Architecture Awards held at BATIMAT praises Europe’s best designers

  • 10 Jan 2014

The Platform of Arts and Creativity incorporates unifying abstract cubic forms with a grid of brass profiles

Four awards were made from ten shortlisted projects. The outright winner was Platform of Arts and Creativity, Guimarães, Portugal – designed by Pitágoras Aquitectos. This regeneration of the ancient centre of one of Portugal’s most historically important cities is defined by unifying abstract cubic forms, veiled by a grid of brass profiles that dematerialises the building’s mass, adding an extra, translucent dimension.
  
The design is a confident response to the challenges of working within a UNESCO
and City of Culture site. Pulling together a diversity of old buildings, the regeneration gives a new civic heart to the city – looking to the future as well as the past. The design takes a clever, fresh approach and, of all the entries, this is the one that all the judges most want to visit and explore.
  

Three commendations followed. Designed by JKMM Architects, Seinäjoki City Library, Finland, is an assertive but respectful copper-clad, thoroughly contemporary addition to the most extensive cluster of Alvar Aalto buildings in the world. The massive, pristine white frames to openings work well in counterpoint to the rustic feel of the naturally- weathering, pre-oxidised copper of the external skin.
The judges recognised how the building sits comfortably amongst its illustrious neighbours while retaining its individuality – a real achievement.
  

Seinäjoki City Library, Finland, was praised for the way it ‘sits comfortably amongst its illustrious neighbours while retaining its individuality’

NOBEL arkitekter’s Covering of the Runic Stones in Jelling, Denmark, comprises deceptively simple, bronze and glass structures, protecting nationally important ancient stones. In this deceptively simple design, everything has been cleverly reduced down to a pure beauty. The interventions to this ancient site can be seen as a pair of perfectly crafted jewel boxes of real quality, substantially enhancing the visitors’ experience of the runic stones that they so carefully –
but discreetly – protect.
  

Plasma Studio’s Dolomitenblick apartment building in Sexten, Italy, was constructed out of copper and timber

With Plasma Studio’s Dolomitenblick apartment building
in Sexten, Italy, copper and timber define the sculpted mass growing out of the natural Alpine topography and reflecting traditional roof forms, redefining the local vernacular. The judges were impressed by the project’s effortless display of its strong sense of form and context. The rigorous use of copper and timber, both inside and out, set this building apart as one designed and completed with real conviction.
  
This year’s judging panel consisted of four architects – all recipients of previous Copper in Architecture Awards: Einar Jarmund (Jarmund/Vigsnæs, Norway); Craig Casci (Grid Architects, UK); Davide Macullo (Davide Macullo Architects, Switzerland); Anu Puustinen (Avanto Architects, Finland). More information and images of all 82 entries, can be viewed at: copperconcept.org/awards.

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