WAN Transport Award 2016 Winner Announced

Monday 31 Oct 2016

Isthmus Group and Gottlieb Paludan Architects with COBE Architects announced joint winners of WAN Transport Awards 2016

Congratulations to the joint winners of the closely fought WAN Transport Award 2016, which once again attracted inspiring and unique projects from around the world. Isthmus Group won the award with for Taumanu Reserve Bridge in Auckland, and Gottlieb Paludan Architects and Cobe Architects joined them in first place with their design for Nørreport Station in Copenhagen.

Selected for their experience and expertise in the field of transport design, the judging panel discussed the shortlisted projects at length in order to come to a decision. This year’s jury were: Catherine Hallett, Technical Sponsor for River Crossings at Transport for London, Anthony Leslie, Vice President of HOK, Bridget Rosewell OBE, founder and senior partner at Volterra Parners, Steen Trojaborg, Managing Director and Partner at DISSING+WEITLING, and Chris Williamson, co-founder of WestonWilliamson+Partners. 

The jury were pleased to crown two outstanding designs with the award. 

Taumanu Reserve Bridge restores a connection to a re-imagined coastal landscape created after motorway development in the 1970s severed the local populace from the sea. To resolve the problem of a park in two parts, a bridge of sufficient form and experience was required to stitch the halves together, with a legibility that was of the park and not the motorway. Beautifully balanced and proportioned, the bridge moves into the adjacent constructed and planted landforms and abutments and is bookended by basaltic concrete panels. The jury praised the resulting seamless integration of the bridge with the landscape. Catherine said: “I think the design is innovative. It stands out, it does exactly what it says it’s going to do. It links to the beach, it looks like the beach. Beautiful to walk across, beautiful to look at, with function & form - it ticks all the boxes for me.” Artwork on the bridge’s interior timber panelling was commissioned with guidance from the project’s Maori advisors. The resulting contemporary design was carved by machine, while in counterpoint anodized aluminium shells adorn the gateway upstands. Anthony appreciated the intricacy of the design, stating: “The detailing is fantastic. I think this project is beautiful and a very unusual and sensitive solution to a problem.” 

In contrast with a pedestrian bridge in a coastal landscape, joint winner Nørreport Station is Denmark’s busiest transport hub, with around 350,000 travellers a day. Once a tired urban space with a chaotic, unsafe and noisy atmosphere, the station is now a place characterised by safety, comfort and efficiency.  The jury admired the transformative design, which Bridget praised as “very people friendly”.  The creation of an open and accessible urban space involved consideration of the efficiency of passenger flows. As a result, the forecourt was designed as an extension of the city’s ‘floor’ and direct pedestrian access was established from the surrounding pedestrianised zones, while vehicular traffic has been redirected, leaving only one traffic artery north of the station. Steen said: “It functions very well in Copenhagen; they have moved the roadway to make everything connect.” He went on to state: “What I like about this project, is that you often have infrastructure which spoils the city, but here they have broken it down.” Anthony said, “From an urban point of view, I think this is fantastic.” Parking facilities are available for 2100 bicycles, in an area recessed in relation to the general surface. Catherine said, “I love the recess and I love it in the daylight.” Chris summed up the impressive design as a “simple elegant solution to a complicated problem”.

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank not only the jury, but all who entered their projects into this years’ WAN Transport in Architecture Award 2016.

Lucy Nordberg

Business Information Specialist

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