'Masters of their craft'

Friday 11 Feb 2011

The Pierre by Olson Kundig Architects and Arkitektfirmaet C. F. Møller & Christian Carlsen Arkitektfirma's Siloetten announced winners of Residential Awards

New and familiar faces met on the Residential Jury Panel recently to debate the merits of the global entries for the Residential and House of the Year WAN AWARDS 2010. Returning jurors included Bob Fry and Tanya Kalinina, who were quick to point out that ‘last year was great, but this year is even better’.

The longlist for House of the Year is one of the most commented upon pages on WAN and this year’s winner was privy to many positive remarks from users even before the panel met (although the jury is not presented with the comments to ensure a fair result). Readers doted on The Pierre by Olson Kundig Architects, calling it ‘an absolute delight’ and ‘magnificent work’, comments that were echoed by our experts who found the design to have ‘a kind of timelessness’. Alison Brooks elaborates: “The response of the architect to the context transcends style and becomes a type of exercise, kind of like writing an essay or a novel.” High praise indeed!

While the House of the Year jury shared many of the same opinions on the listed entries, it was the Residential submissions that really split our experts. Tall, slender and elegant studies such as One Madison Park were swiftly added to the shortlist (and which Tanya Kalinina later referred to as ‘my personal favourite’) although numerous smaller projects were also recognised as ‘very special’. After several hours of animated discussion, the panel managed to whittle down the longlist to a handful of possibilities, before landing on Arkitektfirmaet C. F. Møller & Christian Carlsen Arkitektfirma's Siloetten/The Sil(o)houette in Aarhus, Denmark as a solid winner for the architect’s fine handling of space and imaginative use of ‘true sustainability’.

With such an array of high calibre designs from across the world, it is possible to take the WAN AWARDS entries as a cross section of residential projects in the industry today. House of the Year juror Alison Brooks took note that ‘the projects which seemed to have the biggest budgets and the most open ticket given to the architect seemed to be the least strong of the bunch’ whereas those that offered ‘a kind of restraint’ were the projects that were the most successful.

Debowa Housing Estate by BIURO PROJEKTÓW ARCHITEKTONICZNYCH Sp. z o.o. Jan Pallado, Aleksander Skupin was Highly Commended by the judges. The jury panel felt it was important to recognise this particular design as a step in the right direction for architecture in Poland.

For a practice to have one project win and another added to the shortlist in the same category, let alone the same region is highly unusual, leading Olson Kundig Architects to be defined by the judges as ‘masters of their craft’. Congratulations to them and all our winners!


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