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Belgian Jury report
BV 007: (1st prize ex-aequo, 1000 euro + Master Class) Berten Vandael, Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg PHL - Architectuur, Diepenbeek.
This entry entitled 'Luminous Concrete' is conceived as the report of a genuine research about the possibility of manufacturing photo-luminescent concrete. The research is based on the adduction of aluminates in the composition of the concrete. While the tests lead to an efficient factor of light restitution, they impinge against a high production cost and a decrease in strength. Further research on a concrete based paste with adduction of thermosetting plastics proves to be more successful and applicable to various surfaces. The proposal includes various examples of possible architectural and infrastructural use of the luminescent concrete finishing. The panels used for the entry itself were appositely coated with the product.
PP 413: (1st prize ex-aequo, 1000 euro+ Master Class) Wouter Dreessen, Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg PHL - Architectuur, Diepenbeek.
The entry is based upon the recent development of so-called organic concrete, a product engineered with the purpose to retain water. Because of its property to release humidity gradually it can provide for a proper substrate for organic growth. The entry focuses on the architectural implications conveyed by the very existence of this material. Sharp distinctions between the natural and the fabricated are brought out of balance. The project is conceived as an enclosing landscape. By choosing for a cave-like spatiality, it pretends to challenge the reliance of architecture on geometric principles and its propensity to spell this out through tectonics.
RL 384: (1st prize ex-aequo, 1000 euro+ Master Class) Radim Louda - ISACF La Cambre, Brussels.
This project is an intervention on the site of the 'Place des Sciences' in Louvain-la-Neuve. The Library, the first building on site, plainly erected in bare concrete, is considered as being one of the last convincing representatives of an architecture celebrating devotion to design. The argument is put forward that the existing square doesn't match up to this historical status and monumental quality. The project superimposes a additional figure to the building configuration around the square. The ordered pattern of the underground structures are dug out, exposed and worked out to redefine them as the common base to the buildings. The informal square is thus replaced by a cloister court, a strong figure reuniting the scattered edifices and bringing up implicit monumentality into physical presence.
German Jury report
CJ 980 solarconcrete
Barbara Grassl, Technical University Munich
The way the work links in with the theme of the 'hybrid' is particularly rich and illuminating. This also has to do with the way the work combines aesthetic appeal with technological functionality. The author has achieved a subtle blend of aesthetic added-value and technical specifications. Not the least of the outstanding merits of this work - apart from its high quality of design and masterful constructive planning - is the elegance of its implementation and the way it invites further development. Thus it would be interesting to investigate whether any excessive amounts of thermal energy produced during the summer months could be further minimised below the set limits or whether they could be used as an addition energy source for building services.
FX018 underground station
Felix Wurst, Leibniz University Hanover
The work first impresses through the clarity of its presentation, demonstrating as it does the complex interactions of reflection, experimentation and serial studies in modelling and drawing during the work process and how these lead to a compelling solution. Of particular interest is the playful use of parametric design methods. Thus in the exemplary realisation of a Hamburg underground station the focus is not on the actual module but rather on its spatial impact accentuated by the fall of natural light. This interpretation of the theme of the competition is impressive on more than one level, and especially in the way the design combines ornamental and constructive elements as mutually complementary parts of a single heterogeneous solution. Of outstanding merit too is the way the realisation of the constructive solution is consistently based on full use of all the possibilities inherent in concrete. Even if the supporting structural approach in its blend of supporting and suspended elements is certainly daring, this design concept is well worth considering as a viable project to be built.
JY007 ComfortCapsule Concrete
Juliane Greb and Yü Chen, RWTH University Aachen
All the conceivable textural and physical qualities of concrete surfaces are extracted and examined to show the range of possibilities open to the material for application on the inside of buildings.
To achieve this goal a combination of concrete and synthetics has been used. A temperature-controlled transformation process enables synthetic elements integrated in the concrete surface to react dynamically to outside influences and effect positive changes in the quality of the surface.
KT 215 thermoshape
Benedikt Krienen and Gereon Töpper, RWTH University Aachen
This entry for the competition is a creative response to a critical issue in modern concrete construction - how to produce freely formed double curved concrete elements (such as those used for the building shell).
