The nominations for the public building of the year announced

As part of the Architectenweb Awards 2022, the award for Public Construction of the Year will be awarded in October this year. The independent jury has nominated no fewer than six projects in this category.

When evaluating the entries for the Public Building of the Year 2022 award, the jury took a number of points as an important guideline. First of all, we looked at ‘social relevance’ – to what extent does the project provide answers to current social issues, and how does this translate into the building’s concept?

Secondly, the jury emphasized the ‘craft’ – to what extent is the concept, which forms the basis of the design, worked through and materialized consistently and across the layers? Thirdly, we looked at ‘innovation’ – to what extent the project contributes to the development of the field. It can, for example, be within (a new) building typology, sustainable solutions or the role of the architect.

This year’s independent jury consists of architect Willemineke Hammer (EGM Architecten), interior architect Sheryl Leysner (Sherylleysner), architect Jan Nauta (Studio Nauta), architect Maarten Terberg (EVA architects), area developer Martine Vledder (SITE urban development) and architect Vincent. Panhuysen. (KAAN Architects).

The nominations
The jury was enthusiastic about many of the submitted projects for this category. She saw a lot of craftsmanship and well-thought-out solutions, and the jury was satisfied that sustainability and recycling play a strong role in this category. She could not resist nominating no fewer than six projects for the award for Public Building of the Year 2022.

The nominations are (in alphabetical order):
• The house in Voorst municipality – De Twee Snoeken
• National Holocaust Memorial of Names, Amsterdam – Studio Libeskind and Rijnboutt
• Naturpavillonen, Floriade, Almere – DP6 architectural studio
• Shoe quarter, Waalwijk – Civic Architects
• Amsterdam Amstel station, Amsterdam – office winhov
• Temporary accommodation for the House of Representatives, The Hague – Zecc Architecten

The house in Voorst municipality – De Twee Snoeken
De Twee Snoeken has designed a new sustainable town hall for the municipality of Voorst, which houses the municipal services, the police support center and various social organisations. The architects created an exterior and interior design that went beyond the municipality’s sustainability ambitions. The facade consists entirely of lime hemp. This bio-based material provides a pleasant indoor climate, has a strong insulating effect, is windproof and vapor permeable. Due to various measures, the building produces more energy than it uses. The old town hall’s concrete structure was used for the hull. Many other materials used have also been recycled.

The jury greatly appreciates the firm commitment to sustainability, which has also created a pleasant environment to receive citizens in. The jury was delighted that the architects have used hemp lime, a bio-based material with several additional benefits, on such a large scale. In addition, much material from the old town hall has been reused: from former window frames, slats and ceiling panels to the concrete construction. In addition, the interior looks like a comfortable environment; spacious and open, light through the many large windows and also warm due to the use of wood.

National Holocaust Memorial of Names, Amsterdam – Studio Libeskind and Rijnboutt
After years of preparation, the National Holocaust Memorial of Names has been completed in the middle of the Jewish Quarter. The design is a non-linear maze of walls, built with 102,163 unique bricks. Each stone bears the name, date of birth and death of a Holocaust victim. This gives each name its own tangible memory, while also giving an idea of ​​the magnitude of the tragedy. The monument is made of red bricks, reflective stainless steel letters, green hedges and white commemorative stones. It is an accessible place of remembrance, but also for reflection.

According to the jury, the National Holocaust Memorial of Names is a public experience of enormous significance. As a building, the monument has a physical effect on the visitor, for example in relation to orientation. Architecturally, the combination of the sturdy brick walls and the fragile mirrored roof also works. The jury finds the monument well placed, in a way that allows you to easily enter and wander around. The design here is really smart and worked out at a high level in collaboration between Libeskind and Rijnboutt.

The natural pavilion – DP6 architectural studio
The nature pavilion is an almost 100% bio-based, circular inspiration pavilion which can be completely disassembled. The national government pavilion for Floriade Expo 2022 focuses on the spatial task of the Netherlands: the energy and commodity transition, solving the housing shortage, making agriculture more sustainable, restoring biodiversity and climate adaptation. The building concept consists of two main elements: a frame of wooden beams as a structurally clear shell, and a flexible implementation with bio-based and recycled materials (CLT floors, bio-based walls or frames with recycled glass). The environmental impact of the pavilion is minimal.

