Originality and innovation, sensitivity to the local context, sustainability, response to climate and user needs, elegance of construction and details: the criteria based on which the Singapore Institute of Architects jury evaluated the projects competing for this year’s edition of the Architectural Design Awards. The 19th edition of the awards was recently concluded, with the winners of the different categories announced, in addition to the two “Buildings of the Year”. This year’s special prize was awarded to two projects: the Jewel Changi Airport designed by Safdie Architects and the Sky Green tower designed by WOHA Architects.
As per tradition, the projects were grouped into six macro areas (Residential Projects, Commercial Projects, Institutional Projects, Industrial Transport & Infrastructure Projects, Special Categories and Interior Architecture) and then organised into different categories. For the 19th edition of the Awards, a new “Social / Humanitarian Architecture” special category was also introduced, focused on projects that address issues of social prevalence and that achieve excellent design solutions, even with limited resources or budgets.
For this special category, the jury awarded the Design Awards to the Work, Meet and Dream! Designing Workplaces to Inspire Youth” project designed by DP Architects and to “The Quiet Room” project designed by Lekker Architects.
The jury highlighted the fact that architects from the DP studio relied on simple materials to define flexible and well-proportioned spaces that “inspire” users, without ever using these materials in a trivial way. The result is a workplace in which the intelligent use of space and surfaces offers several options for customisation, as well as encouraging the commitment and the sense of belonging of young workers.
The challenge accepted by Lekker Architects was to design an interior space, a so-called “quiet room” capable of influencing the behaviour and the emotional state of its users. The architects tackled the project with a great deal of sensitivity, as highlighted by the jury in its motivation for awarding the prize. In particular, the jury appreciated the research process carried out by the architects, which allowed them to design a space characterised by an innovative design, in which form, texture and light are carefully integrated. The project was cited as an example of a well-designed and well-built architectural space that exerts a positive and calming influence on the behaviour of all its users, including children.
This year’s special “Buildings of the Year” prize went to two projects: the Jewel Changi Airport designed by Safdie Architects and the Sky Green tower designed by WOHA Architects. Both already Design Awards winners, the projects were, in fact, candidates in two different categories of the “Commercial Projects” macro-area.
For the Jewel Changi Airport designed by Safdie Architects, the jury stressed the fact that the new terminal has become an important landmark for Singapore. With its lush central garden, the Jewel Changi Airport defines new parameters, deeply innovating the design concept of airport terminals.
Sky Green, on the other hand, is the new skyscraper residential model designed by WOHA Architects in Taichung city (central Taiwan). Sky Green is a prototype of buildings with green façades that incorporate vines and climbing plants, roofs and garden balconies, to tackle the new challenges posed by climate change. The jury praised the results obtained by the architects with a project that sets new sustainability standards for tall buildings.
Images courtesy of SIA photo by: (01) Koumin Lee, (02) Tim Hursely, (04) Studio Periphery, (08) Alextan Artworks, (09) Nacasa & Partners inc., (16) Khoo Guo Jie, (19) Finbarr Fallon, (21-22) Darren Soh, (23) E.K.Yap.