Six short term structures named as the best in category for the first Temporary Spaces Award 2015

Faye Chalmers
Tuesday 30 Jun 2015

The inaugural WAN Temporary Spaces Award was open for two months, from 1st March to the 30th April 2015, attracting a variety of typologies from 12 countries. Sitting on the panel we were joined by Je Ahn, Founder at Studio Weave in the UK, Wolfgang Buttress, artist who conceived the Uk pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, Pascal Wensink, Director at EPR architects in the UK who was judging remotely & Albert Williamson-Taylor, academic, prominent in engineering and academia from AKT II

Here are the six finalists in alphabetical order:

Annabel Karim Kassar Architects – Camera Chiara in Milan, Italy. This architectural installation is made up of two telescopic pavilions; Liwan & Camera Obscura. Made to be reused and reassembled in different locations, one as a mobile shelter and the other as a cinema. Albert Williamson-Taylor was the first to commend the work for its achievements in saying “how they oppose each other is really special” and all our panellists were in agreement and wanted to commend this project for its intelligent use of materials and making a really interesting structure.

Pascal wrote:

Camera Chiara

Whilst the concept and form of this temporary installation seems to create a moment of tension between the two volumes the most obvious attraction for the visitor would appear to be the curated display by Annabel Karim Kassar. This seems to be heightened by the juxtaposition of the elements she has brought from her native Lebanon to create an interactive art installation.

OS31 – RAW:Almond Restaurant on Ice in Winnipeg, Canada. This is the first ever fine dining restaurant on a frozen body of water. Open for 3 weeks from late January 2015, the restaurant offers diners a unique experience of being in a warm enclosed space in the exposed cold frozen river. ‘A really great project, a definite finalist contender – I think we will see this in the final six’ was the first comment from Albert Williamson-Taylor and the entire panel were in agreement. 

Pascal Wrote:


Not only is this structures use limited to the winter months, but its location on the frozen river means it can only be temporary. The elegant cruciform plan produces an environment where people meet to share warmth and food sheltered form the hostile external environment. The exo-structure of scaffolding produces a wonderful dark lattice which seem to echo the surrounding leafless trees and the short daylight hours mean that it is predominantly viewed as a warm glowing object on the frozen river. However, the internal tent like environment does not seem to reproduce what might be expected from the strong external character.

Rojkind Arquitectos - The Hybrid Hut, the second entry from Winnipeg in Canada to make the final six. This winter shelter built  as part of the Warming Huts annual competition in Winnipeg along the Red River. Combining computer technology with local artisan processes and skills the hut was awarded a place in the final six. Je Ahn & Wolfgang Butress both commented on the simple but beautiful form and look, with Albert Williamson-Taylor adding “They have used the materials so carefully to create a very interesting geometrical form that gives a space that can be used. Light is coming in but the snow is not. This is incredibly clever.”

Pascal Wrote:

Hybrid Hut

The sculptural form of the Hybrid Hut created from rough natural materials and high-tech modelling techniques has produced a structure with one objective – to create shelter for the local community. This simple but essential requirement is only beneficial during the cold months of the year which adds purpose to its temporary nature.

Sean Godsell Architects – MPavilion in Melbourne, Australia. The first in a series of annual architectural commissions by the Naomi Nilgrom Foundation, the pavilion hosts a variety of cultural events and activities and is open to the public. The MPavilion is a simple 12 x 12 meter structure with fully automated outer skin panels, it is full recyclable and can be fully assembled in 72 hours. Our jury commended is innovation and Wolfgang Butress was the first to comment, saying “It’s conceptually strong, simple. It could go elsewhere and still be well situated. The reference to nature is good to see”.

Pascal wrote:


A simple yet versatile structure which not only responds directly to the brief requirements, but will also create some interesting variations that may not have been expected. The dynamic changing form gives added interest to visitors not only in the final composition but also in the transitional stages. The use of the recycled flooring not only conforms with the sustainability objectives, but also gives a quality of history to what is an obviously modern temporary structure.

SLA Architects – Landscape to Contemporary Urban Development. Tasked with looking at the void between empty urban space and vibrant resilient urban space, the project brings in conditions for urban life before any actual planning r buildings are made. This manifests in a temporary landscape, activating an urban area and uses the temporary as a basis for the permanent. The jury really engaged with this concept and realised project, with Je Ahn commenting that “This is completely different from everything else; this is a contemporary thinking on how a city should be developed.”

Pascal Wrote:

Fredericia C

This hugely aspirational project is a series of temporary elements which will result in a permanent built environment. The meantime uses around the site can potential test against climate as well as engaging with the community, effectively beta testing ideas prior to committing to long term development. In addition to this it activates unused development sites allowing public to engage with the long term goals and aspirations, this approach has proved very successful in establishing significant urban regeneration projects elsewhere. Only time will tell how successful Frederica’s Harbour will be.

The Living – Hy-Fi: a zero carbon emissions compostable tower in New York, United States. Commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 with a brief calling for the provision of elements of shade, water and seating with a sustainable focus, the project had to be designed in three months and constructed in three weeks. The jury panel were quick to congratulate the work on its high level of quality, with Albert Williamson-Taylor and Wolfgang Buttress both commenting on the level of detail in the project “from the micro to the macro the whole form works well, and sits with the existing building very well”.

Pascal wrote:


A striking structure which seems to occupy the MoMA courtyard as an interactive sculpture. The materials, method and process are exemplary in their aspiration to minimize the impact this temporary structure has on the environment.

For more information on the entries this year, you can visit the wan award Temporary Spaces page HERE. Details of the winner will be published next week in news review.

Huge thanks to our panellists and congratulations to our finalists – thank you for making the first award of this kind a huge success! 

Faye Chalmers

Awards Manager

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