Ten projects have been selected as winners of 2017 AIA International Region Design Awards, honoring exemplary projects undertaken by architect members of the American Institute of Architects’ International Region, encompassing six of the seven chapters located outside of the United States: AIA United Kingdom, AIA Continental Europe, AIA Hong Kong, AIA Japan, AIA Middle East, and AIA Shanghai (not including the recently formed AIA Canada).
Projects were selected by an international jury led by Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, AIA Past President 2014, AIA IR Zone 1 (USA) and were presented AIA International Region Conference in Prague on October 7th.
Winners were chosen in five categories:
- Architecture – Projects may be new construction, renovation or preservation/restoration projects (no projects selected in this category this year)
- Interior Architecture – Projects may be new construction, renovation or preservation/restoration projects.
- Urban Design – Projects may be urban design projects, planning programs, civic improvements, campus plans, environmental programs, or redevelopment projects.
- Open International – Projects can be Architecture, Interior Architecture, Urban Design, revitalization or other types of work by HYPERLINK “https://www.aia.org/pages/21906-international-associate-membership” International Associate AIA members.
- Unbuilt – Entries must be unbuilt projects that will not be built. The project design must be completed since January 1, 2012. This category is to recognize the efforts of our architect members who have completed meaningful work, but due to client change, land use change or other reasons beyond the control of the architect, the project will not be built.
Honor Award in Interior Architecture
Citi Tower OBE; Hong Kong / M Moser Associates
The project began with studies of Citi business units’ composition, operational, spatial and technological needs, and an extensive discovery of Citi’s strategic goals for Hong Kong. Among these were needs for flexible, sustainable workspaces; a wide variety of work settings differing in configuration, look and feel; reliable integrated Wi-Fi and AV infrastructure; increased availability of meeting rooms and collaborative spaces; and enhanced expression of the Citi brand. Offering casual settings that range from café-like to living room-like, the community floor features a vibrant ‘Marketplace’ zone with food and beverage amenities, plus dedicated spaces for training and recruitment. Designed for flexibility, these spaces can be easily consolidated to accommodate ‘town hall’ gatherings and other events.
“Citi’s new office has enabled the bank to consolidate 38 business units and over 3000 staff members into one complex. The jury members admired the way in which new company goals for flexible workplaces and differing configurations of work settings had been accommodated. These combine different elements of both community, meeting and ‘break-out’ activities to form nine distinct types of flexible areas, with a range of sustainable and wellness features. The jury was also very impressed by the way in which a new corporate culture and employee empowerment had been at the forefront of the design process and had been implemented with clarity and elegance.”
Merit Award in Interior Architecture
HKU Dining Hall/Auditorium; Hong Kong / Index Architecture
The auditorium is a fan-shape architectural volume slightly tapering from west to the east. It is situated at the podium level of a 400-people residential dormitory at the University of Hong Kong(HKU). The design team’s was tasked with developing a multi-purpose room which functions as cafeteria, lecturing theater, exhibition space, as well as catering for the HKU’s traditional “high-table” dinner annually, while not altering the existing utilities, predominantly 6 sizable air ducts and the miscellaneous chilled/hot water pipes, electric data wiring. Inspired by the disassembling of a stranded ship, the design team’s goal was to conceal the functional components of the of the utilities. By imagining the space to be clad by three-dimensionally curved panels that form a “half-hull” on both side of the space. Geometrically, each panel is slightly varied so the next panel can fit the infrastructure elements behind. The architectural experience directs views to the outside residential neighborhood. The panel is designed as weaved synthetic rattan sandwiched with acoustical batting. Rattan is the perfect material to accommodate both the warped surface while providing the required acoustical performance. These panels pivot 180° to reveal the “backside” pin up surface designed for display and exhibition purposes. The choices of material for both the ceiling and the floor are of darker tone in order to accentuate the unique geometric formation of the hall.
“The project is situated at the podium level of a residential dormitory block, and the design specification was for a multi-purpose space which could function as a dining room, lecture theatre and exhibition space. The jury was impressed by the solution for overcoming the constraints associated with the retention of pre-existing major utility installations. The use of three-dimensional curved panels to provide an interesting edge to the facility, was considered to be a sound means to achieve flexible adaptation of the space. Also the use of weaved synthetic rattan provided an attractive surface, as a backcloth for all the proposed uses of the space, while meeting the required acoustic levels.”
