The winners of the International Creative Competition "Copper in European Architecture" were announced at the BATIMAT exhibition in Paris. This international award recognizes the best accomplished architectural designs using copper and copper alloys. The Jury's Grand Prize was awarded to the Pitágoras Aquitectos architecture studio and its Arts and Creativity Platform in Guimaraes, Portugal. “The clear trend in this year's Competition was to combine other traditional building materials such as glass and wood with copper, and this was judged by the jury,” said Nigel Cotton, Program Manager of the European Copper Institute. "Malleable, attractive and highly durable, copper has once again proven its popularity with architects." The works of the Competition were presented within the framework of BATIMAT from 4 to 8 November and on the website www.copperconcept.org.
The creative competition "Copper in European Architecture" is a parade of the most perfect architectural solutions and designs held every two years, using copper or copper alloys (for example, brass, bronze) in the cladding of facades, roofs or other architectural elements of a building. The growth in popularity and importance of the Competition over the past 20 years testifies to a fundamental change in the role of copper in a modern building. A record number of participants were accepted in 16 Competitions in 2013 - 82 projects, including 5 from Russia. Of these, the jury selected 10 finalists. The jury of the winners of the previous Competitions included Einar Yarmund, Craig Kaski, David Makullo and Anu Puustinen.
The winner of the current Competition was the "Platform for Arts and Creativity" in Guimaraes (Portugal), executed by Pitágoras Aquitectos, which was awarded the Main Prize of the Jury. Special prizes were awarded to the building of the Municipal Library in Seinäjoki, Finland (JKMM Architects); project of a residential building in Italy Dolomitenblick (Plasma Studio) and Covering for runestones in Denmark (Nobel Arkitekter).
Winners of the 16th Competition "Copper in European Architecture"
Platform for Arts and Creativity, Portugal, by Pitágoras Aquitectos
Copper alloy - brass is a key element of this stately architectural structure, which gives it a natural golden color. The jury appreciated the skillful use of materials by the architectural firm Pitágoras Aquitectos, which took full advantage of the plasticity of copper to create a unified but highly original ensemble. Located in the very heart of the historical part of Guimaraes, the site was already occupied by the city square and old buildings of various types, moreover, requiring major repairs. Developed in cooperation with UNESCO (the city was the European Capital of Culture in 2012), the project aimed to recreate a multifunctional, comfortable living space. It also had to fit into the landscape and, at the same time, become a symbol of the city's development. The outer metal cladding, consisting of brass profiles, made it possible to unite the various buildings of the complex, at the same time differentiating them. All of this space has today become a haven for the Arts Center, a "creative laboratory" to help develop the talents of young designers and office space to support business. Read more here >>
Special Jury Prize
Municipal Library in Seinajoki, Finland, by JKMM Architects
The new library extension in Seinäjoki is one of the completely unique in a series of buildings previously designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. To create a dialogue between the past and the future, the architects relied on contrast: a surface with warm tones, brown, pre-oxidized copper alternating with painted concrete of impeccable whiteness. The copper used for the roof and facade cladding creates a second, living "skin" of the building, which changes with natural light. To reveal the character of the building, copper was used in the form of panels, which at the same time improved the ventilation parameters. Read more here >>
Residential building Dolomitenblick in Sexten, Italy, by Plasma Studio's
When creating a residential building in the Dolomites in Italy, the combination of copper and wood was used to ensure perfect integration into the surrounding alpine meadow landscape. The brown, pre-oxidized copper in the horizontal stripes was chosen not only for its strength, but also because it perfectly mimics the aging color of larch. In keeping with the principles of eco-design, a local variety of larch was used for some of the elements. Each of the six separate apartments has a terrace and private garden, ample lighting and views of the valley. Finally, the shape of the building is reminiscent of a traditional chalet, but with a lasting touch of modernity in appearance and use of space. Read more here >>
Cover for runestones, Elling, Denmark, from NOBEL Arkitekter's
Unveiled in December 2011, this uncluttered work successfully combines bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) with glass to create a protective box for millennial runestones. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stones mark Denmark's conversion to Christianity in 1965, and is seen as a symbol of the country's birth. Relying on the natural beauty, sustainability and unchanging nature of bronze, the architects designed the boxes with the sole purpose of displaying their contents as much as possible. Read more here >>