What doom and gloom? Architects rejoice after 2020 sees them scoop up heap of international awards
Architects had reason to celebrate 2020 as a host of Polish building designs impressed judges and picked up an array of international awards.
One of the designs awarded was the concept for the Monopolis complex, the regeneration of the former Vodka Monopoly distillery in Łódź, one of the largest and most prominent industrial buildings in the city and a key part of its heritage.
The design, by Grupa 5 Architects received an award at the prestigious international MIPIM Awards and was hailed the best “mixed-use” architectural design in the world.
The multi-functional building combines offices, services, like a nursery and fitness complex and cultural institutions, including a theatre and gallery, as well as restaurants.
Łódź was the setting for another award winning design, the Brama Miasta (Gate of the City) office building. Designed by one of Poland’s most awarded architectural firms, Medusa Group, it stands opposite Łódź Fabryczna train station.
The concept was recognised for its unique design which makes reference to the city’s industrial history. The design gained multiple awards, including the ICONIC Award 2020 from the German Design Council and the Property Design Award 2020.
Elsewhere, the Radio and Television Department building at the University of Silesia in Katowice, took the main prize at the Brick Award 2020.
A joint project created by three architectural teams, Małeccy Biuro Projektowe, Grupa 5 and BAAS, the building also scooped the prize in the “Sharing public spaces” category.
The design was praised for its sensitivity in relation to its local context and highlighting the virtues of the surrounding environment.
The jury said: “The architects show how a city-centre building can be innovative and , at the same time, a guardian and interpreter of the past.
“The dark and stained brick is full of meanings that speak about the past and the Silesian coal mines. This is a haunting design and a pitch-perfect setting for film students.”
In Western Poland, the Poznań based Atal Warta Towers, by Wrocław architects AP Szczepaniak achieved success at the Global Future Design Awards 2020, where it was awarded the second best building in the world in the “Mixed Use Concept” category.
The shape of the building was the result of efforts to achieve the best possible views of the Warta river and Poznań Old Town.
The Red Dot Design Award, known as the Oscar of design, also went to a Polish architectural firm for a building which uses augmented reality.
Created by, Grupa Plus Architects, the design “House Wide Shut”, includes glass walls which can change their transparency from completely transparent to completely opaque, and are interactive, being able to turn matt or project selected information or films on demand of the home’s inhabitants.