Celebrating effective design

21 Oct 2013

From Rwanda to Norway: Six top designs from around the world make 2013 shortlist

The Buro Happold Effectiveness Award celebrates designs that have made a positive impact on society. The shortlisted entries have demonstrated how their buildings have directly or indirectly benefited their users, the client, the surrounding community and beyond, against one or more of the following criteria: Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic and Productivity. Post-occupancy evaluation survey results and statistics were strongly advantageous.

The Buro Happold Effectiveness Award is a unique competition and hence we were presented with a special spread of projects to celebrate this crucial aspect of modern architecture. 

Our esteemed panel of judges included Hawkins\\Brown Founder Russell Brown, FXFOWLE Managing Partner Guy Geier, Gensler's Maria Nesdale, Stegmeier Consulting Group founder Diane Stegmeier and Buro Happold's Head of Strategic Development Gavin Thompson.

First to wow its way onto the shortlist of six was the much lauded Angel Building in London by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, which was applauded by Guy as 'a terrific example of adaptive re-use of an otherwise undistinguished existing building'.

The next project to make an impression was the SFJazz Center in San Fransisco by Mark Cavagnero Associates, with garnered praise for its striking façade and noble brief, bringing much back to the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Third to make the grade was MASS Design Group's Butaro Doctor's Housing in Rwanda, praised not only for its 'saintly' objective, beautiful rooms and excellent presentation, but for the 'quantitative results and behavioural change' it had on the local medical community.  

Fourth to woo the panel was the impressive King's Cross Station project in London by John McAslan + Partners, which, with its multidimensional realisation and 'genius curve', was deemed to significantly improve life for those passing through it. 

Fifth to secure its place on the shortlist was the Vennesla Library and Cultural Center in Norway by Helen & Hard. This space age design, complete with seating described as 'setting a new precedent', was seen to unite a community.

Finally the judges were won over by LMN Architects' Foster School of Business in Seattle. Praised for knitting well with the surrounding buildings, the Foster School was celebrated for 'showing the human side of business'. A 'comprehensive approach to understanding user requirements', commented Diane.

We would like to say thank you to all entrants and judges for making the shortlisting such a fascinating stage of this Award. Stay tuned for our winning announcement!

Richard Greenan
WAN AWARDS Co-ordinator

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