WAF 2011 Built Projects – Category Winners

WAF 2011 Built Projects – Category Winners

The winning designs in 16 of the “completed project” Categories at the World Architecture Festival awards have been announced.

The winners were selected from over 700 entries from 66 countries around the world and will now go forward to compete for the overall prize of World Building of the Year 2011,

Winning projects included a waste treatment facility in Barcelona that is integrated into its surroundings, a speed skating stadium in Inzell, Germany and a church converted from an old metal workshop in the USA.

A ‘super-jury’ of influential architectural and urban designers, led by distinguished urban design specialist Michael Sorkin, will deliberate today in Barcelona, on the overall winner. One of the buildings shown above will shorlty be crowned “World Building of the Year, 2011”

Full details on each of the WAF 2011  “Category Winners” are listed below.


World House of the Year: Small House, Sydney, Australia, Domenic Alvaro, Australia

The ultra-compact vertical house is located in an urban setting and features an outdoor room on the top floor. It was designed by Alvaro not only to be his own home, but also to test a development model for downtown urban living as an alternative to the ubiquitous luxury apartment.

Small house is an ultra-compact concrete vertical house that adds to the urban fabric of inner city Surry Hills in Sydney. The site is so small it can fit into the garage of your typical sprawling suburban home (7mx6m). The philosophy of small house proposes to build upwards rather than outwards, by assigning multiple uses to single spaces, with flexibility for change in the future.

It is a house designed for myself and partner Sue “+ 1”.

With flexibility for change a single space can be subdivided into multiple zones:
• Ground floor: utility/store/bicycle/parking
• First floor: sleeping/bathing, storage,
• Second floor: living (with optional additional zone for sleeping)
• Third floor: food prep/eating/entertainment
• Roof: a ‘working’ roof garden terrace (the circulation space enables a small study on the roof space, and the panel sliding doors open to enable the roof to become the 5th room of the house- albeit an outdoor room and herb, flower garden with over-scaled fig tree; thus creating a canopy effect )

The above program is all connected by a series of pre-fabricated stairs – these draw air out through each level via roof-top sliding doors, maximizing vertical cross-ventilation. The large sliding windows maximise daylight, ventilation and frame city views; whilst the solidity ensures privacy from surrounding commercial buildings and good thermal mass. A services riser connecting each level enables the reticulation of all services and additional storage.

With an eco-conscious spirit in mind (and relatively modest budget), innovation was required for the construction, based upon a model of pre-fabrication. The two basic ideas were a structure with no columns to make effective use of the limited land area, and to achieve a final result which erased the sense of individual panels – in effect to make the building feel monolithic.

The collaboration and integration of all specialist engineers and consultants fuelled the project to existence. The philosophy was to preplan the entire project so that as many components could be pre-made in the factory. The structure, built entirely from high quality precast concrete (including floors), was fabricated off-site, and erected on site over a four day period. Wall and floor panels, cast in provisions for stairs, balustrades, windows, light fittings, and the like produced off-site, minimised on-site construction time and disturbance to the surrounding neighbourhood. Low-E comfort plus glazing, also reduces the reliance on mechanical air-conditioning.

Small house investigates a new typology in the current urban living space, whilst still reflecting a contemporary lifestyle full of diversity and creativity; all for the cost of a city apartment. Locally, Small House has created a sense of safety and amenity in its immediate precinct and has completed the streetscape. Today, Small House, its architecture and sense of place, is appreciated by onlookers forming part of the Sydney City Architecture Walking routes.

As the sizes of cities continue to sprawl endlessly, Small House proposes an affordable way to live in the inner city and most importantly avoids the need to cope with the grueling commute.

Domenic Alvaro
Woods Bagot

World Transport Building of the Year: Kurilpa Bridge, Brisbane, Australia, Cox Architecture/ Cox Rayner Architectects, Australia

Kurilpa Bridge provides a new pedestrian and cycle connection across Brisbane’s river but also forms a new public space, as well as a symbol for art, science, technology and healthy living.

Kurilpa Bridge is the world’s largest structure to be based upon the principles of ‘tensegrity’, the term coined by Richard Buckminster Fuller to describe a system of balanced compressive and tensile forces.

The architecture that this structure has generated has transformed Brisbane’s self-image, and its tourism identity, to that of a city of walking and cycling.

The strategy behind the exploration of tensegrity began at the national competition stage. It was during this stage that our architecture and engineering team recognised that conventional structures would not satisfy critical brief requirements – to span over Brisbane’s Riverside Expressway and to minimise impact on a park significant to indigenous people on the other side. Tensegrity minimised the deck thickness, thereby minimising ramp length down on that side, and it created a deceptively strong structure to span the expressway without change of system. The structure also spans the 120 metres of required navigational channel, while maintaining the scale of a pedestrian bridge.

