Nordic Garden wins Landscape Award

01 Dec 2014

Esteemed panel selected POLYFORM's sensitive Danish restaurant scheme as winner of 2014 WAN Landscape Award

Congratulations to POLYFORM on winning the 2014 WAN Landscape Award! The three experts on our jury panel chose the practice’s Nordic Garden in Copenhagen, Denmark as the winning project in this category.

Judges Huw Morgan, Director of Camlins, Daniel Rea, Director of Operations at Martha Schwartz Partners and leading UK Garden Designer Andy Sturgeon assessed the six shortlisted projects on their form and special quality, sustainability and context, and how well the design addressed the client brief and pushed the boundaries of the typology. They unanimously agreed that POLYFORM’s project met and exceeded these criteria in a unique and original way.

Nordic Garden is located in front of restaurant Noma and was completed in August 2013. Noma - recently named ‘the world’s best restaurant’ for the fourth time - attracts food enthusiast’s and other curious visitors without a reservation, keen to get a glimpse of the innovative plates on offer and take a photograph in front of the restaurant. This was sometimes distracting to diners, so the NOMA team turned to POLYFORM to come up with a creative solution.

The brief for this project was clear. Chef René Redzepi was not interested in excluding the curious minds of the visitors by shielding the restaurant from view and that was the inspiration for POLYFORM to design a buffer zone around the windows of the restaurant. The Nordic Garden design is based on the Nordic terroir. Robust, evergreen plants from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Faroe Island were used, together with lava stones from Iceland.

The judges were impressed by the fact that POLYFORM managed to design something effective on this extremely small scale. Daniel Rea stated: “It’s really good in the industrial context; it sits well there.” “Small and exquisite, it relates to what the restaurant is about and it’s captured the essence of Scandinavia, which is what the restaurant does,” added Huw afterwards. Daniel added: “If you think about performance to brief and typology-breaking this is the most important project. It’s very beautiful. It completely nails the judging criteria and it does everything that you want it to do, and we shouldn’t be afraid to recognise that.” Huw added: “The execution and ambition is brilliant.”

The judges were also impressed with one other project and although not awarded a place on the shortlist it was Highly Commended for its well thought out planning and usage; Drapers Field in London, England by Kinnear Landscape Architects (see thumbnails to the left). Daniel felt it was a very successful project, stating: “It’s very well used. It’s about the fact it’s the counterpart to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, stitching the community together and a community project that does not compromise its aesthetic merit. It’s important to recognise that this fringe project to the Olympic Park is just as important to its community.”  Huw agreed and added: “It has done everything with the brief.”

Congratulations to Kinnear Landscape Architects on being Highly Commended and to POLYFORM for their brave and one-of-a-kind work with Nordic Garden. Thank you to all who participated in this truly challenging category, the longlisted entrants, shortlisted entrants and of course the judges.

You can see the full list of entries, along with the longlist, shortlist and winner by scrolling down the Landscape Award category page HERE.

Janet Dounen

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