On 28 november The Swedish Association of Architects held its annual Architecture Gala with prize ceremony. The most prestigious prize, the Kasper Salin Prize was awarded the art centre Väven in Umeå.
PRIZEWINNER KASPER SALIN PRICE 2014
Väven Arts Centre, Umeå
Part of an urban development project woven into the city and reinforcing Umeå’s riparian cultural axis. The building houses conference facilities and a hotel, plus public amenities such as a library and studios/workshops.
The facilities have been broadly and generously planned so as to have a development potential in the Umeå of tomorrow.
The façade detailing is ambitious and carefully worked out, a prefabricated precision façade of curved glass forming an undulating, interesting volume with crimped through ribbon windows.
The open plan is designed to provide freedom of movement through the building, thereby facilitating spontaneous activities. The rooms are open plan, with fittings consistently position below eye level, thus preserving the open, fluid perception of the different storeys and their vistas. Clarity and precision have resulted in thoroughly crafted detailing, using just a few materials, such as glass, oak, concrete and metal fabric.
Väven has multi-dimensional qualities – an ambitious building set to become a beacon for Umeå and the arts.
Architects, Snøhetta och White Arkitekter: Arkitekt Rune Grasdal (Snøhetta), arkitekt MSA Maria Olsson (White arkitekter).
Client: Väven i Umeå AB (Umeå kommun och Balticgruppen AB).
Every year the Swedish Association of Architects awards the Kasper Salin prize for a Swedish building or group of buildings of high architectural quality. The prize was founded in 1962 with a donation from former Stockholm City Architect Kasper Salin (1856–1919). The prize is awarded to the building and consists of a bronze relief (designed by Bengt Lindroos, Architect SAR/MSA) which is affixed to the building. Replicas of the prize are presented to the client and architect.
PRIZEWINNER THE SIENA PRIZE 2014
A park where people are not meant to linger but which, despite its exposed location underneath the busy Essingeleden flyover, communicates a powerful aesthetic experience to passers-by. Brovaktarparken ties different levels in the city together with diagonal links, creating a visually clear landscape. It excites admiration, its vocabulary exudes movement and speed, and it succeeds in creating an intensified ambience of poetry.
A clear, straightforward zigzag pattern imparts a character which can stand up to the scale of the traffic environment, reconciling it with accessibility requirements to form a holistic entity replete with character. Sharp angles and gradients in triangular spaces create an interesting play of light and shade which endows the park with new guises at all hours of the day and night. An artificial tree with slowly changing bloom accentuates the mood and underscores the paradox of the place. This is landscape architecture verging on landscape art in its bid to derive benefit from the “non-place” of the traffic machinery in shaping the urban environment.
Architects, Nod combine: Landscape architect Petter Hauffman, landscape architects MSA Anders Mårsén, Elin Olsson, Johan Paju, architects SAR/MSA Magnus Schön och Eveliina Hafvenstein Säteri.
Client: City of Stockholm.
The Siena Prize is awarded to encourage a good outdoor environment. Presented to the project and its architect, it takes the form of a diploma and a relief plaque, the latter being affixed to the object concerned. In addition, the architect is offered a three-day field trip to Siena and its surroundings together with the jury and a representative appointed by the sponsor. The rewarded project must be of present-day relevance. The principal achievement for which the planner is being rewarded should not be more than five years old. The project must also be complete enough for its qualitative merits to be appreciated by a broad general public. The prize is officially sponsored by Starka Betongindustrier.
PRIZEWINNER THE GOLDEN CHAIR
SK Mat & Människor
This restaurant opened in April 2014 in a former frame-maker’s workshop near Götaplatsen in Göteborg (Gothenburg). Despite the place being anything but easy to convert, the architects have successfully retained much of the original layout and detailing.
The interior of SK Mat & Människor is based on luxury, free from ostentation, and on solid, familiar materials used in an untried context. Conceptually and functionally, the interior is cogently worked out and solidly crafted with no compromising on the overall concept. The architects have custom-designed the complete interior, from furniture and fittings down to lesser details like trays. The result: a restaurant both modern and classic in character. Tiresome storytelling has been left aside.
Architects, Okidoki! Arkitekter: Architect MSA Fredrik Hansson (art director).
Client: Götaplatsgruppen Restauranger AB.
The Golden Chair is awarded biennially to prize-winners in the Product category and biennially in the Project category. The Product Golden Chair is for a recently completed item of furniture which has been put into mass production. The Project Golden Chair is for a recently completed interior design.
The 2014 prize is being awarded in the Project category.
PRIZEWINNER THE PLANNING PRIZE
The Malmö Commission, Report on Malmö’s Path to a Sustainable Future
The Commission recommends adopting a policy of social investment to overcome the segregation and ill health now prevalent in Malmö. Its report contains an action plan for housing environment and urban planning.
The Commission for a Socially Sustainable Malmö has been working since 2011, in collaboration with the University, to collate research and examples describing the interrelationship of housing, health and economics. The final report, entitled Malmö’s path towards a sustainable future, was presented in 2013. The action plan addresses education, employment, health and medical care, plus housing conditions and urban planning.
The Planning Prize jury wishes particularly to highlight the consulting report entitled The spatial impact of the city on health. The urban planning action plan is designed to break down spatial barriers in the built environment and to establish more equal opportunities for citizens to contribute towards and benefit from urban development, through investment in the living environment for children and juveniles. The action plan proposals are now being implemented within urban development projects like Rosengårdsstråket, Lindängen and Amiralsstaden.
Architect: Director of City Planning architect SAR/MSA Christer Larsson.
Client: The City of Malmö.
To encourage and disseminate best practices, the Swedish Association of Architects awards a biennial planning prize for good urban planning or urban construction.
This planning prize is awarded for a scheme addressing an issue of particularly urgent concern to the architectural profession.
ARCHITECTURAL CRITICISM 2014
Through this year’s award, the Reviewer’s Prize jury of the Swedish Association of Architects wishes to point out the importance of research for the development of urban planning. The 2014 Reviewer’s Prize goes to researcher, debater and activist Catharina Thörn for her services in critically describing and exposing the impact of underlying material interests on contemporary urban development processes.
Breaking the segregation between different groups of the city’s residents is one of the big challenges we face as a community. Catharina Thörn introduces the gentrification concept in public debate, showing how rhetoric and urban development can tend to accentuate socioeconomic segregation and exclusion.
Catharina Thörn, Ph.D. in sociology, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Cultural Sciences at the University of Gothenburg. She has written numerous articles for newspapers and scientific journals about homelessness, citizen participation, urban development and gentrification. The summer of 2014 Thörn, along with Helena Holgersson, published the Anthology Gentrification. In 2015 she, along with Mats Franzén and Nils Hertting, will publish the book City for Sale. Power in the city center and public space.
A prize for the best architectural analysis or the best initiative to strengthen an initiated colloquy on architecture and urban planning.