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The finalists
Architecture ◆ Adaptive Re-Use
Are
Finalist
Project
Bell Works
Location
Holmdel, U.S.
Firm
Alexander Gorlin Architects, U.S.
Summary
In Holmdel Township, New Jersey, a “MetroBurb” is born. Once home to over 6,000 engineers and scientists, the former Bell Labs campus — a 186,000-square-metre complex designed by the legendary Eero Saarinen — has been respectfully yet radically reinvented into a city in miniature.
Finalist
Project
Chicago Mercantile Exchange - 10&30 S. Wacker Drive
Location
Chicago, U.S.
Firm
Krueck Sexton Partners, U.S.
Summary
Until recently, the lobby of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was labyrinthine and dark. In May 2020, Krueck Sexton, working with the building envelope experts at the Roschmann Group and engineers Thornton Tomasetti, outfitted the atrium with a dramatic new facade — a 7.3-metre-high wall of curvilinear heat-strengthened glass punctuated with egress doors.
Finalist
Project
Dexamenes
Location
Kourouta, Greece
Firm
K-Studio, Greece
Summary
The Dexamenes plant, once a bustling producer of currant wine, was built on the Peloponnese coastline so ships could easily dock beside it and load up from one of 20 concrete tanks. Today, thanks to the work of Athens firm K-Studio — which went to great lengths to preserve the structures’ manholes, pipes and patinated concrete — those tanks have been transformed into hotel rooms outfitted with metal light fixtures, touches of wood and terrazzo and sliding windows overlooking the sea.
And
Architecture ◆ Adaptive Re-Use
The Peoples Choice
Is
Project
Dexamenes
Location
Kourouta, Greece
Firm
K-Studio, Greece

The Dexamenes plant, once a bustling producer of currant wine, was built on the Peloponnese coastline so ships could easily dock beside it and load up from one of 20 concrete tanks. Today, thanks to the work of Athens firm K-Studio — which went to great lengths to preserve the structures’ manholes, pipes and patinated concrete — those tanks have been transformed into hotel rooms outfitted with metal light fixtures, touches of wood and terrazzo and sliding windows overlooking the sea.

In a courtyard pond, set between two rows of guest rooms, they’ve even embraced the pair of existing fermentation drums as massive sculptural installations and artifacts from the building’s past.

Team Dimitris Karampatakis, Marivenia Chiotopoulou, Giorgos Mitrogiorgis, Dimitris Sotiropoulos, Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos, Christina Stamouli and Thomai Christopoulou

And
Architecture ◆ Adaptive Re-Use
The Winner
Is
Project
Bell Works
Location
Holmdel, U.S.
Firm
Alexander Gorlin Architects, U.S.
Alexander Gorlin: 2021 AZ Award Winner in Adaptive Re-Use

In Holmdel Township, New Jersey, a “MetroBurb” is born. Once home to over 6,000 engineers and scientists, the former Bell Labs campus — a 186,000-square-metre complex designed by the legendary Eero Saarinen — has been respectfully yet radically reinvented into a city in miniature.

Originally built in 1962, the sprawling five-storey building housed a striking sequence of central atriums ringed by windowless research labs behind a mesmerizing mirror-like exterior. By 2006, however, the massive edifice was vacant and slated for demolition. What a shame that would have been. Fortunately, a forward-looking adaptive re-use project by New York’s Alexander Gorlin Architects has transformed the building, adding a variety of office and retail spaces and reviving the spine of atriums into discrete social hubs.

“This is such a powerful example, and at a rare large scale, of adaptation in the suburbs. It is so important to see effective transformation in this context for rethinking mixed-use community hubs.”
Marc Ryan, AZ Awards 2021 Juror

Among its major moves, the firm replaced the monolithic opaque walls of the former research rooms with a careful balance of glass walls and solid panels. This opened up the new offices, co-working spaces and event venues (popular for weddings and private parties) to the atriums below, which have been enlivened with boutiques, coffee shops and food halls. Alongside eye-catching seating by Ron Arad, the designers introduced to this “Main Street” a variety of plant life and Astroturf “lawns” that soften the imposing architecture with a playful dose of green.

(more…)
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