Switzerland and Portugal: Winners of DETAIL Prize 2012 announced

The winners have been chosen: Architects from 45 countries submitted a total of 589 projects for the DETAIL Prize 2012. This is the fifth time that the contest, which aims to highlight impressive projects from around the world, has been held. Once the editorial team had carried out its initial selection, the top-class jury and 3,894 DETAIL readers chose their favourites: The jury selected the project Residence Vitznau by Lischer Partner Planer AG as their winner, while the Readers' Prize went to Portuguese architects' office Pitágoras for its project Platform of Arts and Creativity. On 22 November 2012, both projects will be honoured at the award ceremony at the Schlosshotel im Grunewald in Berlin.
The DETAIL Prize 2012 also sought to identify impressive and architecturally-challenging projects with innovative features and a coherent overall concept. The editorial team had its work cut out analysing and evaluating the 589 entries. The top 25 projects were chosen and presented to the distinguished jury and readers. The international jury, comprising David Chipperfield, Odile Decq, Norman Foster, Jürgen Mayer H., Richard Meier, Volker Staab and Graham Stirk, professionally evaluated the entries and chose the Residence Vitznau by Lischer Partner Architekten Planer AG as the winner of the DETAIL Prize 2012.
Residence Vitznau, Switzerland - Lischer Partner Architekten Planer AG

The clients for the single-family house in Vitznau in Switzerland wanted to live in a wooden house. However, as the site was on a piece of steeply sloping terrain, architects' office   Lischer Partner Architekten Planer AG decided to design a solid structure whose hard shell of a concrete facade enclosed and protected the soft core of a wooden house. As a result, the wooden structure is now a house inside a house. Initially, the prefabricated wooden building was put together out of modular elements, after which the concrete facade was fitted onto it as a single shell. The completely wooden interior lining is made of stock-lumber larch wood. At the openings and recesses, the wood is also visible from outside. The solidly framed fixed glazing in larch wood emphasise the view of different landscape features along the banks of the Vierwaldstättersee. A clear cubature design anchors the house firmly on the slope, while a bridge serves as a connection to the open yard with garage and house entrance. The shared rooms are located on the top floor and the two lower bedroom floors are accessed via two spatially offset staircases. Built-in features and fixed furnishings create zones in the different spaces. 
Platform of Arts and Creativity, Guimarães, Portugal – Pitágoras Arquitectura e Engenharia Integradas, Lda

The new building in the market square in Guimaraes, Portugal, Capital of Culture in 2012, was created by Pitágoras - Arquitectura e Engenharia Integradas, Lda, as a platform for art and creativity. As a result of the old city market's transformation into a multi-functional public space, the square and surrounding buildings will be upgraded and regained as an active centre for the municipal area. The concept for the new building and the design of the square is determined by the programme that envisages three main areas. Exhibitions and performances take place in the Art Center. In the form of creative labs, there are work rooms and offices for artists. An area for workshops and temporary actions supplement the programme. Shops and businesses in the existing buildings on the east side enliven the scenario and are in line with the original function of the square. Analogous to the new use, the volume and surface of the new building starkly contrast with the surroundings. The serially arranged shops contrast with an irregularly structured, shiny metal construction. The copper facade made of metal rods is interrupted by glimmering glass surfaces and elements that mark the entrance areas.
The nominated projects were presented on the DETAIL website for one month. Each reader could vote once online for their favourite project. A total of 3,894 architects and architecture-lovers voted for their favourite projects. The project Platform of Arts and Creativity by Pitágoras - Arquitectura e Engenharia Integradas, Lda proved the readers' favourite and will therefore be awarded the DETAIL Readers' Prize.
The winners will be honoured at the exclusive award ceremony on 22 November 2012 in Berlin, where the winners will meet high-profile figures from the international architectural and cultural scenes as well as leading researchers, politicians and industrialists. The DETAIL Prize highlights the importance of architecture for society and promotes the role of architects in public, as well as networking among architects, industrialists, developers and politicians. The Detail Prize is backed by the co-promoter, the world-leading BAU 2013 trade fair, and the main sponsor, Josef Gartner GmbH.

Further information: www.detail-online.com/detail-prize
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