This theme shows masterful development both in the conceptual and modelling stages. Of outstanding merit is the division of the industrial production of a sandwich element into factory-based formwork, reinforcement and insulation, and on the spot grouting of large-scale elements on the actual construction site. This brings us much closer to the use of computer-controlled realisation of complex geometries for concrete engineering, even if much more research is needed before we can develop viable practical solutions. The concept makes meaningful use of state-of-the-art technologies both in terms of building materials and construction methods and in terms of actual production processes.
Irish Jury report
22 anonymous submissions were considered by the assessment jury on 27th May 2008; the jury was pleased to be informed subsequent to the assessment that the entries were received from three schools of architecture in Ireland.
The assessment jury considered the general qulaity of the entries of to be of a high standard with around half of the entries making it through the first phase of the assessment.
The assessment jury considered the brief to have been well judged and the assignment presented to students allowed for wide range of intellectual responses and investigations while also encouraging and demanding a technical examination of the boundaries of the material. In this regard the jury was of the opinion that while the brief was clear in directing that the proposals should be design-led, the most successful submissions were those which supported the proposed designs with practical and/or technical investigations which demonstrated a more considered understanding of the material and the merit of the proposed application.
We noted in particular the following elements of the brief which we considered to be of particular import in our debate and assessment of the entries :
The competition seeks to investigate through research and design any notion of Implicit Performance.
- applications where concrete forms the basis but is not necessarily the only element at play.
We look for concrete surpassing its 'original' performance to the point of becoming a new material
The Jury considered these extracts from the brief as clear a call for an exploration for imaginative design solutions in the use of concrete with other materials and resources in order to present some new ideas or directions in the use and application of the material.
Of the 22 entries approximately half of the submissions remained in contention at the end of the first assessment round and the jury noted a number of issues and themes which emerged consistently across the entries.
− the structural boundaries of the material
− the development of hybrid solutions of concrete and other organic and solid materials
− the exploration of potential energy and other energy led ideas for concrete use
− the design of concrete and glass elements
− the design of low tech / sustainable designs for repetitive and or prefabricated shelters
While the jury was impressed with many of the individual attempts at investigation and design of proposals in each of the above categories, we considered a small number of entries to have achieved results beyond their initial subject by developing and expanding their design ideas on the material in a manner that reached to the core of 'implicit performance'.
- RA 493: Wearable Concrete
Wearable Concrete is a proposal for concrete shoes which is developed through the use of concrete and soft 'aero beads' to develop a lightweight material that is capable of being moulded and shaped to suit any shape and function such as an handcrafted shoe for an individual foot. A mould is developed to suit the particular foot and the product is then further developed through the integration of wax elements into the mould for the shoe which is then melted to allow for the later fixing of a simple leather shoe strap. The proposal is developed practically and photographs of the modelled shoe as worn are included which demonstrate the aesthetic qualities of the design proposal and its practical application. It was noted that the proposal was well presented and demonstrated a refinement of the original idea together with practical research application of additional lighter materials to achieve a lightweight solution. The Jury noted that the process of solving the many practical problems of associated with the development of a concrete shoe demonstrated he potential of the idea in providing solutions for new uses and performance of concrete.
- LR 311: Mosscrete
Mosscrete is an investigation into the live aspects of concrete and in particular the possibility of exploiting its constituent elements such as lime in forming a living organic material that develops and grows over time. The entry is conceptually very strong and applies first stage of research and analysis on how the organic material could be developed in concrete. The entry also investigates the use of acidic substances such as yoghurts in concrete mixes which would assist in the the cultivation of moss. The Jury was also mindful of the possibility of the use of course aggregate porous concrete which could assist the in the retention and development of moss on a concrete surface in an external environment. Moss as a material thrives in damp low light conditions and while in western cultures is regarded as a weed it is highly regarded in other cultures such as in Japanese gardens as bringing a calm or stillness to a scene. While this aspect of the material was not noted in the submission the Jury was impressed with the possibilities of developing a new concrete aesthetic through such a living material and the research that demonstrated this potential permeated through the minds of the Jury and led to much discussion throughout the assessment. It was felt that while the potential of the idea was not fully developed in the entry submission the original research and concept was deserving of high merit.
