The 2014 WAN Façade Awards saw a diverse selection of projects. From a longlist of 25, the judging panel whittled down the accomplished entries to a shortlist of six.
The judges looked beyond seductive forms or technical prowess alone, selecting designs that succeeded aesthetically, environmentally and in improving the performance of the building as a whole.
In the room were: Renato Benedetti, Partner of McDowell + Benedetti; Bruce Nicol, Architect at Dow Corning; and Robert Kennett, representing Eric Parry, Founder of Eric Parry Architects. Steve Mudie, Facade Specialist Partner at Alinea, contributed remotely.
One Central Park in Sydney by Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Design Architect), PTW Architects (Collaborating Architect) and Facade Engineers Surface Design was the first project to be selected. Admiring the comprehensive use of green façade technologies on this high-rise residential scheme, the judges were impressed by the 'elegant' (Robert Kennet) and 'well-resolved approach' (Bruce Nicol), agreeing that the real test would be its performance over time. Renato Benedetti was appreciative of the attentive design of the undersides of the repetitive balconies.
The Liverpool Department Store by Rojkind Arquitectos was praised for the life it brought to a 'worn out commercial box' (Renato Benedetti). The panel felt the lively façade successfully exhibits the activities held within and brings playful forms and lighting to an otherwise bland concrete structure. 'Fun, fresh, and open to new ideas' (Benedetti), the façade was deemed to be suited to Mexico City, being both stylistically appropriate and skillfully executed.
The King Fahad National Library by Gerber Architekten succeeded in dealing with the demanding light intensity of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The judges questioned the level of innovation present, but found the tensile structure provided ample shading and met the stringent requirements of the library within; Nicol commented that the scheme is 'very well shaded; the lighting intensity is comfortable'.
The judged were seduced by the recycled copper panelling of the Health Sciences Education Building in Arizona by CO Architects. While the solar gain and long term weathering of the cladding was questioned, the judges admired the response to context and innovative fabrication techniques used, Benedetti acknowledging, 'they're certainly trying to push the material'.
The judges were impressed by the rigour of the research and development behind the façade of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide by Woods Bagot. While Kennet argued there were aspects of the architecture that were 'not as elegant', Benedetti noted that it was 'machine-like in its resolution'.
With an unusual geometrical façade, the final entry selected for the short-list was the Wanda Reign Hotel in Wuhan, China by Make. The judges were impressed by the 'interesting' and 'well resolved' repetitive pattern (Benedetti), with each unit featuring user-controlled natural ventilation, while withstanding the harsh climate of Wuhan.
WAN AWARDS Facade Shortlist Jury Quotes
One Central Park - PTW Architects
“It looks an elegant building; that's not easy to achieve.” (Renato Benedetti)
“The view looking up is amazing.” (Renato Benedetti)
Liverpool Department Store - Rojkind Arquitectos
“This comes across like my memories of Mexico City: fun fresh, open to new ideas, a relaxed approach.” (Renato Benedetti)
“I like the amount of interaction here, in a very banal shopping box: it's all about the people using it.” (Bruce Nicol)
King Fahad National Library - Gerber Architekten
“Very well shaded, the lighting intensity is comfortable.” (Bruce Nicol)
“It successfully conceals the building inside.” (Robert Kennett, representing Eric Parry)
Health Sciences Education Building - CO Architects
“They're certainly trying to push the material.” (Renato Benedetti)
“Using the heat in some way would've been good.” (Bruce Nicol)
South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) - Woods Bagot
“It's machine-like in it's resolution.” (Renato Benedetti)
“I love the rationale behind this one.” (Bruce Nicol)
Wanda Reign Hotel - Make
“It's well resolved on the corner; that's not easy.” (Renato Benedetti)
“It's got proper weather to deal with too.” (Renato Benedetti)
“The form is interesting.” (Renato Benedetti)