A gigantic achievement

Monday 02 Sep 2013

heneghan peng architects take home WAN AWARDS 2013 Civic Building gong

This year’s Civic Buildings Award posed a real problem for our judges; narrowing down a longlist of 46, chock full of extremely strong entries from a variety of backgrounds and locales, was always going to be difficult. We were, however, blessed by an expert panel, comprising: Jason Lawrence, Design Director of Flanagan Lawrence; Tim Greer, Director of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer;  Platform for Architecture + Research founder Jennifer Marmon; Paul Mullin of Rick Mather Architects; and MWAI Director Alessia Mosci.

After managing to sift through the 46 shortlisted entries, we were left with a solid remainder of six. Favourites included the austere beauty of C+S Architects’ Venetian Law Court Offices and the geometrically staggering Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame by Trahan Architects. 

It was, however, heneghan peng architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre that won over the panel. It was clear to our judges that every element of this project had been orchestrated into a cohesive whole. From the high-grade concrete, furniture and subtle lighting of the interiors, to the exteriors and layout, which tastefully mirror and integrate with the surrounding Causeway, each element combines to form a ‘strikingly poetic’ addition to this UNESCO Heritage site.

And so, the judges decreed that the brief, to form a sympathetic augmentation to the serrated coastline of the ridgeway, had been perfectly achieved.  

We would like to offer our sincere thanks and congratulations to heneghan peng architects for emerging from what was an extremely strong pack to claim this Award. The debate was long and heated but The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre drew nothing but universal applause. We would also like to offer our heartiest thanks to every entrant to this Award, for contributing to such a rich patina of architecture and sparking fantastic debate. Congratulations to all.

Richard Greenan
WAN AWARDS Co-ordinator

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