young Architects Prize [13]. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Art History and Archeology at the Université Lyon II [14]in 2013. She presently works as assistant to the”Architecte des Bâtiments de France” of the UDAP [15] in the Ain region. Throughout her study period, Florence was involved in student association activities in France and abroad. Her project for a thermal center in Eastern Europe was awarded the Weinberger Prize (Slovakia 2011).

Declaveillere participated in a temporary exhibition pavilion covered by the press (Slovenia 2012) as well as a heritage surveys in Romania (2014). In France, she analyzed historic stone facades in the Rhone region; Florence conducted a similar study of wood-frame structures in Romania.

A UNESCO volunteer since 2014, Florence possesses a varied international experience which has qualified her to be part of the 2014 US/ICOMOS [16] Summer Program, including a 12-week internship with the National Trust in Washington, D.C [17]. In the public sector, she works on problems related to urban planning in historic contexts. Declaveillere is simultaneously preparing for the competitive exam for accreditation as State Architect and Urban Planner at the Ecole de Chaillot in Paris. [18]

These many activities and achievements illustrate her energy, versatility and commitment. Port cities in France as in America have had to find new dynamics to adapt to the environment; Florence’s research project will illuminate the similarities and differences in our two countries’ approaches.


Created in 1990 in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and French Heritage Society (FHS), the RMH Prize permits a French-American exchange of architects specializing in historic preservation in the contemporary architectural context.

Named for the first American architect to graduate from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts [19] in Paris, Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895), the RMH Prize names two award recipients annually: the RMH Fellow and RMH Scholar.

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize Fellow
A French-American Jury convenes each year to award the Prize alternatively to an American or French architect committed to a reflection and personal immersion in the preservation of patrimony, historic or contemporary. The architect is chosen for the excellence of his credentials, his leadership ability and his research project’s potential for development. A six-month trip, divided in two or three periods, takes place, alternatively in America or France, assisted by the Managing Teams of the RMH Prize.

The RMH Prize provides the Fellow with an exceptional opportunity to research the chosen topic he/she has defined to the Jury. He/she meets highly qualified, experienced experts, visiting unique sites. It is a total immersion, confronting him or her with different philosophies, approaches and customs. A Final Report is presented one year after the conclusion of the Fellowship.

This annual $20,000 stipend is made possible through a partnership with LafargeHolcim [20].

The Richard Morris Hunt Prize Scholar
Since 2011, the RMH Prize Jury gives an opportunity to an architect of the same characteristics as above to spend five weeks in France or America with the assistance of the RMH Managing Teams. A Final Report is due six months after the end of the Scholar period.

This annual $5,000 stipend is sponsored by an anonymous American donor.                                                        

Both the Fellow and Scholar become part of the RMHP Laureates network, today comprised by 26 Fellows and 3 Scholars.