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The 2020 Winners + Finalists

On Friday, September 18, AZURE celebrated the 10th annual AZ Awards in our first-ever virtual AZ Awards Gala.

Representing the best work in global architecture and design today, the 20 winning projects include a modular housing complex in Portugal, a chemical-free pool in Alberta and an ingenious blown-glass assemblage that appears to float between rings of ambient light. In case you missed the online gala, you can watch a replay on AZURE’s YouTube channel.

2020 AZ Awards Trophy designed by Luca Nichetto


Aranya Art Center

Best in Architecture: Buildings Over 1,000SqM

Aranya Art Center

After signing on to design the Aranya Art Center in the northeastern Chinese port of Qinhuangdao, Shanghai-based architects Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu were struck, they say, by the scenic coastal city’s stillness and spirituality, qualities that inspired this uniquely contemplative temple to the arts. Read more

Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool

Best in Architecture: Buildings Under 1,000SqM

Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool

The Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool is the first facility of its kind in Canada. Engineered to purify city-supplied water with botanic filtering processes rather than noxious chlorine, the chemical-free “constructed beach” is win–win–win. Read more

Skigard Hytte

Best in Architecture: Single-Family Houses

Skigard Hytte

The wonderful facade that gives this 144-square-metre mountaintop cabin its exceptional character — and its name — derives from the humblest of origins: Norwegian farm fences. Skigard refers to a traditional rural barrier made of wood members arranged diagonally; in this hytte, or cottage, architecture firm Mork-Ulnes used the technique to clad the 45 wooden columns supporting the horizontal volume. Read more

VDC

Best in Architecture: Multi-Unit Residential Buildings

VDC

Fast. Cost-effective. Adaptable. These three qualities determined the simple yet bold brief for a mixed-use complex combining multi-family housing with commercial space on a roadside site in the Portuguese city of Vale de Cambra.
Read more

Caffè Populaire

Best in Architecture: Temporary and Experiential Installations

Caffè Populaire

How do you generate buzz for your latest lighting series during Milan Design Week, when countless product launches, cocktail events and eye-popping installations clamour for attention? That was the question facing Montreal’s Lambert & Fils, which in 2019 was presenting its Sainte collection, a line of coloured-glass pendant fixtures. Read more

Capsule Hotel in a Rural Library

Best in Architecture: Adaptive Re-Use

Capsule Hotel in a Rural Library

Integrating such duelling typologies as a hotel and a library would be a tall order under any circumstances: One combines social spaces with intimate quarters, while the other entails quietude practically throughout. To try to pull off such an unlikely balancing act in an existing building on a compact site in rural China? That could only be described as daunting. Such a challenge, however, is exactly what Atelier tao+c has met in Qinglongwu, a village in mountainous Tonglu County. Read more

Forest Tower

Best in Landscape Architecture

Forest Tower

Enter a design such as Forest Tower, which is both a subtly integrated platform for taking in a pristine setting and a profound architectural statement designed to attract and inform. As envisioned by its creators, EFFEKT Architects of Denmark, the artfully combined elevated boardwalk and observation tower soars some 45 metres from the forest floor of Gisselfeld Klosters Skove, a preserved environment of trees, lakes, creeks and wetlands about an hour south of Copenhagen. Read more

ShadowBox

Best in Interiors: Residential

ShadowBox

Architecture often aims to resist the passage of time. Rarely, however, do interiors aspire to this same sense of permanence. In the case of ShadowBox, Toronto-based architects Johnson Chou and Silke Stadtmueller’s sparse three-storey abode, the residence becomes a kind of record — a blank canvas capturing ephemeral movements of the world just beyond its walls. Read more

Casa Popeea

Best in Interiors: Commercial and Institutional

Casa Popeea

When London-based studio Manea Kella was enlisted in 2016 to renovate Casa Popeea, a storied property located near the Danube River in the Romanian city of Brăila, the designers knew that its tumultuous history would be integral to its new (and now award-winning) chapter. Read more

Surf Sofa

Best in Design: Furniture

Surf Sofa

The mellow, rhythmic interplay of surf and sand feels naturally calibrated to relax us. The modular, low-slung Surf sofa, designed by Toronto- and New York City–based design firm Yabu Pushelberg for Italian manufacturer Molteni&C, channels that inherent dynamic. Read more