The concept is simple and smart. The units that make up the pavilion can be reused in a different configuration, in a different location. They consist of wooden parts connected with buttons made of recycled steel. The jury is very satisfied with the high atrium, over which the wooden support structure runs. The structure surrounds the visitor. With the slats in the facade and the slatted windows for the indoor climate, collection of rainwater and interior walls in various bio-based materials, the project contains many sustainable solutions and at the same time the pavilion – inside and out – is a pleasure to see.

Shoe Quarter – Civic Architects
The new museum and knowledge center for shoe design, production and fashion is housed in a listed building complex by architect Alexander Kropholler, which has been partially renovated, transformed and expanded. The complex contains, among other things, a collection, exhibitions, a research library, workshop rooms and laboratories, a café and a shop. The building’s layout enables the different target groups to determine their own path and pace. Kropholler’s principles and details have been restored and inspired the new interventions. Innovative and sustainable materials such as hemp glue and an experimental ceramic tile wall have been used in the café and shop.

The jury believes that Skokvarteret has been integrated into Kropholler’s existing ensemble in a very modest, sensitive and almost discreet way. This is commendable because it is one of his better preserved ensembles. The former courtyard has been converted into a garden room, which with the adjacent café has become a real public space. This addition can just be seen from the square, but the abstract volume certainly does not detonate. The way in which the 1980s office has been sawed up and incorporated into the rest is a daring intervention that is strongly developed and well executed. The entire design is finished down to the smallest detail.

Amsterdam Amstel station – office winhov
The Amsterdam Amstel station from 1939 is considered architect Schelling’s masterpiece. The renovation and expansion of the station aimed, on the one hand, to restore the monumental values ​​and, on the other hand, to adapt to the increasing use and contemporary demands for accessibility and comfort. The station concourse and transverse concourse have been redesigned, commercial facilities have been renewed, the original colors have been restored and the murals by Peter Alma have been restored. Many of the later adjustments have been removed. In addition, the retaining wall along Julianaplein has been renovated and extended, and a new entrance to the bicycle shed has been created. The forecourt and associated functions such as the bus and tram station have also been renovated.

The architects had to carry out a major modernization effort. An inherently beautiful monumental building that had been silted over time has now been subtly brought back to life. The hall is lighter and more airy, the outside of the building appears clear and elegant again. The brilliance of the original design is clearly visible again; it is precisely the nuanced and restrained approach of office winhov that is appreciated by the jury. In addition, the jury finds it incredible how skillfully the work has been done here under difficult circumstances; the station continued to operate during the work, and the design was continuously adjusted during construction over several years.

Temporary accommodation for the House of Representatives – Zecc Architecten
Due to the renovation of the Binnenhof, the heart of Dutch democracy has been moved to other, temporary locations. For example, the House of Representatives temporarily meets in the old Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has been transformed by Zecc Architecten. The design focuses on functionality. Two opposing values, accessibility and security, had to be reconciled. To that end, the existing entrance has been supplemented with another, a public entrance, which immediately provides more light in the somewhat closed environment. To make the staff and visitors of this temporary House of Representatives fortress feel at home, familiar elements from the building at the Binnenhof have been recreated or reused. With sometimes soft architectural shapes and sometimes geometric shapes, the design blends in with the original architecture in a contemporary way.

The jury finds it admirable how the architects have managed to fit a very specific function into such a convincing building. This is a public building and the place of democracy; opening the building on two sides so that it is safely accessible and the public gets its own reception is then a very strong choice. In addition, an intervention has been carried out that improves the accessibility and viability of the building and thus extends beyond its temporary function. The routing and recognizability are also well thought out. It’s also easy to see what’s been added, while fitting in really well with the existing building. A good concept is carefully and traditionally worked out; there is little to say about this.

In addition to the award for Public Building of the Year, prizes are also awarded in October in the following categories: Residential Building of the Year, Office Building of the Year, School Building of the Year, Health Building of the Year and Design of the Year. At the same time, the winner of the election for Architect of the Year 2021 will be announced.

Architectenweb distributes the architect awards together with the main partners Reynaers Aluminum and Forster and the partners QbiQ Wall Systems and Cerriva. The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday evening, 12 October 2022, in Keilepand in Rotterdam.

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