'Lots of talent to choose from...'

22 Apr 2013

Commended and Highly Commended entries to the WAN 21 for 21 Award 2013 revealed

The third year of the 21 for 21 Award programme saw 158 individuals and firms fighting for the remaining 8 places left in the competition. The winners will be announced next week in News Review, but WAN can exclusively announce the practices deemed Commended and Highly Commended by this year’s illustrious jury panel.

The international panel met last week for a lively debate in the search to find the remaining future stars of architecture. The expert panellists were: Dennis Ho of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; Martha Thorne, Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize / Associate Dean IE School of Architecture & Design; Tristram Carfrae, Arup ; Malcolm Reading, Malcolm Reading Consultants and Andrew Best, Buro Happold. Ma Yansong, MAD Architects and Vo Trong Nghia, Vo Trong Nghia Associates submitted their comments as remote judges.

The panel commended the variety of entries from all over the world depicting innovation in design and architecture across many disciplines. Key attributes they looked for in the submissions were potential, innovation and contextual awareness. Our experts looked for the incorporation of fresh ideas and forward thinking into their designs whilst still keeping within the boundaries of commercial viability and sustainability.

The first of the Highly Commended practices is Haptic architects, a UK and Oslo-based practice which caught the judges’ attention with their submitted airport design, as Dennis Ho praised their ‘contextual and site specific’ designs and the organisation of their plans which earned them a Highly Commended status. Also mentioned was Benjamin Garcia Saxe whose container house was admired by Tristram Carfrae who said that ‘it has something to say about places that need housing’ and highlighted an awareness  of housing issues which Malcolm Reading confirmed as ‘good quality and beautifully presented’.

Deserving a special mention for its social aspect and community design was URBANA’s Friendship Centre which Malcolm Reading summarised as ‘a thoughtful piece of design creating community out of the landscape’. MMIT arquitectos earned an accolade due to its stadium submitted which the panel admired for its contextual awareness and ability to produce considered design within a tight budget. RTA Studio from New Zealand were praised for the place-making involved and the response to urban context in their projects, and Martha Thorne enjoyed the ‘nice, rich mix of work’ submitted in the entry to the panel.

The WAN jury chose to Commend a further 7 entries which they believed deserved a mention and recognition for their work; OBRA architects for their skill with digital fabrication; L.E.A.D for their experimental projects and their creative and interesting form with little materials; MODU showed examples of urban place-making in their projects in which the judges saw potential for future architecture; Groundlab caught the judges attention with the ‘heroic’ scale of their project and its location in China which showed boldness; Andrew Maynard architects showed a good example of high-quality small pieces of architecture whilst producing something interesting; FRPO showcased intelligent houses and domestic space in their submission which the jury thought worthy of a Commendation; and finally, Bercy Chen Studio’s brownfield reclaim project caught the judges’ eye with its ‘repair to the landscape’ ethos and use of private and public spaces.

Congratulations to all the Highly Commended and Commended practices on behalf of the jury panel and the WAN awards team! The winners of the competition will be announced in News Review on 07 May. Sign up for News Review here.

Megan Cox
Awards Coordinator

For further information on the competition please email megan.cox@wantoday.com


Highly Commended

Haptic, London and Oslo
Benjamin Garcia Saxe, South America
URBANA/ Kashef Chowdhury, Bangladesh, India
MMIT, Torrelavega, Spain
RTA Studio, Auckland, New Zealand


OBRA Architects, New York, United States L.E.A.D, Hong Kong
MODU, New York, United States
Groundlab, Xian, China
Andrew Maynard Architects, Melbourne, Australia
FRPO Rodriguez & Oriol Architecture Landscape, Madrid, Spain
Bercy Chen Studio, Austin, TX, United States
L.E.A.D, Hong Kong

Key Facts


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