JEWELS OF DESIGN: ABB LEAF Awards

20 December 2017



The industry met this year at London’s Royal Horseguards Hotel to celebrate architectural successes at the 15th annual ABB LEAF Awards. The expert judging panel included SBID president Vanessa Brady OBE, and BIG’s Kai-Uwe Bergmann, as well as senior representatives from Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM, Aedas and Perkins + Will. We extend our congratulations to the winners listed below and look forward to seeing you again in 2018.


Overall Winner & Interior Design Award – Future

II by IV Design The Residences of 488 University Avenue, Toronto, Canada

Toronto’s University Avenue is rich in history and heritage. To be completed in 2018, the Residences of 488 University Avenue will be a 55-storey tower of glass and steel. A 37-storey condominium of 53 luxurious units will rise above the office. Inside the residential entrance, wood panelling, glowing glass walls and art decoinspired furnishings set the scene before riding the elevators to the SkyLobby on the 19th floor. The residential tower features two floors of amenity spaces filled with light, a sun-and-swim terrace, fitness centre, and private SkyClub and SkyBar serving meals and drinks.

Mixed Use Building of the Year

Labics and 3TI Progetti City of the Sun, Rome, Italy

Spanning 11,000m2 in the eastern district of Rome, City of the Sun connects the local community with shared spaces. Its morphological and programmatic structure includes a pedestal system to host commercial spaces on the ground floor and offices on the first floor. The complex includes residential urban villas, tall houses and a public library. The central square is integrated with raised walkways and street-level routes that act as invitations to explore and linger. The project puts public space at its core, developing a complex system of relationships between space and height.

Residential Building of the Year – Single Occupancy

Studio MK27 Jungle House, Sao Paulo, Brazil

The project is in the rainforest region along the Paulista shore amid a mountainous topography covered with dense vegetation. The house, set deep in the landscape, optimises the connection between architecture and nature. The three storeys divide the house, with the ground floor equipped with a large wooden deck. The first floor has six bedrooms – five with their own verandas and hammocks – and a TV room. The third floor has a swimming pool, living room and kitchen. The inverted vertical organisation flips tradition on single-family houses. Exposed concrete and wood unite the interior spaces with the exterior.

Residential Building of the Year – Multiple Occupancy

Sanjay Puri Architects Ishatvam 9, Ranchi, India

In Ranchi, the Ishatvam 9 residential building sits on an 1,800m2 plot of land. Most of the city has seen low-rise development over the past few decades, but times have changed recently with rapid urbanisation.Height restrictions, previously set at 15m, have risen to 50m. The Ishatvam 9 apartments span entire floors that are open on all sides, with each room extending to 20ft-high decks and private, sheltered spaces. In a city where three generations tend to live in one house, the living room becomes the social hub of the home, fostering connection and communication.

Interior Design Award – Completed (Sponsored by Axolight)

Nikken Space Design Toba Bettei, Mie, Japan

These guestrooms were designed in authentic Japanese style with modern expressions, as part of an annex to a membership resort hotel in Toba in Ise-Shima. The design concept known as teioku ichinyo, which favours harmony between building and garden, was applied to the interior with views to the outside. Traditional materials and colours arranged in a modern way make this a unique new Japanese space. Watermark techniques have been used with paper screens and lattices, and furniture is set low, with paper-framed lamps softening the lighting.

Commercial Building of the Year

Design Unit Factory in the Forest, Penang, Malaysia

The 162,000ft2 plot houses the office and manufacturing plant of an electronics company specialising in medical and satellite equipment. Drawing on forests as inspiration, the design maximises contact with nature, adding lush greenness, fresh breezes and invigorating scents. Slender columns unite the office, courtyard and car park thematically, while offering protection from the sun. A naturally ventilated cafeteria leads into open spaces under trees, with unblemished views of the landscape and sky. There are rainwater catchment sumps for irrigation, as well as chilled-water floor-slab cooling for energy conservation.

Hospitality Building of the Year – Completed

WOW Architects and Warner Wong Design Vommuli Island Resort, Maldives

This luxury resort stimulates the senses with new ways of interacting with the physical environment. The island is surrounded by a large ‘house reef’ and is defined by several distinct ecological zones: lagoon, beach, coast and jungle. These zones guide guests through journeys in nature, fostering awareness of its beauty and healing properties. The lagoon has a water amphitheatre and spa; the beach has two restaurants; the jungle houses a nature discovery centre and cafe; while the coastal zone is home to a dive centre and bar. Artists in residence showcase pop-up installations using found objects and locally sourced materials.

Hospitality Building of the Year – Future

Enota Tetusa Oasis Resort, Cesme, Turkey

The square footage needed for this project exceeded what can be placed above ground. A special design feature resolved the issue with circular building blocks wrapped around an inner atrium. The inner side of the atrium is deepened to let sunlight into underground levels. The principle is repeated with the semicircular outer parts of the building that conceal the extra levels. The building was designed through the repetition and multiplication of basic building blocks. Every block has been modified to fit the terrain and all have been connected to each other.

Refurbishment of the Year

Tabanlioglu Architects Beyazit State Library, Istanbul, Turkey

Beyazit State Library, founded in 1884, is the oldest in Turkey. It is located in the most important public space of the historic peninsula, with a strong tradition of literature and books. Updating and finetuning the library required sensitive reorganisation of the interior and careful restoration of the building fabric with its prominent multidomed roof. A light and transparent inflatable membrane structure replaced the old concrete roof. It covers the courtyard, filtering daylight, while providing a controlled atmosphere.