A further source of inspiration for the tensegrity structure was the fact that its major contemporary exponent is an artist, the American sculptor Kenneth Snelson. The Kurilpa Bridge links the Brisbane CBD to the city’s Arts precinct, and it is frequently cited as the symbol of Brisbane’s focus upon linking art, science and engineering.

This relationship inspired the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art to site its newly acquired installation “We are shipwrecked and landlocked” by Scottish artist Martin Boyce on the entrance path to the bridge. The installation and the bridge, one an artwork and the other an architectural structure, both contain reference to the notion of a ‘collapsed landscape’, reinforcing the synergy between art and architecture.

Kurilpa Bridge is also experienced as a new piece of urban space within which are smaller urban spaces, and beyond which are other new urban spaces that the bridge has spawned. Although the bridge is in itself 360 metres long, it now connects approximately 1.5 kilometres of continuous pathway from South Brisbane, through the Arts precinct, across the river into the CBD, through a new Queensland justice precinct and city open space, known as Roma Street Parkland. This corridor is the largest unimpeded pedestrian and cycle way in Brisbane City Centre.

It is often said that people will create metaphors for unfamiliar structures; Kurilpa Brisbane has been no exception. Its nautical references are relatively obvious, however it has also been considered analogous to the spokes of bicycle helmets which Brisbane cyclists wear to deter diving birds, to an upside down spider, and even to a dance frozen in time. These metaphors illustrate the extent to which the public imagination has been sparked by the bridge design.

Resolution of the bridge entailed Arup in extensive computer and physical modelling from Australia to New York and London. The modelling information was transmitted back to Brisbane where continuous adjustments were made to refine angles of members, junctions, the deck edges and the canopy which acts in pure tensegrity throughout the length of the bridge. Solar photovoltaics along the canopy roof generate all of the power required for lighting the bridge including LED lighting that changes its colour and is synchronised for major events.

Kurilpa Bridge plays a significant role in the lives of Brisbane’s aboriginal people as it is sited (coincidentally) at the point on the river where the ancestors were able to cross the Brisbane River between the northern to southern lands. The two most relevant tribes – the Turrbal and Jagera – were continuously consulted on the bridge design, this process gaining significant endorsement.

Kurilpa Bridge is also the culmination of our twenty year collaboration between Cox Rayner Architects and Arup, our mutual knowledge and respect enabling conceptualisation beyond our individual thought processes.

Cox Architecture

World Holiday Building of the Year: Raas, Jodhpur, India, The Lotus Praxis Initiative, India

A luxury boutique hotel in the old city of Johhpur, which features 17th and 18th century period structures that have been restored using traditional crafts and materials, to provide visitors with a sensual contemporary experience.

Set in the heart of the walled city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, RAAS is a 1.5-acre property uniquely located at the base of the Mehrangarh Fort. The brief was to create a luxury boutique hotel with 39 rooms in the context of the Old city quarter of Jodhpur.

The property was inherited with three decrepit period structures (17th-18th century) set in a large courtyard.
The central idea was to make old buildings and the expanse of the courtyard the anchors for the Raas experience. The new buildings are placed into the site to serve as framing elements and as contemporary counterpoints to the site and the fort.

The old buildings have been painstakingly restored with traditional craftsmen in the original materials such as lime mortar and Jodhpur sandstone. Since the footprint of these buildings was very small it was decided that these would be best used as shared spaces to be enjoyed by all the guests, such as the pool, dining areas, a spa, open lounge areas These old buildings also house 3 heritage suites.

The balance 36 rooms are housed in contemporary buildings that become framing elements to the site and strongly respond to the context. Age-old materials and skills are manifested as a contemporary and understated graphic form derived from multiple functional and programmatic parameters. These new buildings are inserted into the site in a manner that they accentuate the spatial and formal relationship among the old buildings and the Fort, creating a dialogue between the old and the new.

Inspired by the age-old double skinned structures of the region, (the traditional stone latticed jharokha form of Rajasthani architecture – which perform multiple functions of passive cooling and offering privacy to the user) these buildings act as lanterns framing the site. The drama of the stone jaali (lattice) is heightened by the fact that these panels can be folded away by each guest to reveal uninterrupted views of the fort, or can be closed for privacy and to keep the harsh Jodhpur sun out.

Luxury is infused into the project through authenticity both in terms of materials and workmanship.