- FI 802: Inflatable Concrete
Inflatable Concrete was one of many entries to research the application of a reusable formwork to achieve a high level concept of multiple practical building forms or shelters through a low technical solution. The design proposals was the development of a 'flatpack' type formwork which would form a basic human shelter and thereby had the capacity for multiple applications as a low energy building form possibly for developing regions.
The Jury considered the entry represented the best design solution of all proposals which fell into this category and that the application was supported by some small scale technical research through models which demonstrated an understanding of the potential of the material.
The design proposal did not push the boundary of the performance of the material in a manner that surpassed its original performance; nevertheless, through application, construction and delivery the proposal was highly regarded by the Jury.
The three Irish projects selected by the jury to go forward to the International Final of 'Implicit Performance' : Third International Concrete Design Competition for Students, were:
- RA 493 Wearable Concrete
- LR311 Mosscrete
- FI802 Inflatable Concrete
The Jury also selected entry no. GC 013 as the reserve finalist, should a reserve be required.
The Jury was most impressed with entry no. RA 493: 'Wearable Concrete' as the entry which exploited the potential of the brief in a real and imaginative manner and presented a technically developed proposal with an aesthetic quality that was most impressive. The jury decided to award this entry the top prize of € 1,750.00. We were also very impressed with the thinking and concept behind entry no. LR311: 'Mosscrete' and we considered that the submission demonstrated a potential that was unique amongst the entrants and we awarded a second prize of
€ 1,500.00 to this entry. We also awarded a third prize of €750.00 to FI 802: 'Inflatable Concrete', being the best application of a concept for high level production of a simple concrete formwork.
There were a number of general comments which would like to note at the conclusion of the assessment:
We feel the competition brief was very well considered and offered great possibilities for students of architecture in proposing design led solutions through research and examination for new ideas in the application of concrete. We considered that the language of the brief was engaging and supported different design possibilities design ideas that could be submitted within the framework of 'implicit performance'.
We welcomed the inclusion of a research element to the competition brief and we were impressed with the level of response to the call for research within the timeframe of what is generally allowed in any competition. We considered this aspect of the brief could be retained and developed further in future competitions.
We were a little disappointed with the number of entries and would ask the competition organisers to seek a wider number of entries for next year perhaps by approaching all schools and/or opening the competition to all students rather than students of any particular year.
Sean Mahon, Chairman
Italian Jury report
AZ972 'Layering' awarded for the interesting study of the material, in particular of the stratifications of different concrete mix designs. Each layer is an element with a structural function, with its own mix design (defined 'magic formula' in the project), and is cast after a three-hour interval from the preceding one. Hence an exploration of the implicit technological properties of the material.
MR198 'Reverse Effect' awarded for the application of the 'hybrid' concept both to the system and to the material. The project, rich in inventiveness and imagination, envisages a system of floating elements usable for a city on the water that uses the thrust of the fluid as construction component. In addition, the concept of hybrid for the material consists in proposing the use of a metal-fibre-reinforced concrete.
EM023 'Noise Environmental Pollution Barrier' awarded for the use of the implicit properties of concrete in the design of a barrier element with a twofold acoustic and environmental function. To develop the acoustic barrier properties, the panel is equipped with cavities that 'capture' and neutralise sound waves and therefore noise. For its anti-pollution function, no-fines concrete was used in the mix design in order to increase the surface in contact with the atmosphere and the absorption of CO2.
Dutch Jury report
[Winner] NL154 - Sense of Scale
Sense of Scale is the somewhat misleading title - according to the jury - of a project that has multiple qualities and fits most of the criteria. The project explores the aesthetic, thermal and structural qualities of ultra high strength concrete (hsc) and the architectural impact of working with elements with a relatively large scale spongy texture. It is the extensive research shown in the presentation, the search for an integrated or combined quality of building technology, physics and architecture, that appeals to the jury. Although the apparition of the chosen texture is not new (a.o. Koolhaas has worked with similar elements), this project is more than 'just a pretty element' because of the research in the field of energy saving solutions and integrated design. The jury speaks of a 'brave experiment with some rough edges', has small doubts about the sustainability of the plastic globules but is overall enthusiastic about the way the project is presented. Less but stronger material, more surface thus better accumulation of energy and a strong architectural presence combined in one element: a true winner!
