contractworld.award 2009

17.01.2009: 9th International Architecture Prize for Innovative Interior Design Concepts Project descriptions and jury appraisals Prize-winners in the category "Offices / Administration buildings"

9th International Architecture Prize for Innovative Interior Design Concepts
 

Project descriptions and jury appraisals

 

Prize-winners in the category "Offices / Administration buildings"
Office buildings, administration buildings, e.g. for banks, insurance companies, government departments and local authorities, conference and congress centres, studios, workplaces large and small. (168 Entries)

Best of Category


Prize-winner: junya.ishigami+associates, Tokyo/Japan

Project: The Kanagawa Institute of Technology, Kanagawa/Japan
This building is a project space for students on the campus of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in a suburb of Tokyo. Through the use of a vast number of slim vertical columns in an apparently random, computer-generated configuration and the dissolution of anything resembling a solid wall, the architects have created an airy space flooded with natural daylight that offers enormous flexibility of use. The large areas of glass that bound the space establish a permanent sense of connection with the surrounding outdoors.

The jury's verdict: "Using relatively little in the way of materials, the architects have constructed an image of multiple meanings, whose minimalist vocabulary nonetheless succeeds in creating a subtle and poetic architectural work of art."

2nd Prize


Prize-winner: Splitterwerk, Graz/Austria

Project: Frog Queen, Graz/Austria
The building known as "Frog Queen" houses several engineering offices and an attached test facility for an engineering firm based in Graz. The basic geometric shape of the structure is a cuboid. As the visitor approaches the building, the black and white outer skin reveals itself as an ornamental motif viewed at an increasingly large resolution. The interior opens up into an atrium brightly lit by natural daylight. The architects have played here on the dynamic relationship between indoors and outdoors. In the office areas large numbers of individual windows appear to frame the views of the surrounding district. These window views combine with large-format photographs of country scenes on the walls to create a kind of ornamental picture installation.

The jury's verdict: "The systematic implementation of the pixel theme displays a confident sense of identity and self-awareness."

3rd Prize

Prize-winner: hiendl schineis architektenpartnerschaft, Augsburg /Germany

Project: werk + denklabor pauker, Friedberg/Germany
Located in the middle of an industrial estate near Augsburg, the "werk + denklabor pauker" is the headquarters of a young engineering office. The building is constructed of steel, glass and European silver fir. A pleated construction of weatherproof steel forms the structural skeleton and simultaneously serves as a striking three-dimensional sculpture. Contrasting with the dark steel members are the large, bronze-tinted areas of glass that form much of the building's outer skin, and the large areas of pale wood - the European silver fir already referred to - used for the floors, ceilings and selected walls.

The jury's verdict: "The clear arrangement of spaces, long sight lines, the intelligent and simple construction and a sparing but disciplined use of materials have created interiors that encourage the occupants to blossom and develop their potential."

 

Prize-winners in the category "Hotels / Spas / Catering facilities"
Hotels, guesthouses, spas and wellness suites, restaurants, cafés, bistros, bars, lounges, clubs, casinos, canteens. (115 Entries)


Best of Category


Prize-winner: Hitoshi Abe & Atelier Hitoshi Abe, Sendai-City /Japan

Project: Aoba-tei Restaurant, Sendai-City/Japan
Aoba-tei is a French restaurant in the Japanese city of Sendai. The two floors of the building are linked by an illuminated blue staircase. The space is dominated by the flowing, back-lit steel cladding to the walls and ceilings. Cut into the surface of the steel are thousands of tiny holes, which form abstract images of the zelkova trees that are such a familiar sight in the city.

The jury's verdict: "The design impressed the jury with its spatial quality and the innovation of the construction. By using a figurative image rendered through pixellated abstraction, the architects have succeeded in combining cutting-edge technology with Japanese cultural heritage."

