At the same time as the 2015 South Australian architecture awards were announced in early July I was in Barcelona, Spain. I was there to spend some time learning from Spanish architectural photographer David Cardelús. The announcement of the SA awards sparked the idea of being the organiser and judge of my own architecture awards, based on the buildings I was to see and photograph over the next few weeks in Barcelona, Rotterdam, Lisbon and Athens - no speeches, no prizes and not much objectivity. There weren't many entries in some of the categories. So with tongue firmly in cheek, here are the winners:
Best Heritage Restoration and Repurpose
Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, Barcelona - a hospital designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and built between 1901 and 1930. It was a fully functioning hospital until June 2009, and now has now been restored for use as a museum, library, and cultural centre.
Best Railway Station
Best Combined Apartment Building & Covered Marketplace
The Rotterdam Market Hall by MVRDV, 2014. This remarkable building combines apartments, a covered food market, a supermarket, Rotterdam's largest car park and what is probably the world's largest mural. Check out the inside...
Best Small Project
The Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe, 1929. Built as the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, it was disassembled afterwards, and Mies fled Germany to the US not long after that, on the way to becoming one of the 20th century's most influential architects. The Barcelona Pavilion lived on, in memories, drawings and photographs, becoming a powerful icon of Modernism and the International Style. In the 1980s the Barcelona City Council commissioned architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos to rebuild the pavilion. The new version was completed in 1986, an exact replica on the original site.
Best Restoration of a Really Really Old Building
The Temple of Athena Nike, Acropolis, Athens. First built around 420BC, the temple has been dismantled or destroyed several times. In 2000AD the Acropolis Restoration Service commenced a project that involved completely dismantling and removing the building, then reassembling it with a new floor. The project was completed in 2010 - some of the more important frieze carvings are now in the new Acropolis Museum.
Best Covered Flea Market
Mercat dels Encants, Glòries, Barcelona by b720, 2013.
The Erasmus Bridge, Rotterdam, by Ben van Berkel, 1996
The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), by Richard Meier and Partners, 1995. I do like a good atrium. This one was a delight on a sunny summer's day.
Best Heritage Interior
Casa Batlló, by Antoni Gaudi, first constructed 1877, then refurbished to the current design in 1904. I had experienced this famous house in 2005, dodging all the other tourists touring the site at the same time. This time David Cardelus arranged for the two of us to get access at 7am, two hours before the doors opened to the public. Bliss. (By the way, I reckon Gaudi is better at houses than he is at big churches.)
Best Really Big Building