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CEBRA Wins Competition to Design Smart School in Russia

Denmark-based architects CEBRA have won a competition to design a Smart School educational complex in Irkutsk, Russia. Their winning design, dubbed Smart School Meadow, fulfills the competition’s call for a new typology of school that combines architecture and landscaping into a learning environment and local community center.

The design integrates buildings and landscape together through a ring of individual structures connected by a large, ridged rooftop. With this roof, spaces between the buildings can be used as multifunctional, semi-covered learning spaces, activity zones, and flow areas, all of which diffuse into the central and outer landscaped areas.

Courtesy of CEBRA architecture Courtesy of CEBRA architecture Courtesy of CEBRA architecture Courtesy of CEBRA architecture

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.

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


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.

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.

Cebra Files 02

We recently received a monograph of Cebra’s work. This young firm is energetic, pushes the boundaries, goes after competitions, and has been successful in pushing many projects into reality. We are fan their work and have featured Cebra 16 separate times here on archdaily. Additionally, David Basulto, co-founder of ArchDaily, has become good friends with Mikkel Frost through an email correspondence  interview that took place over the 4 months. The interview is prominently featured in the introduction of the book and makes for an interesting read.

In Progress: Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard

We’ve been covering CEBRA +  JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard’s geometric harbor project for Arhus, Denmark.  The huge project, which measures over 21,000 sqm, will include mixed dwellings types and commercial space.  CEBRA has shared a few short video clips with us, highlighting the progress of the project.  This featured clip is shot from the bridge connecting the future harbor promenade across the nearby canal. The grey concrete wall shown is the beginning of the southern facade (the actual floor is on top of the wall) and behind the wall is where the parking is situated.

Another video, as well as a few construction photos, after the break.

UDK Holstebro / CEBRA

Courtesy of CEBRA
Courtesy of CEBRA

Denmark-based CEBRA shared with us their winning proposal for a competition to design an office building in Holstebro. More images and architect’s description after the break.

Kloden, Egmont High School / CEBRA

Our friends from CEBRA shared their recently awarded Sports Center design with us.  The 3.5 m2 extension will incorporate handicap friendly solutions within a sports facility, as almost 50 % of the students attending Egmont High School experience some form of disability whether it be that they are blind, mentally challenged or an amputee.  Entitled Kolden, the Danish world for ‘the globe’, the project reflects the fact the everyone is welcomed in the facility.

More images, great diagrams and information about the project after the break.

In Progress: Design Kindergarten / CEBRA

CEBRA has been designing several buildings for young users, (we recently featured their 1st-3rd grade building) and their new Design Kindergarten attempts to break preconceived notions of “what a school should look like” as a way to pique children’s curiosity and creativity.  Still in progress, the daycare center’s organization is based around different “themes” that focus of specific activities -in this case art, design and architecture.   This is somewhat new to the Danish model of daycare, as the building will turn into more of an educational preschool facility where knowledge is acquired, not though a formal lesson, but rather through play.  In addition to the architectural strategy of redefining a daycare center, the client/architect relation is something to be noted.  The parents participated in the design process in a very active way, offering ideas and criticism to push the project forward.

More images, videos and lots of diagrams after the break.

The School at Bülowsvej / CEBRA

CEBRA is working on an extension to the School at Bülowsvej in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. The extension is a new, solitary building housing kids from 1st to 3rd grade.

More images and architect’s description after the break.

In Progress: Iglo / CEBRA

Structure  © CEBRA
Structure © CEBRA

Our friends from CEBRA, with the The Danish Foundation For Culture And Sports Facilities, are developing a series of “igloos” for sports and culture in Denmark.

The concept is to create a multi an unheated use dome, for sports and cultural acts as you can see on the sketches below. The dome covers a 1,650sqm area on one single space subdivided by smaller pieces. The main structure that allows this single space consists on large laminated wood beams as you can see on the images. Over this structure, a series of sheets cover the space leaving space for ventilation.

Model 1  © CEBRA
Model 1 © CEBRA

This dome is being built in Hundige (Greve municipality), and it will be replicated in other danish cities.

Stay tuned for a CEBRA surprise later this afternoon.

More images after the break: