After a three-day event attracting over 1,000 visitors, the 2016 ARCHMARATHON came to a close, with the presentation of its annual awards. Now in its 3rd year, the Milan-based exchange awarded projects in ten different categories, as well as an overall winner, and a “crowd award” based on voting on the event’s website. The 42 presented projects were judged by the international jury, chaired by Luca Molinari and composed of internationally famous architects and critics such as Lucy Bullivant, William Menking, Wassim Naghi, Li Brian Zhang and Elie Haddad. See all 12 awarded projects after the break.
Studio: Vector Architects
Project: Seashore Library
Jury’s motivation: “A poetic balance between architecture and nature. A human refuge from the complexity of urban life.”
About a three hour drive from Beijing, the library is located inside a vacation compound along Bohai Bay. While Beijing has been experiencing massive growth in economy and city development, many have pointed out the issue of a drop in living environment. The design key point is focused on exploring the co-existing relationship of the space boundary, the movement of the human body, the shifting light ambience, the air ventilating through and the ocean view. If we slice through the building along the north-south long axis, we can see how each space elaborates itself with ocean distinctively. And the movement and memory of human body together choreographs a series of experience.
Arts & Culture
Studio: Francisco Mangado & Asociados
Project: Fine Arts Museum of Asturias
Jury’s motivation: “This project celebrates the complexity of marrying between the existing structure and the new spaces.”
The project addresses the whole complex, including the future of the Velarde Palace and the Casa Oviedo-Portal. The project contemplates raising an altogether new building within the urban complex. That is, the sequence of existing facades around is taken as a contextual condition, and these facades take on the role of an urban ‘backdrop’, unquestioned, against which to erect a new building with a facade of its own; a facade that reveals itself, is discerned, through naked, totally frameless openings. In the exterior it will be possible to complete a large luminous construction, glazed and full of reflections that will project outward and superimpose itself on urban history, giving the new Museum a bold but complex image.
Jury’s motivation: “It represents a valuable connector within the public environment of the University Campus.”
Located in the center of three separately defined campus zones at Case Western Reserve University the new university center contains student gathering spaces, dining facilities, meeting rooms, and offices for student organizations. The new building features three wings that are designed to facilitate the convergence of students from all three zones and serve as a connection point to tie the entire campus together.
Studio: Espen Surnevik
Project: Våler Church
Jury’s motivation: “A strong architecture form and a great spiritual quality to the different spaces.”
The open international competition for Våler church is one of the largest in Norway ever, with 239 proposals from 23 countries. The competitions winner proposal was finished in spring 2015. Våler is a small village along the Glomma River. The churchyard is one of the few planned areas of the town centre, and when the old 19th Century church burned down in 2009, people felt the loss very keenly. The buildings expression was generated as a direct response to the place, and organised around a quadrant with four oriels pointing north, south, east and west, as an analogy to the old cross-church.
The main story of the liturgy has become the narrative of the church: from fire to resurrection. The new church is placed on the existing processional axis, and clad in straight board of heartwood pine, reflecting the local forest landscape. Due to climate they slowly get darker before ending up going back to nature. Every fifty years the façade-wood will be renewed and the church will resurrect as new for every new-born generation.
Studio: 00 Architecture
Project: The Foundry Social Justice Center
Jury’s motivation: “A thoughtful adaption of an old factory extended with new facilities creating an affordable and socially welcoming ensemble”.
The Foundry is a landmark new home in Vauxhall, London, for voluntary and charitable organisations from the social justice and human rights sector. Created by the transformation of an early 20th Century shoe polish factory, it provides an accessible and collaborative base for these mission driven organisations. The open ground floor and external decks at upper levels encourage the local community to utilise the new facilities in partnership with the building users to develop a sense of shared ownership and mutual understanding. Spaces were also created to encourage serendipitous encounters at the tea points, widened corridors or free meeting spaces. Also embodying principles of environmental justice, the transformed building achieves EPC A-rating and Bream Excellent. This was done within an extremely tight budget of £1050/sqm.
