When the WAN AWARDS programme launched back in 2009, we focused on six key sectors: Education; Healthcare; Civic Buildings; Residential; Commercial; and Urban Design. Four years on and WAN now hosts a diverse selection of nineteen categories including Façade of the Year and Adaptive Reuse.
We’re always keen to open our programme to new areas and last year we adjusted the Urban Design sector to Urban Regeneration but, following feedback from entrants around the world and our esteemed jury panel, this year we have reverted back to the original Urban Design category with an additional award for Landscape.
On Thursday 17 October, WAN’s first ever Landscape panel for the 'Completed' category assembled at One Alfred Place in London to pour over one of the most extensive longlists to date. Jon Akers Coyle from Gillespies was joined by Mary Bowman of Gustafson Porter and Dr Markus Jatsch from Martha Schwartz Partners, with HASSELL’s Angus Bruce as a remote judge.
First to make it onto the shortlist was The CityDeck in Wisconsin by Boston-based Stoss. The jury panel were impressed by the way the unassuming promenade animated the waterfront while providing a solid base for future development in the area. Stoss’ quarter-mile-long CityDeck creates a waterfront area for community events and social interaction, available for use year-round.
Next to be selected was Southeast False Creek Parks and Waterfront in Vancouver by PWL Partnership Landscape Architects. It was the ‘something for everyone’ approach that won our judges over, with a 650m-long waterfront park, cycling and pedestrian routes, a wetland for Great Blue Heron and ducks, playgrounds for young children, and various sustainable features.
PINK BALLS in Montreal by Claude Cormier + Associés was swiftly added to the shortlist for its simplicity and effectiveness. Jatsch noted: “It’s only one idea, but it’s a strong one.” The concept involves stringing 170,000 resin balls in a range of pink shades above a 1km-long stretch of pedestrianised street in Montreal through community engagement in light of issues of safety through social problems in the area. The results are remarkable with plot vacancy in the area dropping from 20% to 7% and a marked increase in tourist and visitor traffic.
Fourth to the shortlist was SWA Group San Francisco’s The Heart of Beijing Finance Street in Beijing which was commended on its ‘crisp’ design. Although initially concerned that the scheme ‘could be anywhere’ and lacked local flavour, the judges were won round by the ‘pleasant’ landscape-based approach.
Quick to follow SWA Group was Grant Associates with their Bay South at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. This scheme has received much praise around the world for its innovative design and admirable craftsmanship, and our judges were similarly won over. Bowman noted that while the project did have a huge budget, ‘it has been used well’. Once more, the landscape-led design approach led this scheme to the shortlist.
The final project to be selected was Hambacher Schloss / Hambach Castle in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse by LOMA architecture. landscape. urbanism., whose barrier-free development of the Castle park was considered ‘beautifully executed’ by the jury panel.
Congratulations to all shortlisted entrants from the WAN team.