As the festive season approaches WAN has another reason to celebrate - the judging of the 2011 WAN AWARDS Commercial sector! Last week nine respected jurors met in London or sent their votes from their desks in Chicago and Paris to decide which of our longlisted submissions should make it onto the esteemed shortlist.
Development in the commercial sector has fluctuated throughout 2011 as financial blows have stalled construction on a number of projects across Europe whilst commercial schemes in China and Australia seem to have gathered momentum.
Flicking back through past issues of News Review this year, the sheer volume of office towers in Asia is unparalleled and it is in a comparison of the 2011 Commercial Completed and Unbuilt shortlists that this is most apparent. It seems that whilst European schemes dominate the Completed shortlist, its Unbuilt counterpart is overruled by Chinese towers.
Attention to detail and site context was key for our Completed jury, who were particularly taken with RYRA Studio’s Vali-Asr Office Building, James Zheng of Goettsch Partners commenting: “Emphasis on an elegant design solution creates a textured, homogenous and sustainable façade that is integrated into its context.”
For Simon Allford of AHMM, it was Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects’ The Granary in London that encapsulated this approach, as he explained: “I’m surprised they’ve managed to detail it, bearing in mind where it is - in such a cheap part of town… It’s a moment in time, it reuses something; it’s quite memorable and feels relevant to the place it’s at.”
Both juries were split when it came to selecting only a handful of top projects, with both panels opting for two Commended schemes in addition to the shortlists. For the Unbuilt jury these decisions rested on the finer details, with TFP Farrells’ Beijing CBD Plot Z15 missing out after differences between supporting materials, the jury concluding: “There is a concern that all of the key messages are in the sketch, and they may be slightly diluted in the computer images and hopefully not in the ultimate resolution of the building.”
The Completed side were very taken with Hans Murman Architects' Restaurant Tusan and Ernst Giselbrecht+Partner zt gmbh's Kiefer Technic Showroom, with the designers' 'consistency' and 'wit' applauded respectively. Both were therefore recognised as Commended by the jury panel.
Innovative approaches to site context were rewarded, with John McAslan + Partners’ 5* Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Serviced Apartments in Doha applauded by Manuelle Gautrand, who explained: “I particularly appreciate the way of creating a simple and elegant architecture, which is more solid than glazed (unfortunately we see too much huge glazed facades and towers in very hot countries!). The way to design solid forms in which apertures and terraces are cut to reveal the depth of the material is simple, but sensible.”
Congratulations to all our commended and shortlisted practices!
Restaurant Tusen, Ramundberget, Sweden - Hans Murman Architects
Kiefer Technic Showroom, Bad Gleichenberg, Austria - Ernst Giselbrecht+Partner zt gmbh
The Granary, London, United Kingdom - Pollard Thomas Edwards architects
Rocksalt Restaurant, Folkestone, United Kingdom - Guy Hollaway Architects
Darling Quarter, Sydney, Australia - fjmt - Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
Liverpool Interlomas Department Store, Mexico City, Mexico - rojkind arquitectos
Vali-Asr Office Building, Tehran, Iran - RYRA Studio
Hopuhopu Tribal Centre, Waikato District, New Zealand - HMA - Hamish Monk Architecture
Straights Forum Convention Center, Dadeng Island, Xiamen, China - HKS, Inc
5* Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Doha, Qatar - John McAslan + Partners
China-Taiwan Cross Strait CBD Masterplan & New Forum & Exhibition Centre, Pingtan, China - 10 Design