The Lotus Praxis Initiative

World Villa of the Year: InBetween House, Nagano, Japan, Koji Tsutsui & Associates, Japan

Surrounded by Japanese larch trees in a mountainous region of Karuizawa, Japan, this 178sqm house sits on an artificially levelled area of the site created thirty years ago and left unused. The client chose a sloped site surrounded by Japanese larch trees in a mountainous region of Karuizawa, Japan, (an hour commute away from Tokyo on a bullet train) as the ideal location for their home. Since the client wanted a house that seamlessly blends into the natural surrounding, topography and local culture, we designed this house as a cluster of small mountain cottages.

It consists of five single pitched roof cottages that are clad in the local larch wood siding. Rather than using a complex construction technology, it is built in a traditional Japanese wood construction method so that local builders can skillfully craft each structural wood member. Each cottage varies in size to fit its function and set on site at 30 degree increments to best fit the topography and to face unique views. All cottage roofs have varying slopes and overhangs that touch the adjacent overhangs, creating gap spaces between these cottages, a simulacrum of alleys in a city. The triangular “connecting” roofs span between these overhangs to capture these gap spaces as a single fluid public interior space, which serves as a living room or circulation and feels like being outside looking at mountains in the distance. Since these connecting roofs bend & fold to connect the cottages at multiple angles & heights, the in-between space result in a spatial & structural warpage.

The design intent of this house is not the final architectural form, but rather, establishing a set of design rules of cottage placements and connections, which allows the house to be freely arranged to satisfy any requirements and adoptable to any future changes or additions, prolonging its building life.

For sustainability, this house uses a modern technology for heating and a traditional method for cooling. During winter time in Karuizawa, the temperature drops to -15ºC, and to heat the house, electric radiant heat panels are installed right beneath the concrete floor slab, which generates heat during nighttime and shuts off during daytime while the clients are away for their work. This heating system is highly efficient since it uses soil beneath the foundation to retain heat and takes advantage of Japan’s lower electricity cost at off-peak hours. During summer time, natural ventilation, enabled by operable windows located at each end of the in-between space and in each cottage, allows continuous air movement to cool the interior space.

Koji Tsutsui & Associates

World Civic and Community Building of the Year: Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, USA, Marlon Blackwell Architect.

Saint Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church is the result of a transformation of an existing metal shop building into a sanctuary and fellowship hall in anticipation of a larger adjacent sanctuary on the same site. The simple original structure is enveloped by a new skin, obscuring and refining the original gabled form. Although a small structure, its bold form makes it visible and recognizable from the interstate (I-540) which passes nearby.

For the interior, the vertical surfaces are considered neutral with limited articulation, but the horizontal surfaces are expressive, revealing priorities and hierarchies. In the fellowship hall, the original concrete slab and the roof structure of the metal shop building are exposed, revealing the origins of the building.

As one passes through the narthex, the ceiling gradually descends above a floor of rift-cut white oak, compressing the visitor before passing under the skylit tower that marks the entry to the sanctuary. The white oak floor continues into the worship space, while a dome hovers above the parishioners.

At the East end, the ceiling is carved away to allow for a 30 foot wide transom of translucent glass which bathes the sanctuary in soft light for Sunday morning services.

The iconostasis – the screen wall between the sanctuary and the altar area – is the one vertical surface that is articulated in great detail, featuring hand-painted, gilded icons, representative of the separation of heaven and earth.

The southern wall of the sanctuary opens to accommodate additional visitors at holiday services.

Marlon Blackwell Architect
United States of America

World Office Building of the Year: Media-ICT, Barcelona, Spain, Cloud 9, Spain

The project was commissioned by The Consortium of the Zona Franca CZFB and @22Barcelona, an experimental district in the city. The architects were extremely interested in the digital city model based on information, communication and technology, with the idea of a city where what matters is knowledge, added value and patents.

The Industrial Revolution and now the Digital Revolution. Today, in the information age, architecture is a technology platform that consists of computer system connections and new materials.

22@ is an experimental district with a powerful, distributed and accessible, energy load. Part of the Districlima network, where new business values are intangible.

We were extremely interested in this digital city model based on ICT (information and communication technology), with the idea of a city where what matters is knowledge, added value and patents, in short, where the objective is for your architecture to be in sync with your own values.

The building volume forms a cube of 44m x 44m x 37.82m high; the site is 3,572.45 m2 in which the basement occupies the entire area, while above ground the occupation is 54.20%.

In total, the Media-TIC has 16,000 m2 above ground and two floors below ground (7100 m2) with capacity for 200 parking spaces.

The building is divided so that the upper floors (from eighth to fourth) are rented for big companies, the second and third floor have small spaces for emergent companies and the first floor with the Cibernariun and an auditorium offers a course program oppen to all the city residents.

The ground floor does not have pillars; public space invades the building with 36m x 40m of free space.

