A Review of the Winners at the World Architecture Festival (part 2) Print
Saturday, 07 November 2009 05:43

vignette_d01We continue the listing of the winners at the World Architecture Festival that happened earlier this week. If you haven't done so, check out the first article about these awards here.

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Future projects residential

Mero Beach Project, Dominica



The jury were especially impressed with the way in which BURO II and the design team were able to persuade their client to reduce the scale of this project from 45,000 sqm, firstly to 25,000sqm, and finally to just 15,000sqm. With this scaling down they also reduced the amount of disturbance to the sensitive natural habitat, almost completely eliminating the need to excavate into the coastline. The architects even took this issue to its full conclusion, showing how the site could be returned to nature with the seismic spine walls being the only permanent built element to remain. Each residential unit offered flexibility for use as multiple single rooms, or full-scale family residences.

The jury encouraged the architect to consider enlivening the final expression to take on board local vernacular traditions that used more vibrant colour. Now that the scheme has significantly reduced in scale, the desire to fully camouflage the scheme is less important.

The jury also made recommendation for two highly commended schemes that we in close contention. Isay Weinfeld’s 360 degree Building demonstrated an inventive use of elevated external courtyards that formed front gardens to each residential unit. The plans also showed flexibility with a wide range of unit types. The second highly commended scheme was Stephen Davy and Peter Smith Architect’s Digby Road social housing scheme. The building was highly individual despite being procured for social housing purposes, with a wide range of flat types. The form of the building was also noteworthy, reworking a terrace with a distorted roof form that served to negotiate a difficult triangular site, while rising into a tower to create a landmark near the adjacent train station.
More on the project


Future projects cultural

Spanish pavilion for 2010 Expo Shanghai

by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

Projects presented in this category included performing arts projects, interpretation centres, private and public art galleries, and even a municipal wedding centre for a district of Istanbul. The winner of this category is Miralles Tagliabue Embt for the Spanish Pavilion for the 2010 Shanghai Expo. The jury was impressed by its beauty and elegance, its poetic and alluring quality. The project employs woven wicker screens on a complexly curved steel frame to create a building with a distinct identity.

The basketwork techniques from which it is derived have particular cultural resonance in both Spain and China, but are familiar everywhere. The design of the project entailed research into the application of the hand craft techniques of wicker and basket-weaving so that they could be employed at architectural scale, and the jury noted the particular attention given to building fabrication in the development of the design.

Four other projects were particularly interesting: Freedom Park, phase 2, in Pretoria, South Africa (GAPP Architects / Urban Designers; Mashabane Rose Associates; MMA Architects); the Hoki Collection, Japan (Nikken Sekkei Ltd); PNF Head Office, Cape Verde (OTO + Jorge Graça Costa Architect); and the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York (Foster + Partners). In each of these projects, the architects had responded to specificities of brief or site with particular incisiveness.


Future projects commercial

Statoil Hydro office, Norway

by a-lab

The Jury looked at 15 projects which ranged from hotels to shopping malls, offices, and a football stadium with all stations in between, writes David Dunster. As varied as the projects were the architects - from large international offices to smaller much younger emerging ones. One theme that came across very strongly was the power of the client.

Few architects seemed to argue with their clients´ aspirations which, surprise surprise, demanded iconicity for little cash. There was also a disappointing line that ran something like ´we responded to the client´s brief´ spoken while the judges were looking at mock Zaha. And now to the positives. Fancy skins are in this year, bendy towers are the new black. And the most positive aspect was that in some countries open competitions are won by young firms. This was exemplified by a short tower in the Po valley of magical simplicity, maybe a little too in love with the bar code aesthetic. Or by a cylindrical cog at the hub of a university, each presented with commendable brevity and even wit.

However the cheekiest scheme and the one we chose as the winner was a jenga or Mikado office building for a utility company in Norway. We were unanimous in finding this scheme clean, clear and straightforward from a younger office with balls. We wish them the best of luck in the final judging, and we know we picked the best one.


