The winners of the European Copper in Architecture Awards 17 were revealed today, online across Europe. This international award recognises the best architectural designs incorporating copper and copper alloys. Trollbeads House in Copenhagen, Denmark is the outright winner.
This year, the competition is being celebrated online through videos of the winning and commended projects, including architect interviews, a social media campaign, an Awards brochure and coverage in the latest issue of Copper Architecture Forum magazine – all available via copperconcept.org/awards.
The 17th iteration of these popular, biennial architectural awards recognises the growing influence of copper and its alloys on modern design, but it also exposes to a wider international audience inspirational projects, some of which might otherwise go unrecognised. This year, over 50 entries were received from 17 countries.
Entries were assessed by an international team of architect judges, all recipients of previous Copper in Architecture Awards: Ulla Hell (PLASMA studio, Italy); Erik Nobel (NOBEL arkitekter, Denmark); Fernando Sá (Pitágoras Aquitectos, Portugal) and Keith Williams (keith williams architects, UK). They were impressed by the high standards demonstrated across the entries generally, but eventually settled on ten shortlisted projects, from which five awards were made.
The 2015 Awards outright winner is Trollbeads House, Copenhagen, Denmark, designed by BBP Arkitekter. This regeneration of a 1960s office block into a high security building is organised like a Venetian merchant’s house, with goods loaded at the ground floor, stock and offices above, then a penthouse for the owner with a roof terrace.
The design is defined by a patterned, perforated golden copper alloy curtain, incorporating motorised folding elements, that effectively changes the architecture of the building. The judges said: 'This transformable building is a unique and powerful response to its urban context – surprising, yet obvious. The central concept is carried through undiluted and executed with care to an impressive level of detail.'
Four commendations were also made. In Destelbergen, Belgium, Graux & Baeyens Architecten’s VDV House takes mandatory planning requirements as its cue to create a thoroughly contemporary subversion of the traditional gabled house in copper and glass. The judges commented: 'The abstract, diagrammatic rationale behind this design is seductive and delivered with conviction as a pavilion within a walled garden.'
This entry is also the Public Choice Award, receiving the most votes on-line from visitors to copperconcept.org.
Also commended was a group of Ferry Terminal Buildings in Stockholm, Sweden, designed by Marge Arkitekter and clad in burnished brass, in one of the city’s most visited areas opposite the Royal Palace. The judges said: 'This powerful group of buildings along Stockholm’s waterfront is truly special and defies the mundane ferry terminal building typology. Deferential in scale to their historic neighbours, the buildings make no architectural concessions and instantly add to the city’s heritage.'
The judges were also impressed with a simple Sports Hall in St Martin, Austria, designed by Dietger Wissounig Architekten. This is characterised by façades of folded, perforated copper plates covering the hall with a semi-transparent veil. They commented that: 'This sports hall box is beautifully done. Its detailed execution is exemplary, with uninterrupted glazing and a subtle use of perforated copper.'
The final Commendation was awarded to architect LAN’s Euravenir Tower in Lille, France, which creates a new urban space at its pivotal location, combining private and public, vertical and horizontal. The judges added: 'This free-standing, crystalline copper tower is handsome in its own right…but it also plays a key urban design role in a very public situation, uniting and making sense of its surroundings.'
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More information and images of all the entries can be viewed at copperconcept.org/awards :