Atelier

Best in Design: Furniture Systems and Collections

Atelier

When Atelier launched in 2019, its makers — the global architecture and design firm Gensler and the Italian furniture manufacturer Fantoni, working in collaboration — couldn’t have anticipated that a global health crisis would soon catalyze the emptying of offices, sending employees home to conduct business at kitchen tables and rudimentary standing desks. Read more

Noctambule

Best in Design: Lighting Fixtures

Noctambule

Konstantin Grcic is known both for his function-first approach to furniture and for his prolific output. In April 2017, during Milan Design Week, the Berlin-based designer stayed true to form by launching seating for Cassina, Magis, Plank and Mattiazzi. It was his then-conceptual lighting collection for Flos, however, that stood out as something new altogether — an art project of sorts from the pragmatic designer. Three years later, what was an imaginative proposition is now a practical and frequently specced product.
Read more

Temporary Tyvek Lighting Installation at Stackt Market

Best in Design: Lighting Installations

Temporary Tyvek Lighting Installation at Stackt Market

How do you make a lasting impression with something that isn’t meant to last? You embrace the ephemeral by utilizing basic materials and then elevate them to stunning effect. At least, that’s what the local multidisciplinary studio Stacklab did with its Temporary Tyvek lighting installation for Toronto’s Stackt Market, a community-focused urban development in the heart of the city’s downtown. Read more

Toast

Best in Design: Interior Products

Toast

Contract furniture-maker Pair came prepared when it launched in the spring of 2019. Armed with a fully realized portfolio of intuitive and adaptable products aimed at addressing the needs of modern workspaces, the San Francisco–based brand was immediately established as a new source in the contract industry. Read more

iD Mixonomi

Best in Design: Architectural Products

iD Mixonomi

That images of Tarkett’s iD Mixonomi vinyl flooring in situ appear to feature tiles from entirely separate collections is, in fact, high praise. While geometric flooring isn’t itself a novelty, it’s the seemingly infinite design possibilities afforded by the iD Mixonomi portfolio that elevate it to gamechanger status. With eight graphic shapes and three complementary mini formats, all available in five distinct palettes comprising 34 hues, the modular collection allows designers unmatched creative freedom. Read more

The Urban Village Project

Best in Concepts: Ideas and Prototypes

The Urban Village Project

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Urban Village Project exudes a Danish accent. That’s because it does — and we’re not talking hygge here. Copenhagen-based EFFEKT Architects’ vision for better city living draws on the holistic tradition that permeates many urban developments in Denmark, such as a focus on human health and environmental sustainability. Read more

Honey Bee Research Centre

Best in Concepts: Unbuilt Buildings

Honey Bee Research Centre

In the face of a growing climate crisis, honeybees have been the subject of considerable interest worldwide. As crop pollinators, the insects, which have been diminishing in number, play a vital role in our food system, aiding in the production of fruits and vegetables.
With hundreds of working hives, the University of Guelph’s internationally renowned agricultural college is a leader in honeybee study. Soon the Ontario institution will have a building to match its reputation and to bolster its research: the aptly named Honey Bee Research Centre, designed by Toronto’s Moriyama & Teshima Architects.
Read more

In the Spirit of Shibui: Re-Animating the Ruins of Fukushima

Best in A+ Student Award

In the Spirit of Shibui: Re-Animating the Ruins of Fukushima

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Japan’s central Fukushima Prefecture, the town of Tomioka was an idyllic seaside community prior to the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed many of its buildings and caused the meltdown of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The life that now stirs in the ruins of the region consists mainly of the decontamination crews that are razing devastated structures, clearing away debris and dealing with radioactive waste. But the demolition of these buildings, argues Connery Friesen, a student at the University of Manitoba in Canada, also amounts to an eradication of the past. Rather than obliterate what remains of the structures, he suggests, they and their surroundings should effectively be “reanimated.” Read more

Krushi Bhawan

Best in Social Good

Krushi Bhawan

Based in India’s capital, Studio Lotus challenges the norm of typically private government offices with Krushi Bhawan, an inclusive administrative centre in the northeast state of Odisha that celebrates regional craft and community empowerment with free-flowing public amenities. Read more

