The Colour in Architecture Award 2014 shortlist announcement

Tuesday 03 Mar 2015

For the third ever WAN Colour in Architecture Award we were delighted to welcome to our panel; Benjamin Ball Founder of Ball-Nogues Studio in LA, Alvin Huang Founder and Design Principal at Synthesis Design and Architecture also in LA, USA, Kevin Lloyd Board Director at John McAslan + Partners in the UK and Sadie Morgan, Founding Director of dRMM also in the UK.

From a great many entries received, the final six to spring forth into the limelight and receive praise for their diverse and innovative use of colour in architecture were as follows (in alphabetical order by studio name):

Behnisch Architecture with the Secondary School Ergolding, completed in 2013 near Munich in Germany. It has been described as “a simple, technically optimized structure that establishes a warm, colourful and inviting interior for learning”. Our panellists were also in agreement with this, and Benjamin commented, saying “Color, in this project, is visible inside and out. The designers have made sophisticated choices of hue - understated yet meaningful”.

LMN Architects with their: Tobin Centre for the Performing Arts, completed in 2014 in Texas, United States. The performance hall is one of San Antonio’s most flexible performance spaces, using innovation internally as well as externally with colour and technology. The panel were interested in how LMN had used performance of colour in their work here, and Benjamin summed it up nicely saying: “Color identifies the building as a performance space by putting on its own performance. The programmable façade and interior evolve the theatre typology”.

Marx Arkitektur AB, were next on the shortlist with their entry: The Cultural House of Cyclopen, built in Sweden and completed in 2013. This project was self-funded by the client and built by volunteers, some of whom had no previous construction experience. The challenges faced were quite different than any of the other entries the panel had seen so far. Both Sadie and Kevin wanted to champion this project and congratulate the firm by awarding them a place on the shortlist for innovative and very low cost, colourful architectural solution to a very interesting brief. Congratulations.

Fourth on the shortlist of six was a work from Ross Barney Architects, with their OSU South Campus Central Chiller, built in Columbus, United Sates and completed in 2013. They described some of their design goals as: “…a high quality, timeless environment, easily maintained and flexible while embracing sustainability”. Kevin, Sadie and Benjamin all found this building interesting, as with the Cultural House above, they were keen to highlight another innovative use of colour in architecture. Kevin stated “It’s dynamic rather than applied and I can appreciate what its doing”. Described as both “bold and subtle” it was very well received for this element.

The penultimate project was from Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos with their entry: Teleton Infant Oncology Clinic, built in Mexico and completed in November 2013. With a restricted budget their task was to support the needs of children with cancer and disabilities. Sadie was quick to give a glowing review, saying: “I like this, I really like this. I think the fact that colour has played an integral part in this project right from the beginning in fantastic. And you can see that it’s [the project] not had a huge budget and I think they’ve managed to do something quite interesting with limited resource – for me its definitely on the shortlist”.

So finally were are pleased to announce the last project out of the many entries that made the final six was from Studio Myerscough (and partners) with The Temple of Agape, a temporary structure built for the Festival of Love in London, UK during a few months in 2014. A bright and eclectic structure, giving a totally different take on how to potentially use colour in a structure, it was very well received by the panellists for its holistic and jolly approach. Kevin summed up their thoughts well by saying: “I like the interiors. It’s all about the colour, they have not only put colour onto it but in it and everywhere, its very lively but in some places calm where it needs to be”.

Huge congratulations to our six finalists and of course our fantastic panel of jurors, and a big thank you to all of the other participants of this award. The winner, as standard, will be selected from these final six projects, and announced in two weeks’ time on Tuesday 17 March.


Faye Chalmers
Awards Manager 

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