285 entries from 19 countries were entered for this year’s Shaw Contract Group Design Is… Award; a scheme which celebrates architects and designers who are pushing the parameters of how we define architecture and design. Five studios have been selected for this honour, including: D/DOCK; Colacion Studio; Gensler; Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc.; and Shimoda Design Group. The jury’s reasons for selecting the winning firms are as follows:
D/DOCK’s B/S/H Huishoudapparaten, Netherlands: Charged with housing five unique brands in one building, D/DOCK set out to create one culture, one brand and one vision for the new company. The result is a welcoming place that radiates a sense of calm, open for everyone, everywhere at any time.
Colacion Studio’s Tamdeen Group, Kuwait: A dynamic, international workforce demands a diversity of spaces, so agility was essential for this project. The project criteria focused less on personnel count and more on personal requirements based on work style and client contact.
Gensler’s Shore Hotel, Santa Monica: Replacing two aging motels, the Shore Hotel boasts 164 moderately-priced guest rooms in two buildings connected by a bridge. The design team’s vision blends the natural landscape and vibrant urban life, taking in the beauty of the sea and embracing the pedestrian activities.
Checkwitch Poiron Architects Inc.’s Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal, Canada: For cruise ship passengers visiting the mid-Vancouver Island area, the Nanaimo terminal makes a striking first impression that reflects the values of the region.
Shimoda Design Group’s WorkCafe, Grand Rapids: Shimoda Design Group was called upon to refresh the Steelcase Global Headquarters for their 100 year anniversary, refurbishing a 1983 cafeteria and converting three large training rooms into a 23,000 sq ft cafeteria. It was important to integrate food and work through a palette of place and posture by mixing workplace around the social aspects of food.