2nd Prize

Prize-winner: J. MAYER H. Architekten, Berlin/Germany

Project: Moltke Student Dining Hall, Karlsruhe/Germany
The Moltke student dining hall was built to serve the needs of three university campuses in Karlsruhe. The building with its large glazed openings looks out on the universities and the life of the city. The structural shell of the building is dissolved into a series of branching struts that resemble stylized trees - echoing the nearby area of woodland. The dining hall and gallery are dominated by transverse walls rendered in the same heavily perforated style. The pale yellow paint finish used throughout and the rigorous consistency of the design concept down to the last detail combine to create a transparent, light-filled interior.

The jury's verdict: "The strong design focus on a graphically stylized surface texture has yielded a clarity of architectural vision that impressed the jury."

3rd Prize


Prize-winner: modulorbeat - ambitious urbanists and planners, Münster/Germany

Project: Kubik BLN/BCN, Berlin/Germany & Barcelona/Spain
Illuminated cubes, visual effects and electronic beats: these are the ingredients of the Kubik temporary open air clubs in Berlin and Barcelona. The dynamic space, light and sound sculpture is based on standard industrial liquid storage tanks. The incorporation of a light bulb turns the plastic tanks into giant luminaires, which can be stacked and arranged to form objects of varying size and shape. A computerized lighting system with dimmers and colour filters is synchronized with the sound system, and allows the whole installation - or individual cubes - to pulsate with multicoloured or monochrome light, faster or slower, in time with the beat of the music.

The jury's verdict: "The jury was greatly impressed by the extreme lightness, flexibility, aesthetic quality and recyclability of the project."

 

Prize-winners in the category "Shops / Showrooms / Exhibition stands"
Shop concepts, stores, showrooms and sales floors, exhibition stands, shopping centres, malls. (188 Entries)


Best of Category

Prize-winner: Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, Paris/France

Project: C42, Citröen Flagship Showroom, Paris/France
The new Citröen Flagship Showroom is located on the same spot as the 1920s company headquarters, designed by André Citröen himself. The architect has created a bold new building that successfully expresses the distinctive design of the brand in architectural terms. A notable and eye-catching feature is the filigree façade, which consists of overlapping glass pyramids reminiscent of Japanese origami techniques. The only use of colour comes in the form of red accents, used prominently in the façade of the building and selectively in the interior. Here the cars are displayed on a series of stacked, circular pads, filling out the sculptural fabric of the building.

The jury's verdict: "Here the architect has succeeded in integrating the essence of Citröen's distinctive chevron logo into a unique glass façade executed as a 3-dimensional folded surface. The result takes brand design to a new level of elegance, subtlety and energy."

2nd Prize

Prize-winner: Merkx + Girod Architects, Amsterdam/Netherlands

Project: Bookstore Selexyz Dominicanen, Maastricht/Netherlands
A new use has been found for a historic Dominican church in Maastricht that dates from the 13th century. The renovated church now houses a bookstore. While there is an omnipresent sense of the building's previous history, the unusual concept is strong enough to stand up on its own in this environment. A towering, three-storey bookstack forms a contrast with the religious architecture of the interior and extends the full height of the walls to just below the ancient ceiling paintings. The lighting is modelled on contemporary church lighting systems. A café has been opened up in the choir of the church, furnished with large, cruciform tables that echo the ecclesiastical theme once again.

The jury's verdict: "The concept is notable for its sensitive, highly distinctive and assured treatment of this historic religious building."

3rd Prize

Prize-winner: RCR Arquitectes, Olot/Spain

Project: Hammershøi in the Light of Dreyer, Barcelona/Spain
For the exhibition of the Danish artists Hammershøi and Dreyer, which took place at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Barcelona, an exhibition design based on a "space-within-a-space" concept was evolved. A labyrinthine sequence of spaces with small, intimate rooms leads the visitor through the artworks of the two Danish artists, which depict their initial contact and their developing relationship as well as their collaborative work. To create the different moods required, the design team used graduated shades of grey and simulated moving images in the various spaces, together with soft textiles - rather than hard walls - to delimit each space.

The jury's verdict: "The jury was impressed by the unusual and highly individual interpretation and conception of this exhibition architecture."

