The iconic Media-TIC building in Barcelona, designed by Spanish architects Cloud 9, has beaten off competition from hundreds of buildings around the globe to win the ‘World Building of the Year 2011’ award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards in Barcelona.
The project was commissioned by The Consortium of the Zona Franca CZFB and @22Barcelona, an experimental district in the city. The architects were extremely interested in the digital city model based on information, communication and technology, with the idea of a city where what matters is knowledge, added value and patents. In short the objective was for the architecture to be in sync with the city’s values. The building is divided with large companies on the upper floors, smaller spaces for emerging companies below and the first floor features a cibernariun and auditorium offering courses and programs to city residents.
The building was selected from 16 finalists to win the highest accolade in global architecture by the WAF Awards Jury, led by Michael Sorkin. It is the first win for the host city.
Speaking at the awards presentation, Paul Finch, WAF Program Director said that the building was 'a magnet for people with a whole range of ideas'. It won, he said, for the scale and degree of difficulty of its ambition, and because it was a symbol of an emerging movement in the city of Barcelona.
Also, he said, it opens up conversations of concerns about energy and sustainability and shows that when addressing issues of sustainability, architects should lead the charge and this was the project that has most taken on this challenge.
Providing a mix of large office space, space for start-ups and public space, the building has excellent green credentials. It targets and achieves the following:
1-20% CO2 reduction due to the use of District Cooling, clean energy.
2-10% CO2 reduction due to the photovoltaic roof.
3-55% CO2 reduction due to the dynamic ETFE sun filters.
4-10% CO2 reduction due to energy efficiency related to smart sensors.
Total 95% CO2 reduction, the Media-ICT is a NET building almost a net zero building.
Enric Ruiz-Geli of Cloud 9, which designed the Media-TIC building, said it should act as a 'seed for an environmental revolution'. He said, If it doesn't happen, we will not succeed with our fight against global warming.'
Ruiz-Geli took to the stage with his entire family, saying, 'This is what happens when you win an award at home.' His nine-year old son, Iago, had chosen the green colour that dominates in the building, he said.
Looking at his children, Ruiz-Geli added, 'These are our clients.' He also praised the experience of WAF, bringing together architects from so many different countries. 'I was amazed by the density of cultures,' he said.
Finch added: “The World Architecture Festival is the world's largest, live, truly inclusive and interactive global architectural awards program. Attracting entries from internationally renowned practices to small local architects, the stellar quality of this year’s designs demonstrates their commitment to designing the world’s most exciting buildings. This year, we’ve attracted more entries than ever before, with over 700 submissions from 59 different countries. Our congratulations go to Cloud-9 for a truly accomplished project.”
This is the 4th year the World Architecture Festival Awards have been presented. Previous winners include ‘World Building of the Year 2008’ - Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects; ‘World Building of the Year 2009’ - Mapungubwe Interpretation Center in South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg, and ‘World Building of the Year 2010’ - MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) in Rome, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Hanimaadaoo International Airport, Maldives, designed by Integrated Design Associates Limited was awarded the ‘Future Project of the Year 2011’ award, the iconic 76-story Beekman Tower at 8 Spruce Street, New York, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, won the ‘Structural Project of the Year 2011’ with the prize going to engineer WSP Cantor Seinuk, and the OpenBuildings People’s Choice Award was presented to Memorial House Todor Proski in Krushevo, Macedonia, designed by Macedonian architects Syndicate studio.
WAF Structural Project of the Year Award 2011:
8 Spruce Street-Beekman Tower, New York, USA, WSP Cantor Seinuk
The 867 ft, 76-story Beekman Tower, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, is New York City’s tallest residential tower. Located in the middle of the block bounded by Nassau, Beekman, Spruce and Gold Streets, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, the 1.1 million SF mixed-use building has redefined the skyline of Downtown Manhattan. It is a reinforced concrete building and the structure is composed of cast-in-place, concrete flat plate floors supported by reinforced concrete columns and shear walls. The 5 to 6 ft deep mat foundation is supported on 18” diameter concrete encased steel piles and also various capacity drilled caissons adjacent to an MTA subway tunnel.
WAF Future Project of the Year Award 2011:
Hanimaadaoo International Airport, Maldives, Integrated Design Associates Limited, Hong Kong
The new airport, designated as the country’s second international gateway, is located on an island with very limited land mass for an international airport of this size. With airfield infrastructure consuming nearly all the available land the concept of a “floating terminal” has been selected by the Maldivian Government for its innovative, exciting and eco-friendly approach. The proposed terminal is built entirely on stilts over water without reclamation to preserve the existing environment and the natural coastline.
WAF OpenBuildings People’s Choice Award 2011:
Memorial House Todor Proski, Krushevo, Macedonia, Syndicate studio, Skopje, Macedonia
The introduction of the OpenBuildings People’s Choice Award, which is supported by our friends at OpenBuildings.com, is a new addition to WAF 2011. It provided an opportunity for the public with a keen interest in architecture to pick their favorite building among the 281 projects that were shortlisted for the world’s biggest architectural competition – the WAF Awards 2011.
Critiquing the public’s choice, the WAF Jury said: “Memorial House Todor Proski is a good clear concept, that is well executed, and begins to do justice to the memory and legacy of a charismatic singer and cultural icon in eastern Europe.”
Highly Commended was awarded to second place Museum of Memory and Tolerance, Mexico, designed by Arditti + RDT Arquitectos, Mexico.
All images courtesy of World Architecture Festival.