The Media Architecture ‘Oscars’ were recently awarded for the first time at an internationally well attended ceremony in Aarhus, Denmark on November 16. Common features of the six awarded projects, which are very different winning projects, are their ability to integrate media and architecture – and the profound impact on their urban surroundings. More images and descriptions of the winning projects after the break.
A Korean shopping mall façade using optical illusions. A sparkling, Austrian art museum with beautiful ‘responsive skin’. A German office building acting like a telephone-controlled computer game. A Finnish silo with thousands of little lights that change pattern and appearance, when weather changes. At the ceremony, Awards Chair Dr. Gernot Tscherteu underscored that having these new awards is not only important to the nominated projects, but to the entire field of media architecture: “When you have to rank projects, like we have done in the jury, you suddenly need to outline a set of quality standards. This is actually a very important process for a new field like this; for the first time we have reached some common conclusions regarding what is good quality media architecture,” he said.
Good quality media architecture, Dr. Tscherteu explains, is when the media surface successfully corresponds with the building itself to form a unity; when media and architecture merge into one. This was e.g. the case with the winner in the category spatial media arts, the Finnish project SILO 468: “The Finnish winner project SILO 468 was a very pleasant surprise. It is an art project built where a new city area is constructed, and as such has a very important role in city development.” Not only the Finnish winners but also the people behind the impressive winning projects from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Korea had traveled the long way to Denmark’s second largest city to receive their awards.
Winners and Categories Winner Animated Architecture: Kunsthaus Graz – BIX, Graz Austria “The Graz building as a responsive skin of some sort was always in our mind – the ‘realities’ boys made it reality – with sparkle. What more could you ask for?” Peter Cook; Architect, London, GB Winner Business and Money Architecture: Galleria Centercity, Seoul, South Korea Galleria Centercity marks the entrance to a new development area in Cheonan, South Korea and will play a major role in the new urban development. The strategy for the building enclosure consists of creating an optical illusion. When seen from a distance the visuals on the large canvas are sharp and recognizable, whereas from within the direct vicinity these appear dissolved and cause the building to glow.
Winner Participatory Architecture: Blinkenlights, Berlin, Germany Celebrating its 20th anniversary the Chaos Computer Club has made a special present to itself and the city of Berlin. From September 12th, 2001 to February 23rd, 2002, the famous “Haus des Lehrers” (teacher’s house) office building at Berlin Alexanderplatz has been enhanced to become the world’s biggest interactive computer display. Winner Spatial Media Art: Silo 468 Kruunuvuorenranta, Helsinki, Finland The art piece converts a disused oil silo into a wondrous light display and a civic space. Public will gain access to the vast interior of the 35m diameter 16 meter tall steel silo which will be dark red inside. Sunlight will fill the space with dappled shadows creating a spectacular daytime space. At night 1280 white LED´s flicker and sway on the surface of the silo controlled by a bespoke software mimicking swarms of birds in flight – a reference to silo´s seaside location.
Winner Future Trends and Prototypes: Lotus Dome, Lille, France and LivingSculpture, Berlin, Germany Lotus Dome is a living dome made out of hundreds of ultra-light responsive aluminum flowers. When approached, the big silver dome lights up and opens its flowers. Its behavior moves from soft breathing to a more dynamic mood when more people interact. The light slowly follows people, creating an interactive play of light and shadow. The graphic representations of the lotus flower on the walls and the deep bass sound transform the Renaissance environment into a ‘Techno-Church’. Kinetic installation with 864 OLEDS – LivingSculpture was created by WHITEvoid as a kinetic centre piece for the PHILIPS trade fair stand at the Light+Building trade fair 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany. The installation is composed of 24 movable triangular aluminium frames carrying 864 ultra thin glass OLEDs (organic light emitting diodes) altogether. The 36 OLEDs on each of the 24 triangular bases form a larger triangle and the final form is created by superimposed triangles. For more information on the awards, please visit here.