DETAIL Prize 2018 – Award ceremony in Munich
On 16 November 2018, an impressive exhibition was staged alongside the DETAIL Prize 2018 Award Ceremony. Representatives from the award-winning architecture firms presented their five winning projects, which were projected onto horizontal surfaces, to guided visitor groups. The Kunsthalle Lothringer 13, wrapped in atmospheric darkness, offered an ideal platform for this focused form of architectural mediation.
Representatives of the winning offices had travelled from Chile, Spain, Denmark and Great Britain to report on the backgrounds, design concepts, construction methods and planning details of their prizewinning buildings and to receive the awards personally. The Kunsthalle Lothringer 13 in Munich's Haidhausen district provided the setting for an exhibition design conceived by Munich lighting artist Matthias Singer. Images and plans of the five winning projects were projected onto horizontal panels at low table height, while the hall was wrapped in darkness. Only linearly-arranged downlights, whose light cones were visible through a light fog, provided atmospheric lighting and orientation in the room. However, the main focus throughout the evening was on the projections of the award-winning architecture.
Presentations of the winning projects
Christián Undurraga and Sebastián Mallea of Undurraga Devés Arquitectos from Santiago de Chile highlighted in their presentation, among other things, the facade-forming supporting structure of the Chilean Pavilion for the Milan Expo 2015, which was awarded the "structure – powered by DETAIL special prize". The building with its characteristic structure has now been put to a new and permanent use in southern Chile, with the architects also responding to the different requirements in the two countries, such as earthquake protection and building physics.
The main DETAIL Prize was awarded twice this year – to David Lorente Ibáñez from Harquitectes, based in Sabadell, Spain, for the Cristalleries Planell civic centre in Barcelona, and to Mat Cash from Heatherwick Studio in London for the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town. In a discussion following their presentations, the project managers of the two refurbishment projects agreed on the undreamt-of opportunities offered by the respective existing buildings when it came to the development of their innovative architecture. Mat Cash explained: "I like the process, I like the conversation with the existing building. The building always tells you what it needs."
Michael Christensen from Christensen & Co. Architects and Anders Wesley Hansen from Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter travelled from Copenhagen for the "DETAIL inside special prize". Among other things, they illustrated the multitude of visual references resulting from the formal sophistication in the atrium of the DTU 202 institute building in Lyngby, Denmark.
Last but not least, Impluvium, a community centre in Reinosa, Spain and a project selected by DETAIL readers in an online vote and presented by the architects Carlos García Fernández and Begoña de Abajo Castrillo of RAW / deAbajoGarcía, was awarded. DETAIL editors guided the visitor groups through the exhibition and acted as moderators at the presentation tables.
Prizewinners recognised by the jury
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founding partner of Snøhetta and chairman of the jury for the DETAIL Prize 2018, then explained in detail how the winners had been chosen. The projects not only made an assertion, a wish in the sense of a design idea, but also fulfilled these in the end result. In their own way, they each proved what great architecture and great engineering technology are all about. Thorsen described the two winners of the main DETAIL Prize as true masterpieces that would serve as role models for a long time. "I can't emphasize enough how impressed we on the jury were with the quality of the projects, especially in view of the fact that more square metres are being built today than ever before, and that architecture has become so challenging and complex", explained Thorsen.
The jury also included Sandra Hofmeister, Editor-in-Chief of DETAIL, Jakob Schoof, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of DETAIL, Manfred Grohmann of Bollinger + Grohmann Ingenieure and Philippe Block, Professor at ETH Zurich. Sandra Hofmeister, who moderated the official part of the award ceremony, thanked all the prize winners for being ambassadors for good architecture.
Politicians and sponsors recognise the DETAIL Prize
Gunther Adler, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, emphasized in his speech his high regard for the DETAIL Prize. Since 2012, the Federal Ministry for Building has sponsored this important award. "Prizes and competitions such as the DETAIL Prize are in the Federal Government's opinion very valuable tools for promoting architecture and building culture, and provide excellent incentives and stimulus for the development of new things on the one hand, and the emergence of innovation on the other", said State Secretary Adler in his talk to the invited Munich audience.
As the representative of the main sponsor, BAU 2019, Reinhard Pfeiffer expressed his admiration for the high quality of the 353 entries that had been submitted for the DETAIL Prize 2018 and praised the careful selection made by the high-ranking jury. He also complimented DETAIL Verlag on its communication with architects at BAU and on the DETAIL Prize, which Messe München had supported from the outset.
Other partners and sponsors of the DETAIL Prize 2018 were the Bavarian Chamber of Architects, the Network for Architecture Exchange NAX, the City of Munich, the Federal Chamber of Engineers and the companies Creaton, Deutsche Bank, Kleusberg, Schnitzer&, Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions and LG Hausys. The latter also sponsored the trophies for the winners, which are made of the solid surface material Hi-Macs and are likely to occupy a special place in architects' material libraries from now on. In just under two years' time, there will once again be an opportunity to submit high-quality entries for the DETAIL Prize.
On Wednesday, 16 January 2019, this year's prizewinners will once again travel to Munich to present their winning projects to the public at the BAU 2019 trade fair and the DETAIL Forum in Hall A4.
Author: Sabina Strambu