Public Building of the Year

SSH Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, Kuwait

The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre is in a world-class museum district in Kuwait City. Together with the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, it forms Kuwait’s new national cultural district. The district celebrates scientific and cultural achievements, and the scale, shapes and shades of the buildings are designed to convey a sense of wonder and awe. Kuwaiti architecture is represented by the ‘main street’ that does not adhere to straight lines, echoing the traditional ferej. This creates exciting spaces, Islamic patterns and walkways, mirroring the experience of strolling down a busy Kuwaiti street.

Best Sustainable Development of the Year – Completed

Grüntuch Ernst Architects German School, Madrid, Spain.

The German School in northern Madrid is an important site for cultural exchange between young people, but its activities and events connect people beyond the local sphere. The building is divided into clearly readable areas – the kindergarten, primary school, secondary school, cafeteria, auditorium, gym – and perches on top of pillars. With roofed areas outdoors and setbacks in the facades, the summer heat is reduced and large building volumes store cool air, making the climate more consistent and comfortable. An insulation standard and ventilation system also ensures good air quality.

Best Sustainable Development of the Year – Future

Cerno + Architekten Family house extension, Bratislava, Slovakia

The owner wanted a simple construction: a parking space, new entrance with small anteroom, and bedroom with walk-in closet and bathroom. The space was constrained by an existing home, a neighbour’s ground floor building, a garden and the street. The solution was a new entrance to the house and parking on the ground floor, with access from the street on the south side. The bedroom sits on the first floor, forming one space with the bathroom, which serves as soundproofing against the noises from the street.

Best Future Building of the Year – Drawing Board

Aedas Chengdu City Music Hall, China

The Chengdu City Music Hall complex balances cultural components in a dense urban environment. Drawing on traditional Chinese landscape paintings of mountains and rivers, and the relationships formed by positive and negative spaces, balance is sought between imagined creations of the performances and tangibles of the buildings that contain them. Connected terraces with differentsized venues beneath them, and topographic bamboo gardens interact to diversify the space. The bamboo pays tribute to the nearby giant panda sanctuaries, which house 80% of the world’s rarest species.

Best Future Building of the Year – Under Construction

Atelier Dallara Motorsport Academy, Italy

The new Dallara complex overcomes data and urban territorial constraints. The space values public access with cultural and educational activities. The aim was to imagine a building that was representative and functional, recognisable and simple. Energy performance has been optimised by balancing opaque casing for climatic control, building a transparent envelope to capture solar heat to distribute it in colder months, and maximising natural lighting and plant terminals that are connected to the building management system.

Urban Design of the Year

Yazgan Design Architecture Hamamyolu Urban Deck, Eskisehir, Turkey

The urban deck revitalises an existing passageway and connects Odunpazan Square to Porsuk River. It provides a continuous pedestrian axis between districts. The urban deck uses recyclable wood with a 1.5km path decorated by LED lighting at the centre to create horizontal movement through the cityscape, as well as vertical movement through the various overpasses, underpasses, platforms, pools and seating areas. The result is a different perspective of the diverse urban fabric of the city. Handmade colourful glass is embedded in white cement.

Best Facade Design and Engineering of the Year (Sponsored by Innox)

Astad for designer Jean Nouvel National Museum of Qatar, Doha

Located in the Doha Corniche area, the National Museum features a series of interlocking discs mimicking the sand rose, a natural mineral formation created by salt evaporation in sand layers beneath the deserts of the Gulf region. The discs also create a ring of gallery spaces around a central court for museum visitors and outdoor cultural events. The building envelope is created by lens-shaped discs with concrete cladding that reflects Qatar’s dusty, humid environment. Lenses are composed of different elements: panel and nose. The cladding is a rain screen with a full waterproofing and vapour barrier.

Developer and Development Project of the Year

CoCo Architecture A multigenerational space, Olemps, France

The village of Olemps launched this space as an activity centre for intergenerational exchanges through theatre, cinema, concerts, dance, as well as banquets, bingo nights, marriages, village parties and market days. The monolithic building conveys a sense of importance. It’s a simple cube with rounded corners, entirely encased in a golden metal mesh to mimic the sun setting on Mount Olympus. The gates protect the openings on each facade and act as lightweight awnings, sheltering visitors. The awnings also create activity spaces, side stages for outdoor concerts and areas for the future library’s youth and senior spaces.

Lifetime Achievement 2017

Sir Peter Cook

Sharing the honour with previous winners such as Santiago Calatrava, Moshe Safdie and Daniel Liebeskind, Cook took home the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry. He has been one of the most influential people in progressive architecture education over the past 50 years, and his ideas remain relevant today. Cook was knighted in 2007, in recognition of his architectural and teaching career, but, at 81, he warns his next building will be the best and funkiest yet.

The Residences of 488 University Avenue, Canada.
City of the Sun, Rome, Italy.
Jungle House, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Ishatvam 9, Ranchi, India.
Factory in the Forest, Penang, Malaysia.
Vommuli Island Resort, Maldives
Beyazit State Library, Istanbul, Turkey.
Toba Bettei, Mie, Japan.
Tetusa Oasis Resort, Cesme, Turkey.
German School, Madrid, Spain.
Chengdu City Music Hall, Chengdu, China.
Family house, Bratislava, Slovakia.
Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, Kuwait.
Dallara Motorsport Academy, Italiy.
A multigenerational space, Olemps, France.
Hamamyolu Urban Deck, Eskisehir, Turkey.
Sir Peter Cook, Lifetime Achievement 2017.


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