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For the sixth annual AZ Awards, our intrepid jury narrowed the field from over 800 submissions, received from dozens of countries, to select just 48 finalists that stood above the rest. In addition to presenting the AZ Award winners, Azure recognized these projects, products and concepts with Awards of Merit.

Architecture practice 3XN defied the trend toward high-rise densification by consolidating its workforce into a one-storey, 2,000-square-metre heritage building along a Copenhagen canal. The former boathouse’s most dis­tinct­ive feature was a lengthy slope leading to the water; building on this, the floor of the new office is gently stepped toward the water in five stages. Running in the opposite direction, the original post-and-beam framing supports gabled roofs that divide the space into five sections. The resulting grid pattern creates small workgroups within the open concept plan. Throughout, translucent architectural models give the office the feel of a waterfront exhibit space.

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Firm: 3XN, Denmark

Team: Jan Ammundsen, Signe Blomquist, Jeppe Kongstad Hjort, Bo Boje Larsen and Kim Herforth Nielsen ­

Kanonbådsvej Studio

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Award of MeritCommercial and Institutional
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
i29 architects, the Netherlands
WinnerCommercial and Institutional
Shanghai, China
Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, Shanghai, China
People’s ChoiceCommercial and Institutional
New York City, U.S.
Tacklebox Architecture, U.S.