WAN Metal in Architecture Award 2016 Winners Announced

Nick Myall
Monday 19 Sep 2016

Showcasing the aesthetic and structural realms of metal, Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter and 3deluxe collectively claim title

With the broad spectrum of entrants showcased in this year’s Metal in Architecture Award 2016 we are thrilled to announce we have two winners for 2016: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter for their exceptional project Salling Tower and 3deluxe for their remarkable Butterfly Pavilion – Noor Island.

Both firms were selected from a final six shortlisted projects. This year’s competition showcased the diversity of metal and its use both structurally and creatively, expressing just how vast the possibilities of using this material are.

This year’s respected jury panel selected for their experience in this sector were: Justin Laskin, Associate Partner at Pollard Thomas Edwards, Martin Henn, Partner at HENN, George Keliris, Director of Structures at BuroHappold Engineering and Bart Reuser, Founding Partner at NEXT Architects.

Collectively, both Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter and 3deluxe were selected by our panel as our champions of metal in architecture. 

Salling Tower by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Located on the harbour of Aarhus Ø in Denmark is both a viewing tower and a landmark. It is shaped as a dramatic urban sculpture with a significant architectural expression. The luminous white body of steel is a distinctive focal point and meeting place. Visitors are led on a course full of experiences that begin at the quayside and go to the upper platform 7.5 metres above the quay level. The route through the tower leads under an inclined surface and up to the first viewing plateau that hovers above the water. From here, the visitor is led upwards by a broad staircase which serves a lookout to panoramic views of the harbour and bay. Finally, the covered upper plateau provides a 360 degree overlook of the city and the harbour.

Relating to the experience of the structure Justin aired: “It has a really nice aesthetic to it. It is really a sort of a folly in the truer sense in that it’s not a practical structure and that it’s basically there to be itself and to demonstrate actually what metal can do. It’s treating skin and structure all as one thing. It’s reminiscent of sails and shipping and cranes and all of those things.” Martins comments coincided with Justin’s: “The concise form impresses with a bold cantilever on the edge of the dock and its subtle reminiscence of naval architecture. The prefabricated, single material structure appears very stringent and playful at the same time inviting people to enjoy the views over the harbour.”

The tower weighs around 85 tonnes and is made entirely of welded steel plates. The tower was assembled as one piece and mounted on the waterfront by two cranes that navigated the structure onto the small foundation where it was bolted in place. To allow the construction to balance on the small footprint while considering factors such as weight and movement from visitors, coupled with wind loads proved a significant challenge. The peek holes in the white painted steel plate construction promote not only the feeling of being at sea, but also reduce wind loads and constitute 20 percent in material reduction. Justin summarised his views with: “I think that this is one of the more interesting uses of metal in itself because of the way that its use blurs that line between skin and structure, and delicate balancing and use of material, to actually do something of what it’s good at.”

Butterfly Pavilion – Noor Island by 3deluxe

Noor Island is located in the middle of the capital of the Sharjah, Arab Emirates where design studio 3deluxe is currently designing a 2.5 ha transmedia Landscape Park, interwoven with a collective of several themed pavilions and buildings. Being the first architectural structure to shape the island’s appearance, the Butterfly Pavilion with its ornamental shading roof, houses more than 500 butterflies in a unique biosphere. The shape and design of the pavilion’s biomorphic outer shell are the product of an exploration of parametric design strategies in dialog with traditional Arabian ornamentation. The highly complex freeform roof is composed of a load-bearing 3D frame with over 4,000 golden aluminium leaves of varying sizes. Impressed by the complexity of this design, Justin commented: “In terms of metal this is really interesting. For a metal award, it’s very clever. When you get down to the interlocking’s of the fixings and filigree of these pieces it’s amazing.“ 

The roof as a whole remains strikingly delicate, with only a 200mm thick support structure required. The entire structure rests on only 9 points and three pillars that like a tree trunk taper upwards while branching outwards. The Butterfly Pavilion’s shading roof is not only designed to be formally defining; it also serves to regulate the climate without putting a visual emphasis on the fact. Bart praised both the imagery and functionality of this project by saying: “Strong, innovative, complex and tempting image, especially the shading quality of a space frame is extraordinary, nice use of structural, aesthetic and functional design.” In addition to the shading the roof provides, the geometry actively supports the chimney effect, which funnels hot air over the roof and façade, while the water pools act as humidifiers, cooling inflowing air. Beneath the Butterfly Pavilion’s shady golden roof is a glass cube: the polygonal pavilion is an artificial eco-system, and its rainforest biotope – populated with countless butterflies – is housed inside a sealed climate skin. George complimented the overall structure stating: “A delicate, sweeping form echoes the characteristics of the inhabitants of this pavilion. The quality of the overall shape carries through to the detailing and finish of its elements making this a worthy winner.”

WAN AWARDS would like to congratulate both of our respectable winners, Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter and 3deluxe for their incredible winning projects. We would also like to thank our fantastic jury members for their time and experience and to all those who entered into the Metal in Architecture Award 2016.

Christina Ingram

Awards Coordinator

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