We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2014 WAN Transport Award. Our panel of experts had many excellent projects both completed and future to review and after much discussion selected their top six based on a number of factors such as innovation, originality, and how well the design addressed the key challenges of the client brief. In discussion were: Jack Robbins, Principal, FXFOWLE; Anthony Leslie, Vice President, HOK; Jennifer Marmon, Founding Partner, Platform for Architecture + Research; and John Martin, Associate Principal, AECOM.
First to make the shortlist was a future project in Gothenberg, Sweden by ABAKO arkitektkontor AB. The judges were united in praise for the Haga Station design but cited different reasons for their choice, with John acknowledging the 'extremely challenging natural, historic, and technical issues' and Jennifer adding 'I also think this is innovative spatially and geometrically'. All of the judges were impressed with the attention to daylight despite the project being 25-30m below ground.
The Ottawa Confederation Line, a 13 station light rail project in Canada by Perkins + Will, also impressed the judges who commented on how it has the potential to add positively to the infrastructure of the city. John stated: “The design strategy is smart, flexible and addresses the local conditions at each stop, but still provides an overall identity to the line.” Jack summated by saying: “Excellent approach and form, good on sustainability, clarity, and technical innovation.”
The recently completed Bicycle Snake in Copenhagen by DISSING + WEITLING was next to capture the judge’s attention. All agreed that the design was charming, unique and elegant, and offered a good solution to the challenges of the brief. Jack described the project as 'simple, elegant, somewhat understated. Good design thinking beyond the brief'.
Next was a major infrastructure and building project from Jestico + Whiles: Borough Viaduct in London. The scheme involved demolition, modification and rebuilding to numerous sensitive sites and the judges agreed that it was deserving of a place on the shortlist with Anthony noting: “It’s ambitious on many different levels.” Jennifer added: “It’s very complex and well done.”
Vehovar & Jauslin Architektur AG’s Aarau Bus Station and Forecourt in Switzerland caused a lively discussion and ultimately secured a place on the shortlist due to its innovative design and impact on a civic realm. Jennifer said: “I think it’s a stunning project, well executed and achieved client’s expectations.” Anthony highlighted: “The canopy acts as a centralizing element that draws people in. This is helping to make a sense of place and make public transport ‘cool’.”
Also making the shortlist is Edmonton International Airport Office and Control Tower in Canada by DIALOG. The judges all commented on its shapely design and how well it responded to constraints, with John concluding: “A technically challenging project that addresses environmental concerns and should be applauded.” Jack described the Combined Office/Control Tower project as 'both an efficient solution and an iconic statement'.
Congratulations to the six shortlisted schemes and thank you to everyone who participated in the award. Look out for the winner announcement in 25 November issue of News Review (sign up here for free).