WAN Waterfront Award 2016
A complex challenge, executed in an elegant manner claims the Waterfront title
Congratulations to LINK Landskap. We are pleased to crown their outstanding The Waterfront Promenade at Aker Brygge as winner of the WAN Waterfront 2016 Award.
The WAN Waterfront Award 2016 continues to celebrate and highlight architecture that embraces and exploits the benefits of sites in proximity to water. The award aims to bring together some of the best designs and also promotes projects that address the major issue of rising sea levels, providing a global platform to showcase inspirational ‘built’ designs spanning over the past five years.
Six shortlisted projects were carefully assessed by an experienced jury panel. This year’s judges were: Bryan Avery MBE, Principal at Avery Associates Architects, Richard Coutts, Co-founder of Baca Architects Ltd, Pablo Lazo, Associate Director of Urban Planning at Arup, Morten Schmidt, Partner and Co-founder of schmidt hammer lassen architects, and David Walker, Design Partner of PWP Landscape Architecture.
The jury faced a difficult decision, and they considered this year’s process particularly tricky when choosing between contrasting public and private realm designs of great architectural merit. They reached the final choice based on the complexity of the challenge and the elegance of the solution, which they felt LINK Landskap fulfilled on an exemplary level.
The Waterfront Promenade breathes new life into an important centre for social interaction and activity in Oslo. David stated: “Through simple design, quality materials, and elegant details, the promenade and surrounding streets and plazas effectively connect the city to the waterfront, creating a cohesive place with a distinct, attractive identity.” The project forms part of the effort to reinvigorate Oslo’s post-industrial waterfront by creating a publically accessible promenade, connecting the city’s east and west. One of the project’s main challenges was to reconfigure and simplify the area’s cross-section to reorganise and consolidate the promenade. Richard praised the project’s success in creating a wider, more generous space, saying: “This feels like a lovely regeneration project as well as an urban intervention.”
In order to achieve delineated areas, detailing of the granite paving received special attention throughout the entire design process. The aim was to create a robust and non-directional paving surface, with few detailed accents and no obvious, repeating patterns. Three different modules were developed and employed in order to create a legible yet seamless integration of the various pedestrian, vehicular and shared traffic zones. The paving patterns are inspired by ancient Roman paving traditions, and were redeveloped in order to meet contemporary requirements relating to mass production and installation, and Oslo’s extreme winter conditions, where temperatures can drop to below -25 degrees Celsius. Richard admired the ‘intensity’ of the paving, and the layering of the various thresholds to differentiate the areas for walking or resting. LINK Landskap also developed a site-specific concept for street furniture and ‘staying’ to encourage the role of social interaction in the public realm. Pablo described the design’s treatment of the promenade as “very pragmatically and strategically dividing it into three or four layers that bring urbanity to the water’s edge.” The jury were united in admiration for this ambitious design that results in a dynamic experience of the fjord landscape.
WAN Transport in Architecture Award 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”.
WAN House of the Year Award 2016
Casa Caldera and Walker Workshop awarded joint winners
We are pleased to announce the joint winners of the WAN House of the Year Award 2016, DUST for Casa Caldera in Arizona and Walker Workshop for Oak Pass House in Beverly Hills. Situated in very different and distinctive American landscapes, both houses exemplify designs that subtly complement and integrate with the natural beauty of their surroundings.
In its tenth anniversary, the WAN House of the Year category continues to celebrate projects that not only deliver originality and quality, but also display a commitment to creating spaces that improve people’s lives.
This year’s jury, selected for their expertise and experience, were: Chantal Wilkinson, Director of Wilkinson King Architects, Gillian Horn, Partner of Penoyre & Prasad, David Mikhail, Director of Mikhail Riches, Francisco Leiva, Co-founder of Grupo Aranea, Tom Kundig, Principal and Owner of Olson Kundig, and Marc Koehler, Founder of Marc Koehler Architects.
After an impressive longlist was narrowed down to a shortlist of six, the panel were faced with the difficult task of choosing the winning design. In this case, they were pleased to select two projects for the award.
Casa Caldera is an off-grid house in Southern Arizona’s San Rafael Valley, a remote landscape 15 miles north of the US/Mexico Border. Due to the location, self-sufficiency and security were key considerations in the design by DUST. The jury responded to the way the house references its surroundings, with Tom saying: “I appreciate the simple concrete bunker that submerges slightly into a dessert landscape, using discrete openings such as small windows, big windows, glass sliders and courtyards to connect the reserved concrete building with the site.” Chantal agreed, noting how the “modest home with its solid scoria walls seems part of the landscape.” Almost entirely custom built, features including the scoria walls, steel windows, doors, hardware, wood siding, casework and framing were all fabricated and installed by DUST.
Water is sourced from a well, while solar power is used for minimal electrical and appliance needs. Cooling is provided by natural cross ventilation through the zaguan and window openings, and wood fuel sourced on the property provides heating. Marc was impressed by the use of natural means to provide shelter and power, saying: “This seemingly simple and compact design creates the ultimate hide-out with minimal and natural means (using the sun, wind, earth, fire and wood). It is inspiring to see how you can create spatial poetry with carefully integrated, minimal and low-tech design means.”
In a contrasting location with panoramic canyon views, Oak Pass House in Beverly Hills was also created with an eye to the property’s adjacent topography and landscape. 130 protected Coast Live Oak Trees surround the house, and were the primary drivers for Walker Workshop’s design. David was immediately taken by the elegance of the property, saying: “It’s sophisticated and unusual. It’s beautiful and it’s connected to its landscape.” Francisco agreed, summing the project up as an “elegant, sober and refined construction of an inhabited landscape.” The top level is composed of an array of masses that contains the kitchen, living, and dining areas. Each of these components rotates slightly to frame a unique perspective, together creating a panoramic impression of the canyon from the inside. Chantal observed: “What an amazing journey, to have your views change while walking through.”
A sunken courtyard flanks the hallway, bringing in light and air from above, and creating a more intimately-scaled outdoor space. Bisecting the house, a seventy-five foot infinity lap pool creates continuity between the trees and their reflection. Chantal stated: “The upper floor of this house sits delicately in its rocky landscape of magnificent oak trees, which are reflected in the shimmering pool. Its manifestation is minimal and the majority of the accommodation is submerged into the hillside, allowing the site to take centre stage.”