Merit Award for Interior Architecture
Hong Kong Design Office; Hong Kong / M Moser Associates
The design development for this award-winning project was driven by study and evaluation of the company identity, needs, staff working practices, and a desire to make the office as rewarding and productive as possible. Infused with the dynamism and energy of the workforce, the space embraces nature and inspires creativity in a vibrant and unique way. Offering a unique blend of greenery and natural light, the new office space showcases a lush tree table, bringing the outside in and tranquility to the fluid, central desk space. Healthy and active workstations are designed to be comfortable, convenient and to encourage physical activity. To enhance wellness and productivity the office implements a wide range of international best practice standards including: WELL (IWBI), LEED (USGBC), HK BEAM (HKGBC) and RESET (air quality). Base building water fixtures can achieve a total water use reduction of over 40% compared to the U.S. EPA standard. Highly efficient LED lights and optimally arranging lighting layouts have contributed to a total lighting power reduction of over 15% compared with ASHRAE. Breathing zone outdoor air ventilation rates supplied into each space are at least 30% above the minimum rates required by ASHRAE 62.1-2007 standards for ‘Minimum Indoor Air Quality Performance’. Over 90% of the rated power of all new equipment installed in this project is Energy Star rated.
“The aspiration for this space is to foster a collaborative, productive and vibrant workplace environment that maximizes useable area, light and views. “I’d like to work there” shared one of the jurors, “it’s so light and open with varied options for workplace” The jury considered the design and layout to incorporate key features that inspire creativity and a relaxed work atmosphere. The jury applauded the sustainability features for energy, lighting systems and water efficiency. They also appreciated the blend of greenery and natural light, and the healthy workstation installations to enhance wellness and productivity, exemplifying best practice.”
Merit Award for Urban Design
Shanghai Tech University; Shanghai, China / Moore Ruble Yudell
Chosen as the winning submission of an invited international competition, the master plan is considered as a new prototype of campus design in China – one that fosters faculty and student engagement across disciplines encouraging scientific innovation and entrepreneurial achievement. Adjacent technology facilities and the surrounding canal system set the stage for an innovative academic environment that is deeply rooted in its context. The Crescent, linking administration, education and library facilities, fronts the campus’ southern entry and Great Lawn. Extending northwards radially from the lawn are three axes of differing landscaped characters – each a linear “Green” defining the campus’ three primary neighborhoods. Five schools and an education center are closely gathered along the central academic quad encouraging cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary pursuits. Four of the schools, the Incubator and Residential Village, border the Gallery, a curved, covered multi-use promenade that connects the campus community.
The urban design for the ‘Next Generation University Campus’ is located within the Zhanjiang High Tech Park and is envisioned to become a world-class education and research institution. The jury was impressed by the planning and building layout developed around three linear green axes, each of a different character, which defined the primary academic sectors. This created a livable, pedestrian oriented form with opportunities for chance encounters and passive recreation. The jury was also impressed by the incorporation of permeable atria connections and the wide variety of passive energy strategies and technologies employed including photovoltaics, wind turbines, storm water management, and recycling of waste.
Honor Award in Open International | Architecture
Sandcrawler; Singapore / Andrew Bromberg, Assoc. AIA
The client’s specific requests required a certain height and a specific sloping topography. The guidelines also regulate the minimum amount of mass on the enclosure. The design approaches these guidelines deliberately to fulfill the viability requirements but with strong civic quality as a statement for the local headquarters. The result is the building floating up to 13 meters above the ground below. The open space is landscaped in a natural, overgrown manner. The “taught” external metallic glass skin allows privacy on the more exposed faces and presents a more aerodynamic appearance, while clear glass is utilized in the end faces of the wings, into the courtyard elevations and wrapping under the vessel’s soffit maximizing “perceived” volume within the deck. A state-of-the-art 100-person theatre needed a double high zone and was placed on the upper levels of the lower, end user zone and immediately below the leased tenant spaces, in the same zone for the gallery, conferencing and pre-function facilities. Slightly visible through the metallic skin to the outside and openly visible to the courtyard, this feature further distinguishes this building from being considered purely just an office building. The external metallic glass skin allows for good solar protection. The skin is cut away on the lower edges and uses a low-iron clear glass which is utilized in the end faces of the wings, into the courtyard elevations as well as wrapping under the vessel’s soffit, to reduce the aperture moving up to reduce solar gain into the office floors and to the deck below. On the exposed wing faces added planting and green terraces hang down, protecting these zones from solar gain but also tying the vessel into landscape below.
