DETAIL Prize 2014 - Impressive award ceremony at the Museum for Communication Berlin
Text: Kathrin Wiblishauser
The DETAIL Prize 2014 has been awarded at a gala event held at the Museum for Communication Berlin. The two award-winning offices, BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen, New York, and Beijing, and a.gor.a architects from Thailand came to Berlin to accept their awards in person.
The distinguished guests present included not only internationally-recognized architects and the other nominees for the DETAIL Prize 2014, but also representatives from the fields of research, politics, culture and industry. Architecture critic Hanno Rauterberg opened the evening with a discussion on contemporary architecture that gave plenty of food for thought. The award ceremony itself represented the actual highlight of the evening, which ended with an informal get-together.
For the second time, the DETAIL Prize award ceremony has been held in Berlin, under the patronage of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety Construction (BMUB). In 2014, the chosen event location was the architecturally-impressive Museum for Communication Berlin. The Museum sees itself as a place of encounter, exchange, and entertainment - in short, communication - and thereby represented the perfect setting for the entertaining and varied programme. Around 100 guests from the fields of architecture, culture, research, politics and industry were invited by DETAIL and the co-sponsor of the DETAIL Prize 2014, BAU 2015, the world's leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems.
Alongside the opportunity to participate in a brief tour of the Museum, guests could also examine the award-winning and nominated projects more closely at an exhibition. The casual get-together at the end of the evening also gave everyone a chance to interact personally with the winners and nominees.
Karin Lang, Managing Director of DETAIL, opened the evening by warmly thanking all the partners and sponsors. DETAIL Editor-in-Chief, Christian Schittich, then explained the procedure for the two-stage competition and the main selection criteria for the nominations. He drew attention to the surprisingly wide range of submissions, which is also reflected in the two winning entries.
Afterwards, there followed the first highlight of the evening - an entertaining yet thought-provoking presentation by the architecture critic, Hanno Rauterberg. He described architecture as a special form of happiness, referring to the enrichment that occurs when buildings are constructed that are convincing not only from an aesthetic and technical, but also from a social point of view - buildings that manage to reconcile our daily behaviour with the often differentiating notions of aesthetics: "Our consumer selves live modern, mobile, globalized lives. Our aesthetic selves require our homes to be anti-modern, immobile and regionalist", explained Rauterberg succinctly. For this balance to be more successful both today and in the future, Rauterberg called for greater political will beyond design statutes, and also for more opportunities for participation by alleged lay people. The two winning projects both showed this in a special way.
After a few words of greeting by Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Appointed Deputy Chairman & CEO of Messe München GmbH, Frank Küsters, as the representative of Josef Gartner GmbH, and Gunther Adler, Secretary of State in the BMUB, there followed the actual award ceremony, overseen by Christian Schittich and Meike Weber, DETAIL Publishing Director.
First, Christian Schittich handed over this year's Readers' Prize to Jan Glasmeier, Albert Company Olmo, and Lucia Rocchelli from a.gor.a architects, for the Kwel Kah Baung Migrant Learning Center project in Thailand. In his brief eulogy, Schittich emphasized the simplicity, regional materiality and particular sustainability of the project, brought about through the revival of old craft techniques and the training of local craftsmen.
On behalf of the entire jury, Werner Frosch from Henning Larsen Architects in Munich, handed the DETAIL Prize 2014 and the prize money of €5,000 to Bjarke Ingels and David Zahle from BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, for their project, Danish Maritime Museum, Helsingør, Denmark. Frosch said in his brief introduction that he was especially impressed by the successful combination of old and new and the way in which the historical context had been dealt with. Bjarke Ingels was delighted to accept the award, and emphasized the indispensable interplay of idea and detail in the design and implementation of his architecture.
About the DETAIL PrizeIn 2014, the DETAIL Prize was awarded for the sixth time. The aim of the DETAIL Prize is to highlight the importance of architecture for society, to strengthen the role of architects in public life, and to promote networking among architects, industrialists, developers and politicians. The prize winners in 2014 were selected from 343 submissions from 41 countries. The DETAIL Prize is supported by the co-sponsor, BAU 2015, the world's leading trade fair for architecture, materials and systems, and by the main sponsor, Josef Gartner GmbH. The patron of the event is the BMUB, represented by Secretary of State Gunther Adler. The exhibition of the submitted projects was enabled by the kind support of System 180.