Hard-fought competition sees trio of projects celebrated in WAN Urban Design Award
After the WAN Urban Design Award panel selected its shortlist, the real debate started to choose the winners of this diverse category. The judging panel for the day comprised of: Scott Hunter, Principal of HKS inc (remote); Alan Pullman, founder of Studio One Eleven (remote); Marc Mimram, founder of Marc Mimram architects; Georgia Watson, Head of the Department of Planning and Research Tutor in the Joint Centre for Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University; and Jason Speechly-Dick representing Atkins Global PLC. After many hours of deliberation, the judges were all in agreement with the chosen winners for the WAN Urban Design Award.
From the Future Projects sub-category the well-deserved Warren and Mahoney, Boffa Miskell, Woods Bagot, RCP, and Sheppard & Rout Architects were selected with their project Blueprint for Christchurch Central Recovery Plan Christchurch, New Zealand. All the judges were blown away with the scale of the proposed framework for central Christchurch, as it faced a major rebuild of its infrastructure and amenities following a series of devastating earthquakes to the area.
The Blueprint provided a strong, innovative and legible response to the urban issues facing the city and it’s rebuild. The containment of the core within a 'frame' in particular has been recognised as one of the more significant aspects of the Blueprint Consortium. When aligned with a strong focus on the Avon River, the expectation is for a city which combines the best of urban renewal principles whilst retaining the uniqueness of Christchurch. There were good comments made all round, Alan Pullman asserting: “This establishes a community-informed spatial framework for locating anchor projects and revitalizing a city in the face of natural disaster. The community participation component is very strong.”
In the Completed Projects sub-category there were so many great contenders and the judges tried to pinpoint one winner, without success. In the final instance they decided on two very different but deserved winners. The first to be selected was The Kalvebod Waves in Copenhagen, Denmark by Urban-Agency. As quite a well-known project this new public space on the water gives the harbour a new dimension as a recreational space in the centre of the city. All jury members agreed that this project stood above the other submissions for being beautifully realised and pushing the boundaries of its typology. Jason Speechly-Dick was first to express his feelings towards the project: "This is great; this has star quality and is an obvious winner." Alan Pullman continued by saying: “This project addresses waterfront reclamation in a fun and skilful way. The forms are cleverly derived from an analysis of solar orientation.”
The second and final winner of the Completed Projects sub-category went to Savannah College of Art and Design with their wonderful project SCADpad in Atlanta, USA. This project being very different from the last, immediately took the interest of the jury as being something of social significance and a great concept that is expected to become more popular in years to come. This community prototype of three 135 sq ft, micro-residences installed in an underutilized Atlanta parking structure is a great response to rising urban populations and increasing obsolescence of parking structures. Jason Speechly-Dick commented: “Brilliant idea, you can see that it is a public realm but it’s just not between buildings and I’m quite excited about this project even though it’s very small”. Marc Mimram followed: “That’s a good idea! We have been talking about this for years and here they did it.”
The jury agreed that the two chosen winners of the Completed sub-category could not be compared as the projects were so very different and wanted to commend their work for very different reasons.
So congratulations to all three amazing winners of this highly competitive category. With so many great projects entered into the WAN Urban Design Award we would like to say thank you to everyone involved.
Senior Awards Coordinator