Future projects health

Al Jalila Children´s Speciality Hospital, UAE

by Studio Altieri Spa

The children’s hospital shows openness on several floors as well as in the relation of the courtyards and the surrounding landscape, so providing a sense of community within the building.

The interior is a colourful environment, suitable for children. The huge building has an inviting character due to the separated volumes. Compact planning describes the connection between units.


Future projects infrastructure

thinking beyond the station

by RVDG Arquitectura and urbanism

This is a comprehensive and ambitious contribution to the development of the Mexican city of Aquacalientes.

The mass transport system will minimise the use of cars and allow structured planning and development of the city, adding attractiveness through modern means of transport.


Future projects landscape

London Green Grid

by Design for London

Driven by the planning for the Olympics 2012 and by the London Mayor´s openness to environmental issues, the East London Green Grid is a political instrument as well as a development plan for the partially neglected Eastern parts of London.

The plan is integrative, allowing different environmental opportunities that can lead to architectural and landscape architectural solutions. The vision is to create a network of interlinked, multi-purpose open spaces with connections to the places where people live. The East London Green Grid is a highly commendable initiative.



Adaptation palettes: Regenerative Landscape Design

by Turenscape (Beijing Turen Design Institute) Turenscape, China


This regenerative landscape design for the huge and densely populated Chinese city of Tianjin is a good example of the reuse of a contaminated derelict urban site with former mixed use. It has been cleaned up with a system of dry and wet ponds and a varity of different plant species and vegetation units, making it possible to control the pH balance and to clean the soil and the water. This regenerative system is designed as a contemporary park-landscape, open to the public, providing sceneries of wilderness and natural vegetation.

The design of the park is not dominated by striking features, but adapted to the natural setting. Wooden platforms and passageways allow access into the park. The spectacular element is not the design, but the intelligent use of waste material to organize a natural cleansing system. The vegetation needs no maintenance. The natural processes are monitored by scientific programmes.

The judges also commended the Maggie´s Centre in London, with landscape design by Dan Pearson studio.This place convinces by the subtle merging of architecture and landscape. The garden fulfills several tasks: it forms the entree to a health institution, it is an inviting element as well as a therapeutical garden, thus combining sensual qualities such as smell and colour. A variety of species shows the change in the seasons, above all through blossom and flowers. The garden screens the building of from the city, forming a haven in the harsh urban context. This projects shows design with plants at its best.



Berry sports hall

by Allen Jack + Cottier

The jury examined a number of very impressive projects in the Sport category, eventually settling on Allen Jack + Cottier’s Berry Sports Hall in Australia as the winner.

This project honed structure in order to be able to direct some of the modest budget towards material innovation. The result is an expressive and creative building that remains nonetheless responsible towards its users and the environment. Several other contenders in this category deserved special commendation, with the submissions from Croatia making a strong impact for delivering striking designs under tight

The ticket booth and its steps give new life to the existing square and statue of Father Duffy, so that they become a usable and vibrant venue in the heart of the big apple.


Production energy and recycling

Bodegas Protos winery


by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

In the production energy and recycling category, the jury declared the Bodegas Protos winery by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners the winner.

This project handsomely deals with the programme requirements both aesthetically and with regards to the winery’s production needs.

At the same time it makes a strong social link to the nearby town through its sensitive alignment and its modern use of traditional materials, such as the terracotta roof with its glulam



Cages for Macaws

by Batlle & Roig Architects




Batlle & Roig Architects’ Cages For Macaws in The Palm Grove of the Barcelona Zoo was given the award in the display category.

The solution to the problem of housing the macaws on a temporary basis devised by this firm was deemed not only especially appropriate, but also innovative and poetic.

Drawing its inspiration from traditional birdcage forms, this solution meets the macaws’ opposing needs for social interaction and dark seclusion through innovative use of tubular frames, wood and screening.

