It is with great delight that we announce Fortunen AS and LineSync Architecture as the winners of the WAN Small Spaces Award 2016. Fortunen AS were championed for their striking project SKJERVSFOSSEN within the permanent category, and we congratulate LineSync Architecture for claiming the title with their life-enhancing project, Wheel Pad within the temporary category.
These winning designs were selected from a shortlist of 12 projects, chosen by our jury panel who were: Jon Leach, Director at AECOM, Marta Domènech, Architect and Lecturer at Map13 Architects and Adam Tither, Director at EPR Architects.
A wonderfully diverse range of small scaled architecture were submitted into both categories for this year’s competition, but Fortunen AS and LineSync Architecture were selected by our panel as champions.
SKJERVSFOSSEN in Norway by Fortunen AS
The National tourist routes of Norway are well known and sitting on the site of Skjervsfossen (Skjervet waterfall) is a small service building consisting of two restrooms and a small technical room. Fortunen AS accentuated and enhanced the experience of the natural landscape, without competing with it. The overall finished project created was something that was a unique and surprising experience. Agreeing with the architect’s element of surprise Adam said: “You’d never know it was there and when you discovered it, to experience being part of the river and cliff face whilst spending a penny would be extraordinary.”
The jury in the room were taken with the natural beauty of the wider context, being both breath-taking and exciting. The river Storelvi flows from a semi-open agricultural landscape, into a narrow channel formed by rock, finally dropping dramatically creating the impressive two-step waterfall.
The building itself sits within a larger open landscape and takes advantage of wide views towards the steep mountain walls, and the moving valley. Creating strong references to the site and its surroundings is an important feature of the project. The building appears as a small piece of the mountain, carved out of the rock and relocated to the other side of the riverbank. Voicing in relation to the building design, Jon shared: “I think it’s fantastic. It’s never normally the way these things are done is it?”
The building has two distinct elevation types. Towards the river, the facade is made from stainless steel, subtly reflecting the river and the wood beyond. Fortunen AS also had a desire to create an interior distinct from its external setting. Contrasting the outside solid rock, the internal walls are covered with deep warm coloured plywood. Encouraged by the materials, Adam expressed: “The way that it responds to its context is brilliant. The material choice and sheer drama of its form is outstanding.” A sharp glazed section of wall opens towards the river, creating views over the moving water, forest and mountains beyond which continue to the sky.
Wheel Pad in U.S.A. by LineSync Architecture
This project by LineSync Architecture, will support and enhance the lives and well-being for those who have lost mobility due to accident, illness or aging. Wheel Pad offers a supportive environment, while still importantly allowing a level of independence and privacy for the person in need. This remarkable temporary project can be attached to nearly any existing home through a backdoor or by removing the sill wall of a window. Appreciating the social impact of this project Marta commented: “A very original use of proposal with possibilities of having a great social impact to improve the living conditions of people with reduced mobility. “
Providing eco-friendly temporary accessible housing for people with mobility issues, Wheel Pad allows friends and/or family to give support until a more permanent and accessible housing solution is attained. With a mobile chassis base, Wheel Pad does not trigger zoning nor permit issues in most areas in the United States.
Wheel Pad allows for easy travel from the bedroom to bathroom and was crucial in the design strategy. An integrated patient lift track adds another option for accessibility and some physical therapies. The pragmatic angling of the track dynamically enhances the space. This, and the strategically located glazing, makes the room feel more expansive. A pair of extension cords fully powers the space with heating, lighting, hot water and a waste pump with all control switches at wheelchair height. Water is supplied via an insulated Pirit Hose from the existing home. A black water tank can be pumped out like an RV, or easily attached to the existing home waste pipe system.
Recognising the thought out design elements, Adam shared: “I think that this project is incredible as it is led by life, or someone who has had an unfortunate accident, but nothing about this space speaks of being patronising or being sympathetic, it is completely appropriate in treating you like a human being.” Agreeing whole-heartedly with Adam, Jon said: “I couldn’t have said it better myself. Things like this can come across as very clinical and under-considered, even sterile. This is a home and it’s appropriate for different people, from young to old, its style isn’t overly contemporary it’s just right. “Following on from Jon’s comments Adam declared: “It’ll give people back their independence. It’s doing a noble and wonderful thing. Very clever.”
WAN AWARDS would like to congratulate both of our Small Space Award 2016 winners, Fortunen AS and LineSync Architecture for their remarkable winning projects. We would also like to thank our esteemed jury panel and all those who entered into the award making it yet another exciting year.