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The 14 Stories Behind the 2015 Building of the Year Award Winners

With our annual Building of the Year Awards, over 30,000 readers narrowed down over 3,000 projects, selecting just 14 as the best examples of architecture that ArchDaily has published in the past year. The results have been celebrated and widely shared, of course, usually in the form of images of each project. But what is often forgotten in this flurry of image sharing is that every one of these 14 projects has a backstory of significance which adds to our understanding of their architectural quality.

Some of these projects are intelligent responses to pressing social issues, others are twists on a well-established typology. Others still are simply supreme examples of architectural dexterity. In order that we don't forget the tremendous amount of effort that goes into creating each of these architectural masterpieces, continue reading after the break for the 14 stories that defined this year's Building of the Year Awards.

Winners of the 2015 Building of the Year Awards

After two weeks of nominations and voting, we are pleased to present the winners of the 2015 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards. As a peer-based, crowdsourced architecture award, the results shown here represent the collective intelligence of 31,000 architects, filtering the best architecture from over 3,000 projects featured on ArchDaily during the past year.

The winning buildings represent a diverse group of architects, from Pritzker Prize winners such as Álvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and Shigeru Ban, to up-and-coming practices such as EFFEKT and Building which have so far been less widely covered by the media. In many cases their designs may be the most visually striking, but each also approaches its context and program in a unique way to solve social, environmental or economic challenges in communities around the world. By publishing them on ArchDaily, these buildings have helped us to impart inspiration and knowledge to architects around the world, furthering our mission. So to everyone who participated by either nominating or voting for a shortlisted project, thank you for being a part of this amazing process, where the voices of architects from all over the world unite to form one strong, intelligent, forward-thinking message.

Elkiær+ Ebbeskov and Leth & Gori Win Competition for Multifunctional Sports Centre

Danish architects Elkiær + Ebbeskov (E+E) and Leth & Gori have won an invited competition to design a large multifunctional sports building in Langvang, Denmark. Competing against teams led by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, CEBRA, COBE and Kontur, their winning proposal features a combined sports hall and community centre consisting of a series of multifunctional arenas for activities and events. The scheme also includes a masterplan of the surrounding area centered around sports and recreation.

Denmark’s Sport Fishing Association Headquarters & Activity Center Proposal / CEBRA

CEBRA has gained the support of The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sport Facilities (LOA) for the realization of a new home for Denmark’s Sport Fishing Association in Vingsted, Denmark. The 5,489 sq.ft. project will accommodate the association’s administration as well as an activity center for sports fishermen and other visitors to the beautiful surroundings in the Vejle brook valley. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Skidome Denmark / CEBRA

 Our friends from CEBRA just shared the news of their next endeavor for designing a skidome in Randers, Denmark.  Serving as more than a series of complex slopes for those to enjoy, the project will become the largest skidome in the world.  When viewed in isolation, the massing’s gentle curves and minimalistic exterior treatment read as a subtle strategy to incorporate the slopes; yet, only when seen at the city scale does the project’s 1,000,000+ sqf  (including a hotel, restaurant and shops) allow the viewer to understand the project’s potential urban presence. More after the break. 

Bulowsvej / CEBRA

© CEBRA
© CEBRA

Our friends from CEBRA shared the latest on their newest education building.  After being awarded first prize for their proposal, CEBRA has created a school organized by three bands that respond to functional needs of the building.  These bands are manifested in a visual manner throughout the school, providing a recognizable way-finder for the children and flexibility for the school’s functions and pedagogical principles. More after the break. 

Update: Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard

We love seeing a project through fruition, and after being introduced to the collaborative vision of the Iceberg for Arhus, Denmark, we were anxiously awaiting its construction.  As we have previously shared, the Iceberg, or “Isbjerget” in Danish, was designed as an iconic waterfront marker to invigorate the harbor front’s transformation from a sole industrial entity to a residential and commercial hub.   Construction is swiftly progressing on the four building block, and earlier this week, the team enjoyed the project’s “topping out” ceremony. More about the Iceberg after the break.

Pulse Park / CEBRA

Zen Zone © CEBRA
Zen Zone © CEBRA

Architect: CEBRA Client: KildebjergRy, Skanderborg Municipality Location: Ry, Denmark Project Year: 2011-2012 Size: 24.057 ft² CEBRA’s latest landscape project situated in Kildebjerg Ry near Arhus, Denmark, is a bit out of the ordinary.  Moving beyond providing flora, walkways and simple playground amenities, the Pulse Park will feature three distinct activity zones that will provide a place for fitness, meditation and play to benefit the residential and business areas nearby.  These zones create an activating framework for physical activities and exercise while forming an integrated part of the surrounding landscape. More about the park after the break. 