The effect is heightened by their disposition as ´a village of cages´. Interestingly, this was one of two impressive aviary projects that were shortlisted in this categor



Bras Basah Mass Rapid Transit Station, Singapore


The diversity of the transport category was interesting; from heavy built urban spaces/structures to whimsical, artistic pedestrian bridges that were structural feats in themselves. One aspect which links the shortlisted projects is the understanding of structure and the structural feats in each presentation. Structure was integrated in the designs and exploited in creative ways - from predominant forms, to having no actual form to structural forms encapsulating architecture.

The winning architect, WOHA from Singapore, easily took the prize because of its sensitive approach towards the project in not actually creating a built structure. Instead it gave precedence to the surrounding, historically important, colonial structures, creating a piazza-like urban space to the station underneath. The handling of the station underneath is as poetic and functional in its design approach, especially the filtration of light through a basin of water.



Teleton Tampico


by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos

Projects shortlisted in the health category varied from huge to small scales, intimate to commercial hospitals. Some were the typical hospital designs where as others were dedicated to disabled children, with one specifically for cancer patients.

The winning scheme hit hard with its direct approach towards its end user. Teleton Tampico is a facility designed for disabled children. The project is rooted to its context since it’s strongly influenced by the Mexican culture, making strong use of the vocabulary of vernacular Mexican architecture.

Mexican toys appear in various parts of the building as design elements. The building is part of the therapy, as the children interact with and react to it. It is intriguing with its colorful impacts, and playful and geometrical design which addresses the issues of these special kids in all sorts of ways to which they can easily relate. It is a facility which instantly embraces the children and makes them feel at home.



Future projects experimental

Mobile Performance Studio

by dRMM

With very different kinds of projects in this category, the winner we selected was the Mobile Performance Venue, submitted by Various Architects office. This is a project that uses an inflatable skin to create a striking image for temporary events. It is designed straightforward in application and there is a well-defined demand.

The jury also recommended the Timber Stadium designed by dRMM, not specifically because we wanted to see a wooden stage, but because it reminds us of the need to think of new types of applications for this material – and about everything from the ecological point of view.


Future projects masterplanning

Our city - our urban spaces

by Entasis

With 12 high quality works, the category was won by the project ´Our City - our urban spaces´, from the office Entasis. This is a work of revitalization of the Carlsberg manufacturing area in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The proposal shows an original approach to preserving old spaces while creating an urban plan, tying in the road network of the city with the area of the former factory. The resulting empty spaces gain new use and new spatiality, but keep the scale of the traditional city block.

The plan includes the construction of towers to create a landmark district - citing as an example San Gimignano - and several architects from around the world have been invited to make new outstanding buildings.

The jury also commended the Grangegorman Masterplan for the centre of Dublin, Ireland, by North American office Moore Ruble Yudell Architects.


Future projects competition entries

Szentendre Cemetery, Hungary

by A4 Studio

Several projects of planning scale in new cities arround the world, specially in eastern countries, were submitted in this category. Some were too superficial and focused on iconic elements. A couple of proposals – an office and apartment building in Teheran, Iran, for example, and the Tianjin Historical Museum, China - tried unsuccessfully to incorporate local elements to define contemporary buildings, Two metropolitan parks for Chinese new cities complete the selection.

The winner, working in the well-known tradition of cemeteries such as those by Asplund and Scarpa, was the Szentendre Cemetery in Hungary. The architects used references including Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Wagner to create a sympathetic environment for visitors and for those wishing to say goodbye to loved ones.

Everything is done to create an atmosphere of consolation with allusive architectonical elements, like paths, trees and topography, producing a landscape for meditation. Death is a solemn subject, but the project suggest ways to make it an experience related to the earth.A border of 30 meters surrounds the new cemetery, and a ceremonial path ritualises the walk from the entrance to the ceremonial roofed area.


Text courtesy of v2com

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 March 2010 09:48