The winners of 2013 Urban Living Awards, a joint effort between the Senate Department of Urban Development and the Deutsche Wohnen AG, have been announced.
The competition aims to inspire architects to improve the quality of urban life through design, while also stimulating urban cooperation. Though it was only founded in 2010, it has already become one of the most respected competitions in the world. Indeed, the 240 contributions in 2013 hailed from over 20 European countries – a huge expansion from previous years.
Read more for the winners…
A distinguished panel including Regula Luscher (Director of Urban Development in the German Senate Department), Winy Maas (MVRDV) and Martin Rein-Cano (TOPOTEK 1) recognised winners and nominees in three categories: built (permanent structures), temporary (installation architecture), and living (sustainable living structures). These projects have made significant cultural contributions in redefining the community, while fitting seamlessly into the existing neighbourhood. First prize laureates, in a first for the competition, received €3000 prize money, courtesy of Deutsche Wonen.
Building, First Prize: Lecture Halls for the Universite de Liege, Daniel Dethier_Dethier
This project converted a disused cinema complex into a university teaching facility, breathing new life into a formerly stagnant neighbourhood.
Building, Nominee: Keret House, Jakub Szczesny
Originally intended as an installation, the Keret House occupies the alley space between two homes, making it the narrowest house in the world (it’s only 122cm at its widest point). It’s become quite the point of interest for locals, who supported the endeavour from the beginning.
Building, Nominee: Offene Metallwerkstatt, phalt Architekten AG
This small structure sits on the banks of the Limmat and Sihl Rivers in Zurich and serves as a metal workshop for teenagers and young adults. The workshop has served as a catalyst for the nieghbourhood’s revitalisation – one that’s been needed for over two decades.
Building, Nominee: Metropol Parasol, J.Mayer H. Architekten
The Metropol Parasol is the remarkable new landmark for Seville, occupying a square in the historic city centre and rising above an archaeological dig site. The pavilion has converted a somewhat disused old area into a contemporary urban centre and links the commercial, residential and civic spaces of Seville.
Temporary, First Prize: Test Site Rotterdam, ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles)
The financial crisis brought the development of Rotterdam city centre to a complete standstill. This proposal resumes the city’s evolution, connecting the various zones and nodes with the city along a continuous wooden bridge. This bridge would also serves as a pedestrian passage, and would reinvigorate the city on a human scale.
Temporary, Nominee: BMW Guggenheim Lab, Atelier Bow-Wow, MAGMA Architecture
The BMW Guggenheim is a mobile lab whose purpose is to inspire debate on city life. It’s already proven successful, having played host to rousing discussions from New York to Berlin.
Temporary, Nominee: Sommerwerkstatt Wiesenburg, Students at TU Berlin, Donatella Fioretti, Marc Benjamin Drewes, Simon Mahringer, Christoph Rokitta
The Wiesenberg Summer Workshop, which took place in a former homeless shelter, was a festival for students and residents in Berlin’s district of Wedding. This project, led by Donatella Fioretti as part of the architecture curriculum of the Technische Universtat of Berlin, gave first year students the opportunity to design and build their first semi-permanent structure while giving back to the community.
Temporary, Nominee: Steel City SOUND SYSTEM Movement, Students at the University of Art and Design Linz, Lukas Feireiss
SOUND SYSTEM is a multi-purpose sound litter, which is carried through Linz to spur spontaneous concerts across the city. As part of the Linz University of Art and Design, this project aimed to inspire creative performance and make people question our existing cultural borders.
Temporary, Nominee: The Missing Link Jacket, Eli Elysee
During high-traffic commuter times, finding a handhold on buses or subways can be difficult. The Missing Link jacket is a working prototype that would allow commuters to hold onto each other when there’s no space left. It inspires questions of privacy - and whether we’re willing to sacrifice our personal space in favour of comfort.
Living, First Prize: VinziRast – mittendrin, gaupenraub +/-
This multipurpose space in Vienna, serves as a school, home and office for local city-dwellers. Open for public use, the project (despite its potentially provocative intent) met almost no resistance and was realised in only three years.
Living, Nominee: Siedlung Buchheimer Weg, ASTOC Architects and Planners
Following the demolition of a disused linear residential estate in Berlin, architects saw the opportunity to provide the community with a more socially-friendly housing option. The bends and breaks in the housing structures make for larger and more fluid social spaces for residents and visitors. An overarching colour concept (each unique to each building) ties the structures together while giving them each a distinct personality.
Living, Nominee: Lormont, Habiter Autrement
The unique shape of each apartment prevents the blocking of views in the residentially dense city of Lormont. Large open windows along the west side provide expansive views to the river, while terraces provide each apartment with individual exterior space.
Living, Nominee: haus H, NAGELIARCHITEKTEN
The highly variable floor plans in haus H give residents the opportunity to individualize an otherwise rigorously planned space. The apartment complex, named for its sectional shape, concentrates living spaces along the north and south sides of the building, thus gathering service spaces in a central core.
Living, Nominee: R50, ifau und Jesko Fezer, HEIDE & VON BECKERATH
The design of R50 was a joint venture between the architects and residents of the building, in an effort to create an efficient and sustainable shared living space. Prefabricated flexible wooden facades add to the sustainability of the structure.