The lobby of the building can host exhibitions, workshops, events…

Our construction is built from the top and moves downwards, becoming transparent, anti-gravitational, and almost liquid at the bottom.

Thus, its impact on the street is minimal, about 8% mass with respect to the 1500 m2 floor surface area.

Unlike most of the buildings, which consume huge amounts of energy, the Media-TIC is designed to be a great generator and optimizes energy use.

Thanks to the energy simulation of the building the demands of heat and cold are adjusted accordingly minimizing the dimensioning of installations.

The façade, made of inflatable ETFE cushions oriented south, act as a variable sunscreen, opening in winter to gain solar energy, and closing in summer to protect and shade. In the south west façade, Nitrogen based fog is introduced in the cushions, that by increasing its particles greater opacity is produced, thereby protecting users.

Both the façades and offices have been equipped with multiple temperature sensors, humidity or pressure that collect exterior information to adjust the interior conditions.

Media-ICT targets and achieves:

1-20% CO2 reduction due to the use of District Cooling, clean energy.
2-10% CO2 reduction due to the photovoltaic roof.
3-55% CO2 reduction due to the dynamic ETFE sun filters.
4-10% CO2 reduction due to energy efficiency related to smart sensors.
Total 95% CO2 reduction, the Media-ICT is a NET building almost a net zero building.

Cloud 9

World Learning Building of the Year: Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge, UK, Stanton Williams, UK

The Sainsbury Laboratory is an 11,000 sq.m. plant science research centre set in the University of Cambridge’s Botanic Garden, and brings together world-leading scientists in a working environment of the highest quality. The design reconciles complex scientific requirements with the need for a piece of architecture that also responds to its landscape setting.

It provides a collegial, stimulating environment for innovative research and collaboration. The building is situated within the private, ‘working’ part of the Garden, and houses research laboratories and their associated support areas. It also contains the University’s Herbarium, meeting rooms, an auditorium, social spaces, and upgraded ancillary areas for Botanic Garden staff, plus a new public café. The project was completed in December 2010.

Cambridge University Botanic Garden was conceived in 1831 by Charles Darwin’s guide and mentor, Professor Henslow, as a working research tool in which the diversity of plant species would be systematically ordered and catalogued. The Sainsbury Laboratory develops Henslow’s agenda in seeking to advance understanding of how this diversity comes about. Its design was therefore shaped by the intention that the Laboratory’s architecture would express its integral relationship with the Garden beyond.

The building as a whole is rooted in its setting. There are two storeys visible above ground and a further subterranean level, partly in order to ensure efficient environmental control, but also to reduce the height of the building. The overall effect is strongly horizontal as a result. Solidity is implied by the use of bands of limestone and exposed insitu concrete, recalling geological strata and indeed the Darwinian idea of evolution over time as well as the permanence which one might expect of a major research centre. At the same time, however, permeability and connections – both real and visual – between the building and the Garden have been central to its conception.

The building’s identity is established externally by the way in which it is expressed and experienced as a series of interlinked yet distinct volumes of differing height grouped around three sides of a central courtyard, the fourth side of which is made up of trees planted by Henslow in the nineteenth century. The internal circulation and communal areas focus upon this central court, opening into it at ground level and onto a raised terrace above in order to provide immediate physical connections between the Laboratory and its surroundings.

Related to the conception of the building in terms of its landscape setting is the way that its internal areas are connected by a continuous route which recalls Darwin’s ‘thinking path’, a way to reconcile nature and thought through the activity of walking. Here the ‘thinking path’ functions as a space for reflection and debate.

Stanton Williams


World Sport Building of the Year: Speedskating Stadium Inzell – Max Aicher Arena, Inzell, Germany, Projektarbeitsgemeinschaft Behnisch Architekten Pohl Architekten, Germany

The Bavarian town of Inzell hosted the World Single Distant Speed Skating Championships 2011. To create the world-class competition conditions required for this event, the existing outdoor speed-skating track was upgraded through the construction of a high-performance intelligent roof structure. This improved arena can accommodate up to 7,000 spectators and offers maximum flexibility for large scale world class competitions as well as regular seasonal speed-skating training. Intelligent roof free of interior columns, built over pre-existing speed-skating track, which allows athletes and spectators continuous panoramic views over the Bavarian Alps.

The 200 meter long and 90 meter wide arena was planned as an independent wide-span structure, free of interior columns. The athletes and spectators can enjoy panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps through the continuous glass facade which stands as a transparent band between the cloud-like roof and the concrete grandstands that flow into the landscape. At the same time, passers-by can look into the stadium interior and catch a glimpse of daily activities.

