WAN Awards new shortlist revealed

Tuesday 13 Jan 2015

12 fantastic entries selected for the WAN Mixed-Use Award shortlist

The brand new Mixed-Use award category attracted a high level of interest with dozens of entries coming from all over the world. Judging the entries in this category for the first time were
Brian Honda of MIX Studio Works (remote judge), Christopher Choa of AECOM, David Bailey of Hastings Architecture Associates LLC (remote judge) and Pascal Wensink of EPR Architects.

Firms were invited to enter their project under one of two sub-categories: ‘Completed’ or ‘Future’ and the entries were assessed as such with two long lists drawn up for review and shortlist by our experts.

First to be reviewed were the Future project entries and the team were impressed by the standard of the pipeline projects:

First to be take a place on the shortlist was Hallsville Quarter Phase 1 by Haworth Tompkins in London, United Kingdom. Forming part of the £3.7 billion Canning Town and Custom House Regeneration Programme, the Hallsville Quarter is a major mixed-use development that will provide mixed tenure homes, leisure, retail space, and community facilities including a 2,000 sq m medical centre, a hotel, student accommodation and employment space. The judges were impressed with how the architect achieves a balance between the uses, with Pascal stating “There is a balanced mix within the project and it’s also permeable so you can engage with the different aspects of the scheme rather than just being led around. They also achieve a very high level of sustainability credentials. I find this very interesting.”

505 Richmond Street West by Turner Fleischer in Toronto, Canada. The Waterworks Building, located on the south side of Richmond Street West, between Brant and Maud Streets, is a heritage-designated Public Works complex that was built in 1932. The proposal contemplates repurposing the existing building into a YMCA branch, retail, cafes, event hall and a community facility service, and the judges liked it. “It’s very well mannered, and has a well-scaled public realm. A very good quality, modest, in-fill project. And they tried to keep a bit of the existing building here.” Christopher Choa

Next was Tanjong Pagar Centre by Skidmore Owings & Merril in Tanjong, Singapore. Designed as a premier quality business and lifestyle hub, the 160,000-square-meter Tanjong Pagar Centre will provide a mix of uses, comprising office, residential, retail and hospitality. The judges all commented on how well the design addressed the climate, with Christopher saying of the scheme: “Architecturally it is very skilful, and also it has two metro entrances and is bringing people in from street level down into the basement and up underneath this plaza which is a very nice environment to have in Singapore when you need to get into the shade”

Also on the shortlist is a neighbourhood project, One North: East & West Buildings by Holst Architecture located in Portland, Oregon, USA a city seen as a model worldwide for its sustainable planning and design practices, the project will provide commercial office space on a vacant brownfield site, with a focus on maximizing energy efficiency. Two mixed-use office buildings with ground-floor retail will surround a new 14,000 sq ft courtyard meant to create a vibrant community space for use by both tenants and the neighbourhood. The judges were appreciative of the modest scale of the project and liked the materials used. Christopher added “I like the office space, it reminds me of like horizontal periscopes. It has continuous movement with lobbies from the courtyard.”

City Sand Tower by  Manal Rachdi Oxo Architects + Nicolas Laisné Assocés, in the Sahara Desert, Morocco, attracted attention and was very interesting to the judges who awarded the project a place on the short list. A mixed-use tower incorporating a hotel, housing, shops, restaurant, meteorological observatory, museum and offices, Pascal said of the design “So interesting, hugely aspirational and something very different. I can really believe the quality and these screens and what they create with the different materials could be something really, really exciting.”

The last ‘future’ project to make the shortlist was Green Dunes by Girimun Architects in Beijing, China The 16.5-hectare redevelopment site will offer Beijing a unique green high-dense urban park of podiums, towers, sunken plazas, multi-level walkways and public spaces connecting two major arteries of the city. The judges summated by describing the project as “rational, buildable, believable and with a very strong public realm that knits everything together in a unique way.”

The six ‘Completed’ projects to make it on to the shortlist were:  

Orsman Whitmore Building by Trevor Horne in London, United Kingdom; a mixed-use building of studio workspaces and separate living spaces.  A group of artists and designers came together to build the space for their own needs. The building is designed as a monolithic block with openings and cantilevers carved out; a concrete structure clad with handmade brick which forms a continuous skin stretched over, under and around the concrete frame. 

Silos 13 by VIB Architecture in Paris, France. The judges liked this original, mixed-use building, a design with two main silos for cement storage and distribution, a quality control centre building and offices. The project transformed an industrial facility into an urban sculpture dedicated to the material it contains: the silos, the stair tour, the offices, the test centre and the ground too, are all made from concrete.

Culturel Center, Les Quinconces by Babin & Renaud Architects, in Le Mans, France also caught the judge’s attention with its sleek design. This mixed-use cultural site combines Theatre, Movie Multiplex, Exhibition Hall, City Hall, Restaurant and Parking. Despite causing some debate about whether it was more a cultural project than a mixed-use project, the Culturel Center secured a place on the shortlist. Brian Honda said “It's very elegant and well-crafted architecture”.

Samsung Model Home Gallery by NADAA in Seoul, South Korea was another project to make the shortlist and receive praise for its elegant design. This “Model Home Gallery” for the sale of housing in Korea, contains sales offices with a myriad of apartment prototypes. Each corporation reserves the base of these buildings for a wide array of amenities for community functions, art galleries, cafés, auditoria, conferences rooms, among other uses that help establish a neighbourly presence. Brian said “It's executed well and passionately” and David Bailey added “Really intriguing and a gorgeous building.”

Baku Flame Towers by HOK  in Baku, Azerbaijan. This mixed-use scheme consists of three towers, located adjacent to the country’s Parliament overlooking the centre of the city, each with a different function – the southern tower offers 130 residential apartments over 39 floors and is the tallest of the three towers. The northern tower houses the Fairmont Hotel consisting of 250 rooms, and 61 serviced apartments over 33 floors. The western tower offers 24,180 sq m of leasable grade A flexible commercial office space spread over 28 floors. The judges felt it well deserved a place on the shortlist, with David describing it as “Great mixed-use and a very interesting concept. I think there are a lot of good things going on with it.”

Markthal by MVRDV in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Taking the final place was Markthal by MVRDV. Completed in 2014, it is the first covered food market of the Netherlands. There, visitors are able to shop, eat, live and park their car, all underneath the tall arch of 40 meters height. The judges praised the scheme for pushing the boundaries of the typology and its execution. Brian Honda described Markthal as “Simple in its conception, smartly indifferent to tradition, a pure dialogue with its setting and parameters.”

Thank you to all that participated in our first year of the WAN Mixed-Use Award, and congratulations to the shortlist. Look out for the winner announcement on 27 January!


Sarah Hammad

Awards Coordinator

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