Surface Design Awards 2019 Finalists

Posted in Business, Events, News, People on 5 February, 2019

The shortlist for this year’s Surface Design Awards, includes Zaha Hadid Architects, Steven Holl Architects, Studio Egret West and Chris Dyson Architects from the UK, Rockwell Group from the USA, and Kengo Kuma & Associates from Japan.

The shortlist consists of an impressive 43 projects across seven categories, each entry an exemplary example of creative and innovative use of materials and lighting in both interior and exterior schemes. Some projects won nominations across several categories, resulting in 48 finalists.

Entries came from some of the most established architects and designers, as well as rising stars, and the growing international reach of the entrants was evident with projects from Canada, China, Korea and Australia, as well as four entries from the USA. Alongside entries from across Europe and the UK, the many and varied projects provided a thought-provoking and exciting morning of judging.

Key highlights from the shortlist include the Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects which is a finalist in three categories, impressing the judges with its concept, scale, form and composition, it illustrates the ability of ZHA to create astonishing spaces, enhanced by brilliant use of material and light.

A beautifully cedar-clad B&B by Blee Halligan Architects, Five Acre Barn, is a finalist across two categories, as is the impressive new Royal Academy of Music by Ian Ritchie Architects. The simultaneously intimate and grand concert hall prompted judge Paul Edwards to comment “I imagine when the lights go down, there would be something quite magical here”.

Impressing and touching was Maggie’s Barts, which is nestled into the grounds of St Bartholomews Hospital. A beacon in the design of centres of care in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects’ is shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category.  “Maggie’s Barts has this materiality and sensuality to it. It is a lantern in the middle of the hospital – it is really incredible.” said Christophe Egret of the project.

Other finalists include The Diner, a temporary space created under railway arches for Milan Design Week by Rockwell Group, which used printed aluminium and integrated LED lighting to totally transform the dark arches into a vibrant modern take on a classic American restaurant.

The fascinating machined interior finishes at the Blitz Club, by Studio Knack and Simon Vorhammer, drew many comments from the judging panel.

In the housing category brave use of materials was rewarded with a place as a finalist for Walker Bushe Architects’ Blackheath House, on which Christophe Egret remarked “Great use of different surfaces, with particularly cool pleated steel”.

Michael Grubb Studio provides two finalists in the Lighting & Surface Exterior section with Arts University Bournemouth and the Black Road Tunnel in London.

The 2019 judging panel was co-chaired by Christophe Egret, Founding Partner at Studio Egret West, and Paul Priestman, Chairman at PriestmanGoode. The full panel comprised Cany Ash, Partner at Ash Sakula Architects; James Soane, Director at Project Orange architecture & interior design; Jeremy Offer, Chief Creative Officer at future-focused vehicle designers Arrival; Katie Greenyer, Creative Talent & Network Director at Pentland Group; Paul Edwards, Head of Creative Design at Airbus and Roz Barr, Director of Roz Barr Architects. The popularity of the SDS awards are summed up by James Soane of Project Orange:

“(SDAs judging) is a unique opportunity to create a bit of conversation where there isn’t one person trying to defend their scheme or project, and you’re able to bring different things to the table, and actually work through and go back…and looking again is quite nice because you start to appreciate something you might have overlooked. You can come back to something, that perhaps you couldn’t quite put a finger on why you liked it and then you realise why…because they’ve taken chances, and suddenly you’re looking at a project for three things: the lighting, the interior and the exterior.”

Winners will be announced at the Awards presentation on 7th February during the Show; sponsors include James Latham, The Business Design Centre and FINSA.

For the full list of awards finalists, visit:

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