The roof itself embodies a precisely designed interior climate concept that ensures optimalized energetic, economic, and sustainable operation of the ice track on a daily basis. On the underside the roof is fitted with a “Low-E” membrane stretched between the lower cords of the ten-meter high timber and steel trusses. The function of this engineered fabric is to reflect the ice’s own cold thermal radiation back onto the speed track, thus maintaining the low temperature of the ice surface. Simultaneously, this membrane maximises quantity of diffuse daylight that streams into the stadium through the roofs seventeen large north-facing skylights.

A number of existing support buildings were also upgraded in order to integrate them into the arena’s overall concept of optimum energetic performance. They accommodate offices for the stadium director and the training staff, as well as workshops and spaces for the ice maintenance equipment. The major technical plants and extensive changing rooms are discretely located below the entrance concourse at the level of the ice field.

Behnisch Architekten

World New & Old Building of the Year: Puzzle Piece, Canary Islands, Spain, Romera y Ruiz Arquitectos, Spain

A cover for a patio in a nursery school for children to protect their play area from sun and rain, allowing all-weather play. The cover is shaped like a puzzle piece with gaps allowing light in.

At the patio of the Infant School ´La Herradura´ a new organic landscape grows agaisnt the rigid tipology of the original building, opposed and superimposed. The bright colours and soft shadows gently fill the newly covered patio, turning it into a living landscape. In a similar intent to Villa Mairea the supports vanish and the satinated treatment of the enclosing walls captures the luminous reflections, helping to fragment an impressionist reality formed by spots of colours.

The patio, thus, becomes a scenario for representation, a limitless scenario adequate to the magic of the infant games. Whilst glympes of the outside trees can be seen from the patio, the new roof cover has been permissive only with them and with the clouds, the rest erased from the canvas. – Juan Luis Trillo de Leyva, Professor at the Seville School of Architecture –

The brief demanded a cover solution for the existing patio that would generate naturally ventilated shadowed areas and protection from the sun and rain for the infant games. On plan, the organic form encloses the exterior envelope of the direct routes between classes, dining-room and main access. The result is this sort of puzzle piece that inserts itselft into the old, subtle dialogue by barely touching it, almost floating like a cloud, light flooding the existing walls. Despite the poured 60m³ of reinforced concrete the cover appears light and airy, with a changing slab section of 20cm-30cm.

The cover is suspended from the existing roof structure minimising the number of pillars. The metallic circular pillars of dimension 114mm x 5,4mm, are coloured like a small forest, dissappearing agaisnt the enclosing walls. The roof slab is suspended from the existing roof structural beams with bolted metallic HEB120 profiles.

The cover changes the character of the space, the result achieves an expressive and unitary vision of the object, allowing to control the solar radiation, light, rainwater and providing intimacy and scale for the infants.

Romera y Ruiz Arquitectos
Las Palmas de GC

World Culture Building of the Year: Shima Kitchen, Tonosyotyo, Japan, Architects Atelier RYO ABE, Japan

Shima Kitchen was a renovation project to create a venue for arts and dinning from an old vacant house in a village on Teshima, a rural island in the Seto Inland Sea of Western Japan. An arts centre and restaurant situated on a rural island in Western Japan. The building features an awning made of charred timber shingles, which are tied loosely to the main frame of the building to create an illusion of shimmering feathers in the wind.

Around this old house were vacant lands where several other buildings had been demolished a long time ago. An old warehouse and two persimmon trees remained. We changed the house into an open style kitchen, refitted the warehouse as an art gallery, and extended a sunshade awning around the trees to create an outdoor theatre.

The theatre was based on a traditional NOH style, with its stage (butai), veranda (hashikake),
and gallery (sajiki), but was designed to adapt to various kinds of event programs such as live music, modern performance art, and community festivals.

The awning is made of charred timber shingles which are traditionally used as siding on the houses. The shingles were tied loosely to a frame and would flutter slightly in the wind to evoke bird feathers.

The structure is created with simple materials that can easily be found even on this isolated island.

34 mm steel water pipes were used as the main columns and main beams, 27 mm steel water pipes as the sub-beams, and D10 steel rods as the grid frame of the awning. We also employed a very light foundation
system with spiral steel flat bar piles.

The form of the awning was conceived to flow contiguously from the existing house with its outer edges lower than the neighboring houses. In this way the roof fits harmoniously into the surrounding landscape of the village, without disturbing the serene atmosphere.

Working with existing structures, traditional methods, and simple materials, we created an intimate village gathering place that creates a pleasant feeling of being under the shade of trees.

