Winner of the Façade of the Year 2015-New Build category was Flynn Group for the Ryerson Student Learning Centre in Toronto; Façade of the Year 2015–Refurbishment was awarded to Arup Façade Engineering for the Guys Hospital Tower; and Outstanding Façade Innovation 2015 was awarded jointly to Arup and Bellapart for the Bombay Sapphire Distillery.
Announcing the winners, Chris Macey FSFE, Chairman of Wintech Group and Chairman of the Judges, commented: “Based upon the simple premise of the competition ‘to recognise excellence in façade design and engineering as a specialist discipline’ then this year the competition has at least fulfilled those objectives with exciting entries from around the world being received. The judges believe that the winners have significantly raised the bar in terms of imagination, execution and vision with some exciting projects that are World Class by any standards.”
Commenting on each of the projects Macey added:
Ryerson Student Learning Centre in Toronto – the overall winner: The Ryerson Centre employed a number of unique and new technologies in the completion of a complex geometry building envelope and its application to complex structures. Essentially, laser scans of the structure were taken and these were combined with a BIM model that finally allowed the automation of all of the other design information needed for manufacture. The photographs of the building envelope are a clear demonstration of how technology in the future might simplify the whole delivery process of major buildings eradicating the risk of out of tolerance structure. The other overriding benefit is that the normal consideration of building tolerances in the design of building envelopes can now change, whereby the façade design can be adjusted automatically to accommodate as built structure just a few days before the components are required on site. The Ryerson Centre is a true example of a building completed using entirely new technologies.
Guys Hospital Tower: The original hospital tower building has been transformed from a derided, tired old building into an architectural triumph on the City of London skyline. Not only has a vast improvement been made to the building’s architecture and the environment of its occupants, but also the work was completed whilst the hospital was completed operational. The building uses a number of cladding techniques but all of these were constrained to some extent by the need to maintain certain aspects of the original façade design whilst accommodating inherent inefficiencies of these forms of construction. The project was widely regarded by the judges as being a superb example of what can be achieved with existing buildings. This is exemplary of a world class refurbishment project.
Bombay Sapphire Distillery: This project was put forward by two separate competition entries. As the judges were unable to differentiate between the two a joint award was made. The project is a unique example of how engineering ingenuity when combined with excellence in manufacture and delivery can be combined to create something that is totally unique. It is also testimony to the determination of the construction team and the client’s dedication in delivering a spectacular architectural masterpiece. Hopefully the distillery building will become a point of reference demonstrating what is achievable with the right team and modern technologies for future buildings.
Summarising the importance of the competition Chris Macey said: “With the façade being one of the most expensive parts of a building construction and the primary environmental modifier it is only right that the scientific and engineering expertise needed to deliver this fundamentally important element of the construction of modern buildings is properly appreciated.
“The SFE competition provides the only real opportunity for those behind great examples of façades excellence to gain proper recognition by their peers and in the wider architectural community.”
For the headline sponsors of the competition Reynaers Aluminium, the company’s managing director Martine Reynaers commented: “I have been very impressed to see that these awards have generated such diverse entries relating to projects all around the world. The standard of the winning entries has been exceptional, showcasing some architecturally very exciting projects. I am delighted that Reynaers has been involved as main sponsor.”