06.07.2012 Maier@detail.de

RIBA International Awards 2012: Winners Announced

The awards recognise some of the world’s most imaginative, dramatic and green buildings, e. g. Foster + Partners’ high-density urban development Troika in Kuala Lumpur and the world’s tallest building designed by a British architect, the Guangzhou Finance Centre by Wilkinson Eyre.

On 21 June 2012, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced twelve buildings to be awarded:

  • Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand FJMT + Archimedia - architects in  association
  • Clayton Campus – Monash University, Melbourne, Australia - VN Architecture
  • Balsillie School of International Affairs, CIGI Campus, Canada  - Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
  • Guangzhou International Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China - Wilkinson Eyre Architects
  • Innhouse hotel Kunming, China - Integer Intelligent and Green
  • Yotsuya Tenera, Tokyo, Japan - Key Operation Inc / Architects
  • One KL, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - SCDA Architects
  • The Troika, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  - Foster + Partners
  • Solaris Fusionopolis 2B, One North, Singapore - TR Hamzah and Yeang
  • Urban housing and crèche, Geneva, Switzerland - Sergison Bates Architects with Jean-Paul Jaccaud Architectes
  • Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Princeton University, USA - Hopkins Architects
  • Sperone Westwater, Bowery, New York City - Foster + Partners
Auckland Art Gallery - Toi o Tamaki
The Auckland Art Gallery wanted to double its gallery space by restoring and adapting its historic galleries and creating a new exhibition area to complement them. A series of emblematic, sculpted tree-like canopies, whose soffits are of geometrically cut timber from massive Kauri trees, enclose the forecourt, atrium and gallery areas. The result is a delightful sequence of transparent, naturally lit galleries in which internal and external views are created to provide rich backgrounds for the art and to enhance the experience of the visitor. Practice: FJMT + Archimedia - architects in association
Client: Auckland Council
CIGI Campus
The clients wanted a sustainable building that would last a century and would befit its site, the former historic Seagram Distillery. The architects have responded to the client's wish for a 'vibrant sanctuary' and a design that is 'functional but not fancy', with a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional Oxford quad complete with courtyard and bell tower. This is one of the first buildings in Ontario to use Bubble Deck systems, in which recycled plastic balls replace 30% of the non-structural concrete. Practice: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Client: Centre for International Governance Innovation
Frick Chemistry Laboratory
Princeton University wanted a sustainable building to re-house its chemistry department. Hopkins's building is a subtle composition of laboratory wing and three blocks of offices and staircase cores, all linked by a lofty atrium that gives a sense of transparency to the normally hermetic world of the laboratories. The environmental strategy sets new standards of environmental performance for laboratory buildings, employing chilled beams, photovoltaics and rainwater and grey water recycling. It is a building that should last well, adapting to changing needs in laboratory design. Practice: Hopkins Architects
Client: Princeton Office of Design and Construction

Guangzhou International Finance Centre
The main tower is 66 floors of offices and 38 floors of a Four Seasons hotel arranged around a dramatic tapering atrium. The beauty of its diagrid structure lies in its inherent stiffness, which in turn gives it its strength. Each diamond is 54 metres or 12 storeys high, reducing the amount of steel required for the construction by 20%. This is a hugely complex project that appears to be extraordinarily simple, like most of the best things in life. Practice: Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Client: Guangzhou Yuexiu City Construction
The architects have responded well to the idyllic mountain context, breaking up the luxury boutique hotel into a series of carefully sculpted pavilions. Slatted vertical cedar timber covers much of the outsides of the buildings, with the slats spaced out where they are positioned over windows. The project possesses good sustainability credentials for a luxury hotel. It uses locally sourced timber and other materials, and has low U-values and careful placement opening windows to minimise heat gain and thus cut down on the air-conditioning load. Practice: Integer Intelligent and Green
Client: HEXY Horti-Expo Xing Yun Real Estate
Monash University Student Housing, Clayton
This large student housing project comprises two five-storey buildings, each housing 300 students arranged around a large sheltered communal space that has a delightful collegiate feel to it. There has been a significant investment in large solar PV and solar hot water arrays, water recycling and natural ventilation with thermal chimneys, resulting in a 5* Australian Green Star rating. This is a creditable and credible application of modern sustainable design principles on a significant scale in a relatively low cost design and build project. Practice: VN Architecture
Client: Monash University
One KL
This residential tower is C-shaped so as to make the best use of a tight urban site. The missing fourth elevation draws the wind, negative pressure pushing it up the void and cross ventilating the structure through the cuts made by the terraces and pools. The dual aspect of each apartment has other advantages. It brings light into all rooms and creates what is probably architecturally the most interesting space – the void with its dramatic escape stairs. Practice: SCDA Architects
Client: Waterfront Group
The Troika
This daring attempt to find a new functionally driven form for high-density urban living in tropical climates combines apartments, offices, shops and restaurants in three unequal towers clustered around an enclosed courtyard. The twisting geometry of the towers responds organically to neighbouring buildings, solar orientation and distant views. In a climate where shade and wind-driven ventilation provide the only natural means of tempering the excessive heat, the apartments are designed so that they can be naturally ventilated when the weather allows. Practice: Foster + Partners
Client: Bandar Raya Developments
Urban housing and creche
The building is inserted into the existing urban structure of arcades, covered walkways and alleys with a variety of routes that cut through the dense city block. The entrance to the crèche allows views into the rear courtyard, a shaded and secure play space for the children. The apartments are organised around the perimeter of the site, with central halls connecting rooms in a continuous spatial sequence. The new building stitches itself into the texture of the city, with a façade of rich and layered elements. Practice: Sergison Bates Architects with Jean-Paul Jaccaud Architectes
Client: Fondation Ville de Genève pour le Logement Social
Yotsuya Tenera
Situated in a residential district of Tokyo, the three-storey Yotsuya Tenera building occupies a curved site and complies with a number of onerous planning constraints, such as having to build away from boundaries of the site, rights to light and evacuation requirements. While meeting these demands, the architects have succeeded in creating a building of coherence and complexity, with 12 distinct types of apartment accessed from two day-lit and naturally ventilated stairs that eliminate the need for any corridors. The communal stair encourages interaction between residents without compromising privacy. Practice: Key Operation Inc/Architects
Client: Private
Ken Yeang’s approach to designing buildings to cope naturally with extreme climates is hugely important. Solaris is two big buildings, one seven, one 14 storeys, linked by a generous daylit and naturally ventilated atrium with rooflights that close automatically when it rains. This is a green building in every sense of the word. A narrow landscaped ramp, more like a stony country path, wraps itself around the building for 1.5 kilometres, rising from ground level up to a roof garden with dramatic views of one third of Singapore. Architect: CPG Consultants Pte Ltd
Client: Soilbuild Group Holdings
Sperone Westwater
By day this private gallery, just 7.6 metres wide by 30.5 metres deep, is as tough as any in the Bowery. A slender milled glass fortress, it has the air of fine steel. By night its transparency shines through, not least in the moving room, a 6 by 3 metre gallery space which can be parked at any of the four floors of galleries above the entrance level. In less able hands this site could have produced a curator’s nightmare. Instead this mature, polished piece of work is a curator’s dream. Architect: Foster + Partners
Client: Sperone Westwater
The RIBA International Awards are presented to architecture practices based outside the UK building anywhere outside the UK; or for practices based in Britain and working outside the EU. All winners are eligible for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize awarded to the best international building by an RIBA member. The winner of the RIBA Lubetkin Prize will be announced later in the year.

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