Hotel & Leisure
Studio: Park Associati
Project: Priceless Milan
Jury’s motivation: “A nomadic, temporary architecture which explores the unknown spaces of the city in a new way. A re-interpretation of the space for leisure”.
Priceless Milan is a temporary structure serving as a restaurant fitted out with an extremely flexible space that carefully adapts to the locations in which it is installed. Made out of a modular structure consisting of eight blocks assembled on site that are fully furnished and equipped with all the latest electrical appliances, the pavilion (150 m²), is constructed in a workshop with the distinctive feature of being easy to move around and assemble in a very short space of time.
Studio: a21 studio
Project: Saigon house
Jury’s motivation: “It is like an adventure that eliminate all cliché of a private housing. Playful and updating the traditional local housing typology”.
In Saigon, there is a story about Van Duong Phu, a masterpiece of architecture, built by Mr. Vuong Hong Sen, a culturist, an academic, and a famous collector of antiques. Moreover, he also has a deep knowledge of southern Vietnam and wrote many books about Saigon. At the end of his life, he would have liked to dedicate his house as a museum in order to prevent the antiques from being stolen and introduce Saigon culture to visitors.
Mixed Tenure Housing & Buildings
Studio: Urko Sánchez Architects
Project: SOS Children’s Village
Jury’s motivation: “A highly, sensitive interpretation of Children’s Community needs and a project which adapts well to this particular context and tradition”.
Djibouti is located in the Horn of Africa, which suffers from persistent droughts and severe scarcities. We were approached by SOS Kinderdorf to design a residential compound of 15 houses where to run their family-strengthening programmes. We learnt about SOS systems, about the community where the project would take place, their nomadic traditions and the extreme climate of the region. We searched for traditional housing references in similar cultural and climatic environments and finally decided to design a medina with certain singularities: that it is a medina for children, with plenty of open spaces and with lots of vegetation.
Retrofitting & Refurbishment
Studio: People's Architecture Office
Project: Courtyard House Plugin
Jury’s motivation: “An ingenious system that not only solves the demographic issues but also inspires the whole new community life”.
The award-winning Courtyard House Plugin is essentially a house within a house. It is a prefabricated building system for inserting modern living conditions into dilapidated courtyard houses. This alternative approach to urban renewal does not require tearing down existing structures or relocating residents. Currently, over a dozen Courtyard House Plugins have been built with more under construction.
Urban Design & Public Spaces
Studio: Knight Architects
Project: Merchant Square Bridge
Jury’s motivation: “It shows a creative relationship between Architecture, Engineering and Urban Design”.
The competition-winning design for the replacement opening footbridge at Paddington Basin spans 20m across the Grand Union Canal at the heart of the new waterside Merchant Square development. The design concept is both simple and spectacular: a 3m wide cantilevering deck is hinged at its north end and is raised using hydraulic jacks with an action similar to that of a Japanese fan. The aim was to create an elegant, innovative design that utilised proven technologies, resulting in a structure that would have a significant impact on its locality.
Studio: ZUS Architects
Project: Luchtsingel Pedestrian Bridge
Jury’s motivation: “This project uses infrastructure as a means to activate public spaces for the redevelopment of the whole community”.
The Luchtsingel threads estranged parts of the city of Rotterdam back together. The design is a long wooden bridge, which swings from a car park behind the Schieblock building towards the neighborhoods of Pompenburg, Hofbogen, and Delftse Poort. This creates a major route: about 1.5km, of which 350m is the wooden bridge. Different width staircases descend to specific ground-level areas, such as a playground, a bus stop, and a public building’s entrance. It is more than a structure; it is a new urban infrastructure.
Studio: Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos
Project: Maternity and Oncologic Parking
The objective of the project is the construction of a new parking which gives service to the environment of the Maternity and Children's Hospital and the Cancer Center of Galicia. The building is conceived as a large car container, which fits into the quarry excavation. This container consists of a base of stone gabion, sheltering the two lower floors, which sits as the foundation of the building. Above this rests a lightweight facade composed of vertical metal profiles, which are positioned at different angles to create a sense of movement.