“This innovative building takes the form of a regional headquarters but with a strong civic intent, and therefore reflects an intentionally diverse design approach. The way in which this was interpreted in architectural terms was greatly admired by the jury. Equally the jury was impressed with the way that the plan form incorporates green terraces with a layered quality of spaces. These are designed to provide shading as part of the overall structure, allowing for good solar protection which helps to integrate the design within the overall landscape setting.”
Honor Award in Open International | Architecture
Siemens Headquarters; Munich, Germany / Louis Becker, Int’l Assoc. AIA
The new Global Headquarters of Siemens houses 1,200 employees while supporting innovation and knowledge sharing across the organization through one common atrium and open courtyards where people can meet and converse. The offices consist of open rooms in which employees can work across disciplines, or alternatively work in quiet zones for focused concentration. All workspaces feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and employees can adjust heating and ventilation according to their preference. Located in the heart of Munich the historic Wittelsbacherplatz is visible from building and is situated behind the renovated Ludwig Ferdinand Palais, which until 2016 housed Siemens’ main administration. Siemens Headquarters combines ambitious architecture with effective building technology, introducing a benchmark for sustainability for the profession. As one of Europe’s most sustainable headquarters with DGNB Platinum and LEED Platinum certifications, 30,000 data points from Siemens’ advanced technology are used to regulate the building’s temperature, ventilation and lighting. The building consumes 90% less energy and 75% less water than the previous building. The inner façades are angled five degrees to optimize lighting for the lower floors, reducing reliance on artificial lighting and operational costs. Additionally, a groundwater cooling system is attached to a geothermic system to optimize microclimate.
“The project represents the global headquarters of Siemens, one of the world’s major producers of sustainable technology. The jury were impressed with the respect given to the level of cultural and spatial connection and ‘fit’ within the historical context. They were also impressed with the organization of spaces within the complex supports innovation and knowledge sharing. The sustainable approach incorporates new benchmarks in advanced technology, requiring only ten percent of previous energy consumption, while the multiple atria facilitates a democratic overall distribution of daylight throughout the entire complex.”
Merit Award in Open International | Architecture
The Bolshevik Factory; Moscow, Russia / John McAslan + Partners
The Bolshevik Factory is an important example of Moscow’s industrial heritage, spanning both the pre-and post-Soviet period. The site comprises seventeen buildings, including listed buildings dating from the 1870’s. When acquired in 2012, the Bolshevik Factory was derelict: roofs caved in and the decorative brickwork facades damaged. The design team was tasked with creating spaces that fuse working, living and entrainment into the complex. Consisting of five distinct elements, the project features naturally lit atria, covered ‘streets’ linking the office structures, high end-residential units inserted within the historic building fabric, a new Museum of Russian Impressionism and fully accessible public gardens. The new Museum of Russian Impressionism is an adaption of an existing storage silo on the site and a cultural destination in its own right – the first major private art museum to open in the city, hosting annual exhibitions from leading international museums and private collections.
“The context for this comprehensive conservation and restoration project is a group of seventeen listed but derelict buildings dating from the 1870s. The jury particularly appreciated the enormous scope and ambition of the project, whereby five distinct restoration areas have been identified for individual attention. These incorporate both working and cultural uses integrated within the historic fabric, linked by covered ‘street’ arcades. The jury also applauded the fact that the entire area has been subject to an integrated energy master plan to increase thermal performance levels through heat recovery.”