[Winner] TU000 - Sakura Concrete
Sakura Concrete plays with the senses of the spectator. The jury appreciates the projects as 'pure poetry'. The combination of concrete with fragile living material (like the orchids that were used in the experiment) brings 'soul' to the material and the elements. The contrast of fragility and structural strength is expected to enforce the character of the elements in time. According to the jury this projects meets all the criteria set in the theme 'Implicit Performance'. Sakura Concrete is emotion, is sustainable in its own way and an inspiration for other designers.
Norwegian / Swedish Jury report
Shared first prize and EUR 1,500 for Motto SZ595
The entry entitled Urgent performance depicts concepts involving concrete structures that are assembled from form-mats, intended for use as emergency dwellings or refugee camps anywhere around the globe. The jury is highly sceptical of the concept of emergency dwellings of this type, however it does wish to recognise the entry's spatial and experimental value. The entry shows a great deal of experimental, material and production interest, plus it serves as inspiration for possibilities of continued development and research.
Shared first prize and EUR 1,500 for Motto SO321
The entry entitled How did it come to be and how will it change in the future shows interesting possibilities for creating reliefs and nuances in concrete surfaces and concepts involving variability. Even though the jury has seen similar solutions before, this entry shows imaginative possibilities to use concrete differently in public spaces, and to achieve changes - intentional or unintentional - over time. The jury wishes to call particular attention to the importance of considering the environmental aspects when objects, of for example plastic, are embedded and possibly burnt away.
Third prize and EUR 1000 for Motto TV531
The entry entitled Concrete Tex distinguishes itself in a visionary way by showing a great potential for using concrete aesthetically by using hybrid form material. It shows possibilities that are still greater than what appears directly in the material submitted with the entry.
Spanish Jury report
We like the idea of this proposal due to its originality and because it stems from the local (Canary Islands) context. It leads to a construction process with a transition from the submarine ecosystem to the human ecosystem.
At the same time the organically shaped buildings that evolve are nicely embedded in the historic evolution of architectural shapes when we compare them to work of say Buckminster Fuller or the Le Ricolais. Original we call it because the proposal (which is realistic to a certain extent only) bases on electrochemical processes that reach the boundaries of today's concrete construction with potentially large ecological value because the process of producing calcium carbonate stores large quantities of CO2 at the same time.
The proposal 'Concrete filter' has drawn Jury's interest due to its complete development covering all the steps of the design, from research to an offer of specific applications. Both the operational system and the aesthetic proposal happily meet the light and spatial effects supporting a very specific function as it is the collect of urban pollution in the air
It is a design with a great formal elegance where concrete is presented as a medium of integration with Nature.
The proposal has a formal fragmentation very suitable for imitating organisms or plants. This is confirmed by the aerial views. Tridimensional, self-resisting forms have been avoided, vaulted forms being simple and smart.
The material has a 'crackeled' appearance, similar to a lizard's skin, with a great aesthetical interest.
Turkish Jury report
Three projects titled K0911, GO427 and EH307 were found eligible to be awarded by the jury since they suggested different systems which are adaptable to different positions and different hybridisms rather than suggesting a singular product, space or structure; and questioned the potentials of concrete materials.
KO911 titled project focused on the properties of concrete material and was appreciated by the jury with its idea of 'reactional concrete': transforming its appearance in different geographies and seasons, and the wall interacting with human acts.
The EH307 titled project suggested to combine the idea of growing plants on soiled roofs with concrete material. The project suggests to create 'concrete which enables plant growth' by adding hydro-culture into the aggregate of concrete. The jury was impressed by the idea of concrete 'leafing out' by containing granules that are used in plant cultivation without soil. Furthermore, the idea of this new hybridism transforming concrete into a porous structure in time attracted the attention of the jury.
While lightening concrete, aiming to make it more durable from a structural point of view, the project titled GO427 suggested that concrete could be lighter, more durable, and floatable by injecting small air calicles into it. This project 'bringing gas together with concrete' has earned jury's praise for approaching performance through the perspective of resistance and hybridism.