The next step for the WAN AWARDS

Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

WAN initiates 2012 ECO AWARD at jury panels for selection of Education shortlists

Last week, WAN hosted two passionate jury sessions to decide upon a pair of shortlists for the education sector in the world’s largest architectural awards programme; one unbuilt, the other completed. This category allows for imaginative architecture to flourish. With a series of energetic and visionary responses spread over the table, even our panel of experts for the unbuilt category, which included Dominique Oliver of Pollard and Thomas Architects, Richard Keating of ORMS and David Cole of Building Trust International, found themselves scratching their heads and struggling to identify flaws in the schemes and make concrete decisions.

Instead their approach to the selection of the shortlisted six quickly turned to the identification and comparison of assets boasted by the projects. This spanned from the articulation of elegant design solutions to an expression of sympathy for the environment. By these means, the judging session became an exciting yet careful process of selecting those that came up trumps, with remote contributions from Aaron B. Schwartz of Perkins Eastman.

This year’s much-desired shortlist includes a wide geographical spread of schemes from Sharon Davis Design’s Women’s Opportunity Center in Rwanda to Abin Design Studio’s SPA Bhopal project in India and The Knightsbridge Schools International in Geneva, Switzerland by Studio Seilern Architects. Our jury panel was aided in their decision by University of Brighton Architecture Student Lauren Ferrell and Jessica Tang, also studying at the University of Brighton sat in on the WAN AWARDS Education Sector Completed jury session.

In this year's selection of the Education Sector Completed Shortlist the judges were looking for projects that either ‘blur the lines between playing and learning for the young’ (Gitte Andersen, SIGNAL), or not only ‘encourage learning but potentially be innovative in pushing the typology of architecture in an educational environment’ (Sarah Williams, Aedas).

The panel's selection of entries all promote an individual style or take on design and simultaneously do so through clear presentation of the project. The jury session got off to a positive start with the Hawkins/Brown project The Hub at Coventry University universally agreed to be a ‘tool to provide learning in’ (Gitte Andersen, SIGNAL) and a ‘support space which encourages learning’ (Maria Nesdale, Gensler).

After looking at a few projects it appeared that the judges held very similar choices for the shortlist though their reasons for specific selections often varied. This was also the case with the remote judge whose shortlist nearly matched that chosen by the panel present project for project. Another entry chosen was the Fai-Fah scheme in Thailand by SPARK which instantly had a very positive reaction highlighting the presence of colour which made the project ‘quite unique...not a huge intervention’ yet you could 'see the ethos of the client in the presentation and the building’ (Maria Nesdale, Gensler).

Our jury panel took a shine to The Central Saint Martins project with its ‘great example of sustainable architecture’ (Sarah Williams, Aedas). With spaces filling, the project submitted by JCY Architects & Urban Designers for Trades North was a strong contender for the shortlist with it being noted as ‘interesting, seeing the interaction between practice and theory’ (Gitte Andersen, SIGNAL). The scheme saw JCY Architects & Urban Designers ‘pushing boundaries in terms of an innovative approach’ (Sarah Williams, Aedas) and was ‘fascinating in many ways’ (Maria Nesdale, Gensler) however it was pipped at the post by ikon.5 architects’ School of Art and Design at New York State College of Ceramics as the panel were inspired by integration of the building’s function into its exterior profile.

Lauren Ferrell and Jessica Tang
Architecture Students at the University of Brighton

Women’s Opportunity Center, Kayonza, Rwanda - Sharon Davis Design
CEDEI (Developed Child Center), São Paulo, Brazil - +K ARQUITETOS
SPA Bhopal, Bhopal, India - Abin Design Studio
Case Western Reserve University - Tinkham Veale University Center, Cleveland, United States - Perkins+Will
Knightsbridge Schools International, Geneva, Switzerland - Studio Seilern Architects
Kuwait University Teaching School, Shidadiyah, Kuwait - Perkins+Will

The Hub - Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom - HawkinsBrown
Fai-Fah, Bangkok, Thailand - SPARK
New University of the Arts London Campus - Central Saint Martins, London, United Kingdom - Stanton Williams
Ravenswood School for Girls, Gordon, Australia - BVN
School of Art and Design at New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred, New York, United States - ikon.5 architects
Hinman Research Building, Atlanta, United States - Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration with Office dA

For the first time ever, the WAN AWARDS jury panels selected a number of submissions to be longlisted for the inaugural ECO AWARD. Each lucky scheme added to this list has demonstrated outstanding eco credentials, even if they were not shortlisted for the award category into which they entered. The longlist will be compiled from every WAN AWARD entry submitted in 2012 with a full longlist announced at the end of the year and winner revealed in early 2013.

Our ECO AWARD longlist entries from the Education Sector are the following:

The Hub - Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom - HawkinsBrown
New University of the Arts London Campus - Central Saint Martins, London, United Kingdom - Stanton Williams
The Gateway Building - Sutton Bonington, Nottingham, United Kingdom - Make
Kangan Institute, Automotive Centre of Excellence, Stage 2, Melbourne, Australia - Gray Puksand
Hinman Research Building, Atlanta, United States - Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration with Office dA
SPA Bhopal, Bhopal, India - Abin Design Studio
Campus Park Skara, Skara, Sweden - AART architects

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