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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.

This 19-room boutique hotel, in a former Japanese army headquarters in Shanghai, boldly embraces its gritty history. Because Neri&Hu Design and Research Office has kept the weathered brick and left the water-stained concrete unvarnished, the rounded exterior is so rustic it looks almost derelict. By contrast, the guest rooms are spacious and sleek, with Imondi oak floors and terrazzo bathtubs, and many look out onto the bustling Huangpu River. The top floor is panelled in a rich amber Corten steel, a nod to the dockland locale’s industrial hist­ory.

Location: Shanghai, China

Firm: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, China

Team: Rossana Hu and Lyndon Neri, with Debby Haepers, Markus Stoecklein, Jane Wang and Cai Chun Yan

The Waterhouse at South Bund

Explore more Award Winners

Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Højbjerg, Denmark
Henning Larsen Architects
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Award of MeritCommercial and Institutional
Toronto, Canada
Kohn Shnier Architects and ERA Architects, Canada
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Melbourne, Australia
Sean Godsell Architects, Melbourne
Sean Godsell, with Hayley Franklin