Merit Award for Unbuilt Design
Land of the Rising Tulips – Bamiyan Cultural Center; Bamiyan, Afghanistan / RAW-NYC Architects
The design team centered their work around the philosophy of creating a subtle stroke of intervention without disturbing the powerful visual impact of the Bamiyan Valley. To add to this visual impact, they left the land for a terrain of red tulip flowers that symbolizes the belief in the people of the Bamiyan Valley yet provide them with an opportunity for income from exporting red tulips flowers harvested from the terrain of the site. Inspired by cave dwellings in the Bamiyan Valley, the cultural center was designed to be dug underground, which will ensure that the sensitivity of the terrain remains intact without any new, alien or unwelcomed structure interrupting the ethos of the valley. One of the major environmental advantages of carving out underground spaces is the reduction of the carbon footprint of the space, as the only building materials used are those that already exist on the site. Apart from that, another important point to note in the design is the use of the layered courtyards, which help in regulating temperatures throughout the extreme seasonal changes. These underground layers will remain cooler in summers & warmer in winters ensuring passive cooling & heating respectively and negating the use of electricity required for additional cooling or heating.
“The project is the result of a UNESCO sponsored competition to unleash the cultural potential of the picturesque Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. The jury was impressed by the overall notion of intervention to benefit the people of the valley while providing them with an income from the harvesting of red tulip flowers. A unique aspect of the sustainable solution was to retain the overall environmental quality of the wider area while carving out underground spaces for new cultural uses, thereby reducing the overall carbon footprint and ensuring passive heating and cooling for the new spaces.”
Merit Award for Unbuilt Design
Shekou Contemporary Art and Culture Centre; Shekou, China / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Located on the industrial waterfront of Shenzhen Prince Bay, The Shekou Contemporary Art and Culture Center will be an international, culturally-based, mixed-use development to represent the future of China’s philosophy on art and life. As a counterpoint to the surrounding urban fabric that consists of large footprint, singular buildings, the project recalls the spatial character of China’s fine-grained networks of urban alleyways and vegetated courtyards. Above the ground plane is an elevated piano-nobile, which serves as an outdoor extension of the 10,000-square meter contemporary museum devoted to visual, performance, digital and sculptural art, music, and interactive media. Roofs, indoor and outdoor terraces connected by stairs, will break down the walls of traditional exhibition space, allowing art and activities to be visible and accessible to the public.
“The intended site is situated on the industrial waterfront of Shenzhen Prince Bay, with an existing cluster of silos and a flour mill. The jury recognized the potential to repurpose the older industrial buildings, while utilizing the opportunity to incorporate new installations connected by a defined system of spaces and precincts. In particular, the jury appreciated the intentions of the project to break down the barriers often associated with the design of cultural space, allowing uses to be visible and accessible to a wider public. It was considered that the series of courts and terraces, intended to enrich the pedestrian experience, successfully optimized opportunities for cross-cultural participation and informal interaction.”
Commendation for Unbuilt Design
July 22 Memorials; Oslo, Norway / Paul Murdoch, AIA
Following the attacks on July 22, 2011, the Government of Norway decided that permanent national memorials would be established in the Government Quarter in Oslo and on the land facing the island of Utøya to commemorate victims, survivors, emergency service personnel and volunteers. The names of those killed at Utøya will be presented at the memorial site at Sørbråten in Hole. The memorial designs use polished stainless-steel walls to create commemorative spaces that allow immersive reflection among the names of the victims, natural surroundings and movement of visitors. By merging these together, it is hoped the memory of those lost will remain alive and honored through the interaction with ongoing natural and human changes. Simple, minimal elements and use of existing landscape and urban features recognize the project’s modest budget. The contrast of these precise, machined walls among the living trees that precede and endure beyond expresses both the abruptness of the attacks and continued remembrance of those who were loved. The memorials occupy a minimal footprint and integrate the natural environment in the site-specific expression and experience of each. Simple contrasting elements, made in durable stainless steel to withstand the harsh climate, reflect nature in mysterious, ever changing variety.
“The proposed memorial designs represent a response by the Government of Norway to commemorate victims, survivors and volunteers on two separate sites. The first is situated in the Government Quarter of Oslo, and the second on land facing the island of Utøya. The jury considered that the designs were inspiring, being aligned with their natural surroundings. It was also considered that the utilization of minimal elements achieved a respect for the existing landscape, with a minimal environmental footprint.”
The winning projects will be displayed at the AIA Conference on Architecture in New York from June 21-23rd, 2018.
News and project descriptions via AIA