Design

Sea Sponge Skyscrapers, Semi-Living Rooms, And 4 Other Winners From Architizer's A+ Awards

Architizer announced its 2014 architecture and design award winners, and (as expected) they are mind-blowing.

Zach Sokol

Zach Sokol

This morning, The Architizer A+ Awards announced the winners of its second-annual architecture awards, a mega-celebration of the most innovative designs from across the globe, including 60+ category winners picked by over 300 judges. While every finalist is worthy of its own article, we were particularly blown away by the winning designs in three specific categories: Architecture + Art, Architecture + Technology, and Architecture + Photography And Video, and decided to highlight both the judges' picks and the popular choice winners. 

From a concept skyscraper inspired by sea sponges to an structural installation that breathes and whispers as if it were alive, these are the winners from the prestigious competition. Take a look at these structural behemoths, and get some crazy facts about what makes each project so amazing. 

Architecture + Art

Jury Pick: The Hylozoic Series by Phillip Beesley Architect

Project Summary: Originally debuting at the Montreal Beaux-Arts Museum in 2007-8, this work is an ever-growing series that's compared to the functions of a living system in which interactive geotextiles are embedded with machinery so that the environment responds to human presence with "breathing, caressing, and swallowing motions." The project has evolved over the past several years (not unlike a living creature!) and has traveled to over 30 different exhibits across the world. The current incarnation is called the Epiphyte Chamber and it includes an interactive lighting system and moving mechanical parts using microprocessors and sensors

Where Its Currently Located: National Museum of Modern And Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea.

Where The Firm's From: Toronto, Canada

Unique Detail About The Work: The Epiphyte Chamber has delicate canopies made of thousands of digitally-fabricated pieces that whisper at passer-visitors, as if it were a haunted (or animated) room

Architecture + Art

Popular Choice: Behaviours of Light by JNZNBRK

Project Summary: Behaviours of Light was a temporary installation that uses two projectors to "physically occupy" a sliver of air space, while also using 39 translucent and semi-reflective triangles made of acrylic to sculpt the light and cast geometric shapes into the open air and onto surrounding walls (which were treated with semi-reflective film to really make those forms pop).

Where It Was Originally Located: The Eckhardt Hall at The Winnipeg Art Gallery

Where The Firm Is From: Winnipeg, Canada

Unique Detail About The Work: The sculpted light sort of look like floating manrays
 

Architecture + Technology

Jury Pick: Biotic-Tech Skyscraper by GPT+

Project Summary: A concept design of a future urban skyline made from multiple high-rise buildings that adapt to environment conditions that mimic symbiotic processes among living organisms and the environments they live in. In other words, the building's transparency, flexibility, movement, and protective pigmentation adapt to its surroundings, and it uses natural resources like solar power, air flow, and water for energy. Specs include a semitransparent polymer membrane that stretches when hit with heavy wind and turns that kinetic energy into other types of power

Where It Could Be Located: Undetermined

Where The Firm Is Located: Shanghai, China

Unique Detail About The Work: It uses sea sponges and other marine organisms as its source of inspiration

Architecture + Technology

Popular Choice: Equator Tower by REX Architecture

Project Summary: The 1,230 foot, 80 story skyscraper not only receives sunlight from all four sides, but to maximize its energy efficiency, it includes four-sided solar shading, made from PTFE-coated, glass fiber-reinforced fabric to prevent glare. This "veil" is silver on the outside to reject head, but black on the inside to enhance visibility of the surrounding metropolis. 

Where Will It Be Built: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Where The Firm Is Located: New York City

Unique Detail About The Project: It's let to be located exactly on the equator, hence the name

Architecture + Photography And Video

Jury Pick: Sliced Porosity Block by Steven Holl Architects and Spirit Of Space

Project Summary: In a collaboration between Spirit of Space and Steven Holl Architects, Sliced Porosity Block captures the soul of Chengdu's newest sustainable micro-city of the same name. The city is organized around how natural light creeps in, including five "sun-carved" concrete towers and three public valleys. 

Where The Project Was Built: Chengdu, China

Where The Firm Is Located: New York and Beijing

Quirky Detail About The Project: The film also includes a complementary interview with Steven Holl that dives into the work's complexity.

Architecture + Photography And Video

Popular Choice: Morphogenesis by Karatzas Architecture and Photography

Project Summary: Stark images of well-known buildings, including work by Zaha Hadid and the Vitrahaus in Germany by Herzog & de Meuron (above)

From the artist:

"My work aims to inspire people to not only view architecture as a two dimensional image representation but to motivate them to experience it comprehensively. Long exposure photography and a fine art approach makes people slow down, observe buildings closer, do research and field survey, revisit locations under different light and weather conditions, and by doing so enriching their understanding and awareness of the built environment."

A huge congratulations to all the winners and finalists nominated for their unbelievable work. There's more to see and way more to discuss, but you can start by checking out all the finalists over at Architizer

@zachsokol