Architects Atelier Ryo Abe
Shibuya Shibuya-ku Tokyo

World Landscape Project of the Year: A Mother River Recovered – The Sanlihe Greenway, Qian’an City, China, Turenscape, China

Transformation of a former garbage dump and sewage drainage facility into a ecological landscape and habitat for native biodiversity, integrating pedestrian and cycle paths for recreation and commuting uses. The Qian’an Sanlihe Greenway stands as an example of how a neglected landscape can be recovered as an ecological infrastructure and everyday landscape with restored ecosystem capacity in providing multiple services, including mediating flood and drought, providing habitats for native biodiversity, integrating pedestrian and bicycle paths for commuting and recreational uses, creating spiritual and aesthetic benefits, and catalyzing urban development.

The greenway stretches 13.4 km in length and varies 100-300m in width across the city of Qian’an.

It covers approximately 135 hectares and benefits a population of approximately 700,000. Qian’an City is located at the south foot of the Yanshan Mountain, at the bank of Luan River, in the northeast of Hebei Province.

Although the main city lies near the Luan River to the west, one cannot see the water since Qian’an’s topography is situated below the riverbed with its high embankment blocking the river view.

The river is notorious for its unpredictable flooding, and has thus been kept outside of the city for decades through this high embankment. Meanwhile, as the life source of Qian’an, Sanlihe River has shouldered the long history of the city and carried the collective memory of the inhabitants.

Before 1973, the Sanlihe River had crystal clear water from the groundwater recharge of Luan River, which ensured that the temperature of the city stayed cool in summer and warm enough to never ice up in winter. Although frequented by storms and heavy rain, Sanlihe River never experienced disasters of drought and flood in its history, which also provides rich water resources for nearby industries and agriculture, as legendary records witness: “reeds flourish, trees shade, and birds inhabit”.

However, since the 1970s, the river has been badly polluted by sewage and waste which has resulted from the territory’s continuous industrial development and urban population growth. As a consequence, with the depletion of regional water sources, the Sanlihe River became subsequently dried up and its channel blocked by solid waste. The life source of the city became festered with sores of urbanism, and the hearts and souls of local residents long for its spiritual landscape reincarnation.

The landscape architect was commissioned to recover this mother river.

The scope of job included sewage management (the redesign of sewage pipes that had previously discharged directly into the river with a passive natural infiltration system), as well as ecological restoration and the urban design along the greenway (although this submission only focuses on the planning and design of the greenway itself)

Through only three years of design and construction, this project has transformed this seriously polluted landscape back to its previous splendor as a scenic urban ecological corridor.

The mother river has been recovered and the legendary tale narrated by the grandmothers once again rings true: as a place “where reeds and lotus flourish and water abundant with fish and soft-shelled turtles”.


World Production, Energy, & Recycling Building of the Year: Waste Treatment Facility, Barcelona, Spain, Batlle & Roig Architects, Spain

The Waste Treatment Facility (CTRV, in Spanish) is located on a hillside overlooking the Coll Cardús massif in the municipality of Vacarisses, in the district of the Vallès Occidental. This facility consists of two large treatments at different levels, under one roof, which aims to integrate with the land.

This site is currently taken up by a controlled waste landfill site nearing its capacity limit. This fact has caused its managing body to consider regulating the closure of the facility and to study possible future uses for the area. The choice of the location of the CTRV has also taken into account different criteria of logistical and economic suitability, as well as the minimization of the environmental impact resulting from the installation and operation of waste management-related activities.

The activity of the landfill site has led to unfriendly topographical alterations and modifications in the natural environment. For this reason, we decided to establish the facilities in those areas where the activity of the landfill had already damaged the natural environment. Despite the size of the plant facilities, it is intended to achieve the highest landscape integration with the environment. In order to achieve this goal, we pursue a high topographical adaptation, where the impact from roofs and facades is minimized by the subsequent landscape restoration.

The project involves the construction of two large treatment areas under a large roof. These areas, separated by a driveway, are different in height and they sit at different levels. That is the reason why the roof changes its geometry according to the programs and dimensions of each precinct.

The roof will cover a variety of requirements: forced air vents, skylights, etc., and they will blend together by the use of a graphic structure that may be transformed into a landscape roof.

The different circles contain earth, gravel, and native groundcovers and shrubs. Over time, they will balance the impact of the facility without resorting to camouflage or mimicry.

Batlle & Roig Architects
Esplugues de LLobregat


World Shopping Building of the Year: Decameron, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Studio MK27, Brazil

The showroom of the Decameron furniture store is located on a rented site in the furniture commercial alley in São Paulo. To make the quick and economic construction viable, the architect, worked with the premise of a light occupation combined with industrial elements, which could easily be assembled.