The Wadden Sea Centre

Best in Environmental Leadership

The Wadden Sea Centre

Capturing the essence of an intertidal zone that has witnessed the rise and fall of geological ages — as well as epochs of human civilization stretching from Viking outposts to the first modern Scandinavian settlements — requires something elemental, if not entirely primordial. As if folding out of the earth, the Wadden Sea Centre gracefully rises from the eponymous marshlands that extend from the Netherlands to Germany and Denmark. In addition to its sculptural presence, the new museum complex brings with it a sustainable approach all its own. Read more


2020 Finalists

Architecture: Buildings Over 1,000SqM

Ayla Clubhouse & Golf Academy

Location:
Aqaba, Jordan

Firm:
Oppenheim Architecture, Miami, U.S.

Architecture: Buildings Over 1,000SqM

Leeza SOHO

Location:
Beijing, China

Firm:
Zaha Hadid Architects, London, U.K.

Architecture: Buildings Over 1,000SqM

Minimum-Security Area and Penitentiary Services for Integration and Probation

Location:
Nanterre, France

Firm:
LAN, Paris, France

Architecture: Buildings Over 1,000SqM

MOMA Lotus Resort

Location:
Chizhou City, China

Firm:
Lacime Architects, Shanghai, China

Architecture: Buildings Under 1,000SqM

LASVIT Headquarters

Location:
Nový Bor, Czech Republic

Firm:
LASVIT (Czech Republic) with OV-A (Prague, Czech Republic)

Architecture: Buildings Under 1,000SqM

Indoor Playground (Doubling as Lecture Hall) of Yueyang County No.3 Middle School

Location:
Yueyang, China

Firm:
SUP Atelier (Beijing, China) with THAD

Architecture: Single-Family Houses

Casa Cosmos

Location:
Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Firm:
S-AR, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico

Architecture: Single-Family Houses

Casa Naila

Location:
Oaxaca, Mexico

Firm:
BAAQ’, Mexico City, Mexico

Architecture: Single-Family Houses

Double Header House

Location:
Victoria, Canada

Firm:
D’Arcy Jones Architects, Vancouver, Canada

Architecture: Single-Family Houses

Redfern Warehouse

Location:
Sydney, Australia

Firm:
Ian Moore Architects, Sydney, Australia

Architecture: Single-Family Houses

The Boulder House

Location:
Seoul, South Korea

Firm:
AtelierJun, Seongnam, South Korea

Architecture: Multi-Unit Residential Buildings

Off Plaza

Location:
Montréal, Canada

Firm:
L. McComber, Montréal, Canada

Architecture: Temporary and Experiential Installations

Le dernier petit cochon

Location:
Grands-Métis, Canada

Firm:
APPAREIL Architecture, Montreal, Canada

Architecture: Temporary and Experiential Installations

Presence, Groninger Museum

Location:
Groningen, The Netherlands

Firm:
Studio Roosegaarde, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Architecture: Adaptive Re-Use

“Diamant Theatre | Engraved in the Memory

Location:
Québec City, Canada

Firm:
Coarchitecture (Québec City, Canada) with Atelier In Situ (Montreal, Canada) and Jacques Plante Architecte (Québec City, Canada)

Architecture: Adaptive Re-Use

UC Laboratory Schools: Historic Campus & Gordon Parks Arts Hall

Location:
Chicago, U.S.

Firm:
Valerio Dewalt Train (Chicago, U.S) with FGM Architects (Chicago, U.S.)

Architecture: Adaptive Re-Use

Hutong Bubble 218

Location:
Beijing, China

Firm:
MAD Architects, Beijing, China

Landscape Architecture

Turning A Festering Scar into A Living Passage: Suzhou Zhenshan Park

Location:
Suzhou City, China

Firm:
Turenscape, Beijing, China

Landscape Architecture

Voronoi’s Corrals

Location:
Milos, Greece

Firm:
DECA Architecture, Athens, Greece

Interiors: Residential

Apartment in Santa Catarina, Lisboa

Location:
Lisbon, Portugal

Firm:
aspa, Lisbon, Portugal

Interiors: Residential

Lytton Park Residence

Location:
Toronto, Canada

Firm:
Akb Architects, Toronto, Canada

Interiors: Commercial and Institutional

Cedric’s at The Shed

Location:
New York City, U.S.