 

Prize-winners in the category "Change of use / Conversion"


Conversions of buildings originally constructed for religious, cultural or public use, such as churches, monasteries/convents and railway stations, plus derelict industrial buildings which have been redesigned and structurally altered to serve a new purpose. (99 Entries)

 

Best of Category

Prize-winner: EMBAIXADA, Lisbon/Portuga
l
Project: Tomar Environmental Monitoring and Interpretation Offices (EMIO), Tomar/Portugal
This conversion of an old building came out of a government-funded project for the revival and revitalization of quiet and forgotten areas of the country. The project involved the complete gutting of the existing building. Only the outer shell was left standing, tying together the new sculptural elements that form the inner life of the building - and with no actual contact between the old exterior and the new interior. The existing shell, with its crisp whitewash finish, is sharply differentiated from the new structures created inside, which are executed throughout in grey concrete and extend up through two floors.

The jury's verdict: "Apart from the functional change of use, the conversion of the interior has delivered a fantastically exciting new spatial experience."

2nd Prize

Prize-winner: junya.ishigami+associates, Tokyo/Japan

Project: Yohji Yamamoto New York Gansevoort Street Store, New York/USA
A 1950s single-storey brick building in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan now houses the new flagship store for Yohji Yamamoto. The building has been sliced through to create new vistas and spatial relationships, generating a very special atmosphere. The original contours of the building have been retained in the form of inlays set into the floor. Recycled brickwork combined with frameless windows and the use of a pale screed floor give the interiors a very clean and minimalist feel.

The jury's verdict: "Here the architects have used an extremely intelligent intervention to reinterpret the context in a totally new way."

3rd Prize

Prize-winner: Realarchitektur - Jens Casper, Petra Petersson, Andrew Strickland, Berlin/Germany

Project: Residence and Exhibition Space for the Boros Art Collection, Berlin/Germany
Here a listed former air raid bunker has been refurbished and extended for an art collector, who also wished to live there. A clear separation has been achieved between the exhibition spaces and the domestic accommodation. Parts of the heavy concrete roof of the bunker were cut away to give access to a new rooftop apartment for the family. This approach - the removal of selected ceiling and wall elements - has been adopted throughout the building, shaping the character of the spaces we now see.  The bunker has retained much of its original charm, thanks to the retention of parts of the old ventilation system and graffiti on the - partially whitewashed or unplastered - walls. The new living areas are reached by a staircase and lift inside the old building. Floor-to-ceiling glazing not only makes the rooftop apartment very light, but also affords fantastic views over Berlin.

The jury's verdict: "The additions and changes have been executed with great sensitivity, the use of materials is restrained and understated."

 

Special award "New Generation"

For architects and interior designers aged under 40.
Category: Hotels / Spas / Catering facilities

Prize-winner: Plasma Studio, London/UK
Project: Hotel Puerta America, 4th Floor, Madrid/Spain
Puerta America is an unusual designer hotel in Madrid. Each floor has been designed by a different, internationally renowned architect. The designers of the award-winning 4th floor have used polished mirror-finish steel to construct folding and interlocking surfaces for the walls, ceilings and floors. The corridors in particular are fractured and distorted spaces that feel positively surreal. The same approach to the use of materials is continued inside the guest rooms, but the mood here is much calmer and conveys a sense of luxury without ostentation.

The jury's verdict: "The design has transformed the usual repetitive and boring sequence of hotel rooms and corridors into a spatial sculpture - a walk-in work of art."

 

Category: Shops / Showrooms / Exhibition stands


Prize-winner: ex-Studio, Barcelona/Spain

Project: Portugal Fashion Design Showroom
This mobile showroom consists of multiple arches covered with white fabric, which can be placed in line to create a continuous space. Niches are formed between the arches, where the fashion styles can be displayed. Directional white light from uplighters and downlighters adds to the sense that the showroom is an ethereal, floating space.

The jury's verdict: "The mobile showroom for Portuguese fashion designers impressed the jury with its elegance and simplicity."

 

-  Onuora Ogbukagu-

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17.01.2009 / MaP

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