The space was constructed through a mixed solution, with maritime transport containers and a specifically designed structure. Despite the spatial limitation imposed by the pre-determined dimension of the containers, the piece has impressive structural attributes that makes piling them possible. Two stories of containers form tunnels where products are displayed side by side.

The ample span, necessary to show furniture in relation with each other, is constructed by a metallic structure. This space is closed, in front and in back, by double-height metal casements with alveolar polycarbonate. At the back of the lot, there is a patio filled with trees and a pebbled-ground. When both doors are simultaneously opened, the whole store becomes integrated with its urban context. At rush stressful hours, by opening only the back doors, the store becomes self-absorbed, ruled by the presence of the inner-garden.

On the back of the site is the office, closed by a glass wall that enables the designers to take part on the sales life. Two edges of the design process in contact through the inner patio as other opposing strengths also meet at this small project: The intensity of the urban life and a small nature retreat, the power of the containers and the lightness of the metallic structure and finally, the linearity of the tunnels and the cubic volume.

Studio MK27
São Paulo


World Display Building of the Year: Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion, Hjerkinn, Norway, Snøhetta, Norway

The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion is located at Hjerkinn on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park, ( overlooking the Snøhetta mountain massif) which rises 1200 metres above sea level and is home to Europe’s last wild reindeer herds and is the natural habitat for many rare plants and animals. The 90m² building, which features a rigid outer shell and an organic inner core is open to the public and serves as an observation pavilion for the Wild Reindeer Foundation educational programmes.

Dovrefjell is a mountain range that forms a barrier between the norther and southern parts of Norway. It is home to Europe’s last wild reindeer herds and is the natural habitat for many rare plants and animals. Among the unique wildlife at Dovrefjell, the Musk Oxen herds are probably the main attractions for visitors. A long history filled with travellers, hunting traditions, mining, and military activities has left its mark on this land. In addition to the natural and cultural landscape, the Dovre mountain range also holds significant importance in the Norwegian consciousness. National legends, myths, poetry (Ibsen), music (Grieg), and pilgrimages celebrate the mystic and eternal qualities of this powerful place. The founding fathers of the Norwegian constitution are ”agreed and faithful, until the fall of Dovre!”

This unique natural, cultural and mythical landscape has formed the basis of the architectural idea. The building design is based on a rigid outer shell and an organic inner core. Reminiscent of rock or ice eroded by wind and running water, the south facing exterior wall and the interior create a protected and warm gathering place, while still preserving the visitor’s view of the spectacular natural panorama.

Considerable emphasis is put on the quality and durability of the materials to withstand the harsh climate. The rectangular frame is made in raw steel resembling the iron ore found in the local bedrock. Over time the rusted colour blends with the natural colours in the sourrounding mountains.

The simple form and use of natural materials reference local building traditions.
However, advanced technologies have been utilized both in the design and the fabrication process. Using 3D computer models to drive the milling machines, Norwegian shipbuilders in Hardangerfjord have created the organic forms from 10 inch square pine beams. The wood was then assembled in a traditional way using only wood pegs as fasteners. The exterior wall was then treated with pine tar while the interior wood has been oiled.

The pavilion is a robust yet nuanced building that gives visitors an opportunity to reflect and contemplate this vast and rich landscape.



World Health Building of the Year: Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal, Arnhem, Netherlands, Architectenbureau Koen van Velsen, Netherlands

In the undulating forest landscape around Arnhem in the eastern part of the Netherlands, revalidation centre ‘Groot Klimmendaal’ can be found standing as a quiet deer in between trees. From a small footprint, the building gradually fans out towards the top and cantilevers out over the surrounding terrain. The care concept is based on the idea that a positive and stimulating environment increases the well-being of patients and has a beneficial effect on their revalidation process. The design ambition was not to create a centre with the appearance of a health building but a building as a part of its surroundings and the community.

Despite its size, the brown-golden anodised aluminium facade allows the nearly 14.000sqm building to blend in with its natural surroundings. Full height glazing along the central space connecting the various different internal elements of the building ensures an almost seamless continuity between interior and exterior. The meandering facade in the restaurant results in a building in between trees and invites the forest inside the building. The surrounding nature has a strong visual and tangible presence everywhere in the building; it allows the user to revalidate whilst walking.

‘Groot Klimmendaal’ is part of a masterplan also designed by Koen van Velsen. The masterplan envisages the area, largely built upon by one and two-storey buildings, to be gradually transformed into a public park landscape.

The arrangement of the programme is clear. Below are offices, above are the clinical area’s and on the roof a Ronald McDonald House with its own identity. The double-height ground floor at entrance level facilitates the special elements of the programme such as a sports facility, fitness, swimming pool, restaurant and theatre. Not only patients but also family members and members of the local community (schools, theatre groups etc) use these facilities on a regular basis. As a result, both patient and building are placed at the centre of the community.

