WAN Concrete in Architecture Forum and Awards

Nick Myall
Monday 20 Jul 2015

Concrete’s qualities as a highly versatile material across all building types was recently celebrated at a Forum and Awards in London

World Architecture News held the inaugural Concrete in Architecture Forum and Awards at Buro Happold's London Gallery, in the heart of the West End on 15th July 2015. 

The WAN Concrete in Architecture Award, now in its 2nd year, is a specialist category in our global awards programme. The award recognises bold, daring designs that explore the sculptural and expressive possibilities of this highly versatile material across all building types, whether a private residence or public building.

Martin Clarke OBE, Director of World Concrete Forum Ltd, chaired the event which kicked off with five technical presentations from the recognised experts in this exciting field. www.worldconcrete.org/

Dr Julie Bregulla, Director of Building Technology at BRE gave an informative and thought-provoking overview entitled ‘Some concrete facts’ which included a look at some possible future developments including; 3D printing, alternative binders, sustainable sourcing, the increased use of fibres and the implementation of Eurocodes. www.bre.co.uk/

Next up was Dr Carsten Rosenhahn, Head of Product and Business Development at LANXESS who  explored ‘Colour in concrete architecture’. The drawbacks of certain methods of colouring including paint and coloured aggregates were highlighted. Then Carsten went onto explain the use of pigments and the positive points that make it a durable long lasting method of adding colour to concrete. http://lanxess.com/

Martin Clarke then presented on behalf of BASF and looked the plus points of ‘Green Sense’ concrete. This sustainable source of concrete requires less cement, which means less carbon dioxide is created, less energy is used per unit of concrete produced, less water is used and less byproduct materials are targeted for landfill. www.construction.basf.com/

‘Key considerations for making good looking concrete’ was the theme of Senior Architect Elaine Toogood’s presentation. The versatile nature of concrete was highlighted with Elaine emphasising that its adaptable nature means it is just as suitable for a garage floor or a high-end restaurant. uk.linkedin.com/in/elainetoogood

Finally, Joe Russell, Technical Sales Manager at Reckli gave a presentation on ‘Patterned and textured concrete surfaces’. Joe explained how CNC milling machines can create a range of highly realistic effects including wood, stone and rock. www.reckli.net/

A lively question and answer session then followed with the debate continuing during a networking session. Wine and Canapés were served ahead of the awards presentation itself and with all the shortlisted entries displayed around the room it was easy for the audience to pick out their own favourite.

However, the final decision was down to the panel of judges who had previously reviewed the six fantastic shortlisted projects and unanimously agreed on the winner. Niigata City Konan Ward Cultural Center submitted by Chiaki Arai Urban & Architecture Design in Niigata City was crowned winner of the 2015 award. 

To reach the 2015 WAN Concrete in Architecture Awards Anouncement Click Here

The judging panel, which sat independently from the Forum itself,  comprised of: Principal of the international architecture and urban planning office MBA/S, Matthias Bauer, Director of World Concrete Forum Ltd Martin Clarke OBE, Director of the C20 Society and Editor of the C20 magazine Catherine Croft and Paul Zara, Director at Conran and Partners.  http://mbas.de/ http://www.c20society.org.uk/publications/c20-magazine/


The judges felt that the winning project best fulfilled their criteria with Paul Zara commenting: “In terms of showing off with concrete this does it for me. It’s pretty stunning really. I’ve never seen anything like it. These images are amazing”.

Judge Catherine Croft stated this project: “shows that concrete is really exciting”. She added “This is defiantly a bold use of concrete and it’s trying to explore something culturally specific to the place. I like the idea of it sitting in some rice fields”. 

Well done to Chiaki Arai Urban & Architecture Design! We’d also like to thank our judges for sharing their knowledge and all who took part in this year’s WAN Concrete in Architecture Award.

All in all it was a memorable event that promises to go from strength to strength as it develops over the coming years showcasing this highly versatile material. The sponsors and jury are already being selected for 2016’s event!


Nick Myall

News Editor

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