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European Copper in Architecture Awards Shortlist


Entries for the 2011 Copper in Architecture Awards revealed an exceptional diversity of high-quality buildings – many not yet well known or published. The seven shortlisted projects discussed here clearly demonstrate the increasingly influential role of copper and its alloys as inspirational, as well as environmentally sustainable, materials in contemporary architecture.

In Navarra, Spain, the Town Hall, Police and Cultural Centre establishes a new heart for the social, cultural and political life of Berriozar. Garcia Rodriguez Alcoba's design is conceived as a single, forthright form - a building that folds back onto itself, defining voids and volumes, both inside and outside. A very different approach is taken by Avanto Arkkitehdit with their Chapel of St. Lawrence, Vantaa, Finland, based on the concept of 'the Path' - a Christian's journey from here to eternity. This project also aims to reconcile the emotional needs of mourners with the pragmatic demands of funerals.

A new Fire Brigade, Ambulance and Alpine Recovery Centre building in Italy's South Tyrol unifies different functions in a challenging setting. Here, Austrian architects AllesWirdGut have developed a copper-clad aesthetic that reflects a mountainous context, without overpowering its village location. In another dominant landscape setting – this time, Kielder Water in the north of England – Freya's Cabin is a golden copper alloy clad lakeside shelter, informed by a romantic fairytale created by its designers Studio Weave.

On a prominent hillside location with views of the Rhine valley, Fritsch und Schlueter Architekten's house in Seeheim, Germany, turns the archetypal traditional gabled house into a monolithic built form with openings carved out of it. Also seeking a balance between building and landscape is the Villa Vauban – Musée d'Art de la Ville de Luxembourg. Here, Philippe Schmit architects' comprehensive renovation and additions substantially expand museum exhibition spaces while enhancing the site's historic elements. Finally, architects Make have transformed a relatively undistinguished six storey 1960s block in the heart of London, giving it a striking new identity with extensive use of brass cladding and dramatic cantilevered balconies.

This year's judging panel consisted of four architects – all recipients of previous Copper in Architecture Awards - Einar Jarmund, Patrick Genard, Pia Salin and Keith Williams. Architectural Review Editor Catherine Slessor chaired the panel. More information and images of the shortlisted projects, and all 66 entries, can be viewed at: The architects of shortlisted entries will be presenting their designs and the winners will be announced at an Awards Event in Brussels on 27th September 2011.


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