The care concept is based on the idea that a positive and stimulating environment increases the well-being of patients and has a beneficial effect on their revalidation process. The design ambition was not to create a centre with the appearance of a health building but a building as a part of its surroundings and the community.

Revalidation centre ‘Groot Klimmendaal’ radiates self-confidence and self-control. The welcoming and open environment offers a natural habitat for care but at the same time allows plenty of opportunity for other activities. The building is the result of an intensive collaboration between architect Koen van Velsen and the users of the building. For example, a shallow timber staircase runs the full internal height of the building and is typical for the new integral way of working. It facilitates a direct route between the different floors but also enables a variety of alternative routes roaming the building and thus forms an invitation to undertake physical exercise.

A combination of large and small voids and light wells ensure a spatial connection between different levels and allow natural daylight deep in the heart of the 30metres wide building. Interplay of striking but subtle colours and direct and indirect (artificial) lighting enlivens the interior.

The use of energy is amongst others reduced by the compact design of the building and the design of the mechanical and electrical installations. Most notably the thermal storage (heat and cold storage) contributes to the reduction of energy consumption. The choice of selecting sustainable building materials and materials requiring little maintenance for floor finishes, ceilings and facade cladding result in a building which can be easily maintained and with a long lifespan. The building has been custom made for its users but the design offers at the same time opportunities for different ways of using the building and the inevitable transformations of different departments within the client’s organization.

Revalidation centre “Groot Klimmendaal’ is a coming together of both complexity and simplicity with attention for physical, practical and social details. Transparency, continuity, layering, diversity, the play of light and shadow and the experience of nature are all ingredients of this stimulating environment.

Architectenbureau Koen van Velsen BV


World Housing Building of the Year: 8 House, Copenhagen, Denmark, Bjarke Ingels Group, Denmark

With spectacular views towards the Copenhagen Canal and over Kalvebod Fælled’s protected open spaces, 8 House will not only be offering residences to people in all of life’s stages as well as office spaces to the city’s business and trade – it will also serve as a house that allows people to cycle all the way from the ground floor to the top, moving alongside townhouses with gardens winding through an urban perimeter block.

With spectacular views towards the Copenhagen Canal and over Kalvebod Fælled’s protected, open spaces, 8 House will not only be offering residences to people in all of life’s stages as well as office spaces to the city’s business and trade – it will also serve as a house that allows people to bike all the way from the ground floor to the top, moving alongside townhouses with gardens winding through an urban perimeter block.

8 House is where you will find the attention to detail embedded in a larger context. Here, closeness thrives in the 60,000 m2 building. This is where the tranquillity of suburban life goes hand in hand with the energy of a big city, where business and housing co-exist. 8 House is where common areas and facilities merge with personal life, and where you can reach for the stars at the top of the building’s green areas.

The building’s housing program offers three kinds of accommodation: apartments of varied sizes, penthouses and townhouses. With a mix of suburban tranquillity and urban energy, the townhouse and its open housing is ideal for the modern family, while singles and couples may find the apartments more attractive. And for those who live life to the fullest, the penthouses function as a playground with fantastic views over the canal and Southern Copenhagen. The different housing typologies are united by the exterior dimensions which provide inspiration for adventures, inspiring communities.

Partly inspired by classic townhouses as well as the open, democratic nature of functionalistic architecture. The architects have designed a long, coherent house with immense differences in height, creating a strong inflow of light and a unique local community with small gardens and pathways that channel your thoughts into mountains in Southern Europe and memories of a childhood home.

The bow-shaped building creates two distinct spaces, separated by the centre of the bow which hosts the communal facilities of 500 m2. At the very same spot, the building is penetrated by a 9 meter wide passage that connects the two surrounding city spaces: the park area to the west and the channel area to the east. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building – for both habitation and trades – into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally.

The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial programme unfolds at the base of the building. As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the office leases merge with life on the street.

8 House’ 50,000 m2 accommodates 540 residential units. The base consists of 10,000 m2 businesses, spread out at street level alongside the surrounding main streets, and at the Northern court yard that houses an office building. 8 House is partly for rent housing and partly residential property varying from 65 to 144 m2.

Two sloping green roofs totaling 1,700 m2 are strategically placed to reduce the urban heat island effect as well as providing the visual identity to the project and tying it back to the adjacent farmlands towards the south; 8 house is literally hoisted up in the Northeast corner and pushed down at the Southwest corner, allowing light and air to enter the southern courtyard – optimizing the daylight and natural heating for all inhabitants and users of the building and providing natural ventilation.

Bjarke Ingels Group

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