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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.

As utilitarian as it is beautiful, ZGF Architects’ facility replaces a fossil fuel plant with a solar farm, an electrical substation and a heat recovery system, with the goal of reducing annual carbon emissions on the campus by nearly 140,000 metric tons. The plainspoken facility, built from concrete, Corten steel and reclaimed wood, will also serve as an intellectual powerhouse. The winner of this year’s AZ Award for Environmental Leadership, it features a teaching centre and a lecture hall, in which a thermal storage drum doubles as a podium. The centrepiece is a massive hot water tank, whose exter­ior is lit up at night like a glowing red beacon.

Location: Stanford, U.S.

Firm: ZGF Architects, U.S.

Team: Joe Collins, Toby Hasselgren and Renee Kajimoto, with Christopher Flint Chatto, Sienna Hill, Bradley Iest, Glen Justice, Michael McGale, Kelvin Ono, Nicholas Robertson and Curtis Williams ­

Stanford University Central Energy Facility

Explore more Award Winners

WinnerBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Ilulissat, Greenland
Dorte Mandrup, Copenhagen, Denmark
People’s ChoiceBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Ras, India
Sanjay Puri Architects, India
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Boston, Massachusetts
Anmahian Winton Architects, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Alex Anmahian and Nick Winton with Joel Lamere, Sydney Schremser and Todd Thiel