During the formal award ceremony held on 14 February, at the general meeting of the Union of Estonian Architects, President of the Republic of Estonia Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves announced the recipient of the Young Architect Award 2012, which went to Veronika Valk. The Award prize is a travel cheque for EUR 4500, sponsored by Heldur Meerits and the travel operator Go Travel, for travel to any destination of the recipient’s choosing.

Veronika Valk is a highly versatile architect whose range includes both the traditional work of an architect (annex to the Suure-Jaani Upper Secondary School, conversion of the Lasva water tower, Eduard Tubin monument in Tartu, and design of the central square in Rakvere) and the broader awareness-building of architecture (exhibitions, holding lectures, seminars and workshops, and writing articles).

When it comes to Veronika Valk’s projects in 2012, it must be pointed out that she co-authored the exhibit of the Estonian pavilion at the international Venice Architecture Biennale.

The panel specifically highlighted the fact that Veronika Valk brought guest lecturers and renowned international architects to Estonia for the 2012 lecture series at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and expressed its hope that the travel prize would help her to nurture her contacts and collaboration network.

“When we recall the Award recipients to date, their creative work is confirmation to me of an important observation: in Estonia, one can also do great things in the early stages of one’s creative journey, and one need not toil for decades to be able to come to the fore. This an advantage for us and for you. This is the advantage of a small nation,” remarked President Ilves as he addressed the architects, adding that the projects of previous recipients, just like those of this year’s nominees, have been original and bold – giving hope to Estonia.

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