Firm:
Rockwell Group, New York City, U.S.

Interiors: Commercial and Institutional

Green Massage

Location:
Shanghai, China

Firm:
Vermilion Zhou Design Group, Shanghai, China

Interiors: Commercial and Institutional

Tori Tori Santa Fe

Location:
Mexico City, Mexico

Firm:
Esrawe Studio, Mexico City, Mexico

Interiors: Commercial and Institutional

Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum

Location:
Xiamen, China

Firm:
Atelier Alter Architects, Beijing, China

Design: Furniture

Heartbeat

Design:
Karim Rashid

Manufacturer:
Nienkämper, Toronto, Canada

Design: Furniture

Rammed Earth Chair

Design:
Eric Haskins Design

Design: Furniture

Tam Tam

Design:
Arter & Citton

Manufacturer:
Ibebi, Fossalta di Portogruaro, Italy

Design: Furniture Systems and Collections

LAN Seating Collection

Design:
Neri&Hu Design and Research Office

Manufacturer:
GAN, Valencia, Spain

Design: Furniture Systems and Collections

Logica Celata

Design:
Gabriele Centazzo

Manufacturer:
Valcucine, Pordenone, Italy

Design: Furniture Systems and Collections

Match

Design:
Muller van Severen

Manufacturer:
Reform, Copenhagen, Denmark

Design: Lighting Fixtures

Sainte Collection

Design:
Rachel Bussin

Manufacturer:
Lambert & Fils

Design: Lighting Fixtures

Tube

Design:
Ichiro Iwasaki

Manufacturer:
Vibia, Barcelona, Spain

Design: Lighting Installations

National Museum of Qatar, Doha

Location:
Doha, Qatar

Firm:
Licht Kunst Licht, Bonn and Berlin, Germany

Design: Interior Products

The Nanimarquina Collection for Coalesse

Design:
Nani Marquina

Manufacturer:
Coalesse, Grand Rapids, U.S.

Design: Interior Products

Xorel Knit

Design:
Heather Bush

Manufacturer:
Carnegie Fabrics, New York City, U.S.

Design: Architectural Products

Modulor

Designer:
Giuseppe Bavuso

Manufacturer:
Rimadesio, Giussano, Italy

Design: Architectural Products

Tatami System

Manufacturer:
Tarkett North America, Ohio, U.S.

Concepts: Ideas and Prototypes

Farm to City

Firm:
OSD Outside, New York City, U.S.

Concepts: Unbuilt Buildings

Bellechasse Transport Centre

Firm:
Lemay, Montreal, Canada

A+ Student Award

Horizontal

School:
University of Toronto

Team:
Siqi Wang and Shawn Dylan Johnston

A+ Student Award

KEF International Airport

School:
North Carolina State University

Team:
Caroline Cox and Austin Corriher

A+ Student Award

Kooshk Pavilion

School:
Islamic Azad University of Najafabad (IAUN)

Team:
Hossein Moradi with Esmaeil Masoumi, Mohammad Javad Shahvelayati, Marzieh Haqshenas, Mohammad Lamoochi, Ali Oftade, Nafiseh Sharifi, Maryam Lotfi, Masoud Shams, Malihe Rezaei, Hossein Mohseni, Ali Pezeshki

Environmental Leadership

Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool

Firm:
gh3* architecture, Toronto, Canada

Environmental Leadership

Isttaniokaksini / Science Commons at University of Lethbridge

Firm:
KPMB Architects (Toronto, Canada) with Stantec Architecture (Toronto, Canada)

Social Good

A Modern Barn: Au Gré des Champs

Location:
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada

Firm:
la SHED architecture, Montreal, Canada

Social Good

MLK1101 Supportive Housing

Location:
Los Angeles, U.S.

Firm:
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects [LOHA], Los Angeles, U.S.

Social Good

Zig Zag Park

Location:
Bogota, Colombia

Firm:
Whiteknee, Monticello, U.S.