Experimentarium Science Center / CEBRA

North-East View © CEBRA
North-East View © CEBRA

Architect: CEBRA Location: Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup, DK Client: Experimentarium Area: Approximately 30.000 m2 modernization and extension Program: Center for Natural Science and Technology Competition Year: 2011 Completion Year: 2015 After placing first in the design competition to transform an old mineral water bottling plant into a Science Center, CEBRA will move forward with the adapted proposal upon receipt of a substantial donation from the The A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation.     The  original building will be restored to serve as an interactive national center for science, technology and culture and house the Experimentarium’s diverse exhibition and education activities for the neighboring communities.  CEBRA’s solution of layering a new expression on the historic entity brings science to the forefront while acknowledging contextual cues that create links back to its surroundings. More about the project after the break.

CEBRA wins Day Care Center

Our friends from CEBRA will team with Tækker and Grassat to design the Prinsesse Charlottes Gade 42 day care and after-school center in Copenhagen.   The project will convert two existing preservation-worthy buildings from 1875 into a day care center complete with outdoor areas for approximately 225 children. CEBRA has a strong portfolio of educational design  - some of our favorites include the  Youth Recreation & Culture Center designed with Dorte Mandrup; Design KindergartenEgmont High School and the Kristiansand Cathedral School Gimle - so we are looking forward to what this design process will bring about.   As the project unfolds, we will keep you informed with the latest.    

Student Housing Proposal / CEBRA

Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of CEBRA

In cooperation with engineers LB Consult, CEBRA recently won the competition for 48 new student housing units in Esbjerg, Denmark’s 5th largest city. The eye-catching proposal consists of 26,910 sq. ft. apartments spread across ten floors and outdoor areas with terraces and activity zones such as a street basket field. The project is commissioned by the housing association Ungdomsbo and they expect that the first students can move in in January 2014. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Adult Education Center / CEBRA

© CEBRA
© CEBRA

Danish firm, CEBRA, was recently awarded first prize for their new education center in Odense.  The building explores how curved forms can penetrate and define the rectilinear confines of the 134,550 sqf school building. Soft curving levels open to floors below and provide a mixing of visual and auditory experiences in a dynamically changing environment. Moreover, such levels provide a flexible learning environment, with “the human-being placed at the center.” More about the project after the break, including CEBRA’s awesome hand renderings.

Adult Education Centre / CEBRA

Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of CEBRA

Danish architects CEBRA, along with developers Pihl & Søn and engineers Hundsbæk & Henriksen recenlty won the competition for a new Adult Education Centre of in downtown Odense, Denmarks’s third largest city. The 12.500 m2 / 134.550 ft2 educational institution aims at creating a flexible and diverse learning environment that gives room for individual needs in a collective building. According to the plans, the centre will open at the beginning of 2014. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Video: Mikkel Frost on the Troldtekt Award 2012

Here’s a video on Mikkel Frost from Cebra presenting the Troldtekt Award 2012. More info on the award can be found here.

New Church of Vaaler Proposal / CEBRA

Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of CEBRA

The design proposal by CEBRA for the New Church of Vaaler is based on the most widespread symbol for the Christian church: the cross. Located in the south eastern part of Norway, it is a strong visual symbol, which beautifully combines the horizontal with the vertical in its simplicity – and in its meaning the worldly with the heavenly. In the same way, the cross also represents the church’s fundamental function. More images and architects’ description after the break.

ArchDaily + CEBRA Giveaway, announcing the winners

Our Cebra book giveaway contest is over! Thank you all for participating, and kudos to all Cebra fans and architectural conoisseurs among you! We got some really interesting entries – so be ready for more events like this one, coming soon. The two lucky winners are Mike Delvalle and John Putre. Congratulations, you just got a new something for the library!

Information Portal / CEBRA

© CEBRA
© CEBRA

Our friends from CEBRA have shared their new Information Center for Rebild Hills and Rold Forest, a winning competition entry in collaboration with HP BygViggo Madsen and exhibition architect Elisabeth Topsøe.  Situated in the amazing nature reserves of Denmark’s Rebild Hills and Rold Forest in northern Jutland, the project was conceptualized as an open and accommodating buiding that serves as a gathering place to inform, guide and inspire the 400,000+ visitors who are guided through the forests each year.  “We have created an information portal, which is both building and nature, with a distinctive expression and character deriving directly from Nature’s own formal language and elements, which makes the building stand out from its surroundings and blend in with nature’s scenery at one and the same time,” explained CEBRA. More about the project, including lots of CEBRA’s awesome hand drawings, after the break.

Giveaway: Win a signed copy of "Cebra Files 02"

Our friends from Cebra gave us two signed copies of their book ‘Cebra Files 02‘ for us to organize a small giveaway between our readers! All you need to do is tell us which are your 3 favorite projects from Cebra (check them all here) and a small explanation of why do you like them.