Winners of the European Copper in Architecture award 2013 announced

Portuguese and Italian projects receive the main prizes in the biennial showcase celebrating copper in architecture

by Malcolm Clark
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The winners of the Copper in Architecture award, now in its 16th edition, dedicated to architectural designs that incorporate copper or copper alloys (such as brass and bronze) for roofing, cladding and façades were recently announced at the opening of the Batimat trade fair in Paris.

This edition saw a record 82 projects submitted from all over Europe, from which the 10 finalists were then selected. The jury was made up of architects Einar Jarmund (Jarmund / Vigsnæs AS Architects MNAL, Norway), Craig Casci (Grid Architects, UK), Davide Macullo (Davide Macullo Architects, Switzerland) and Anu Puustinen (Avanto Architects Ltd, Finland), who had received awards and mentions in previous editions of the competition.

The Grand Jury Prize was awarded to the Platform of Arts and Creativity in Guimarães (Portugal), designed by Pitágoras Arquitectos.
The key element of this majestic architectural structure is the brass which gives it a natural golden colour. The jury appreciated Pitàgoras Arquitectos' clever use of materials; they fully exploited the pliability of copper to create a uniform but truly original structure. The outer metal coating, consisting of brass profiles, allowed the different buildings to be held together and to distinguish them at the same time.

Special mentions were awarded to:

- Dolomitenblick, the residential building in Sesto (in the Province of Bolzano) by Plasma Studio, in which a combination of wood and copper has been used to ensure it blends in perfectly with the surrounding landscape and alpine meadows; the pre-oxidized dark brown-toned copper was used in horizontal bands and was chosen for its durability and for its perfect resemblance to the colour of the seasoned larch wood. This project was also the people's choice winner, voted on the award's website;

- The Seinäjoki Municipal Library (Finland) by JKMM Architects, whose new expansion is part of the most extensive cluster of buildings designed by Alvar Aalto in the world. To create a dialogue between past and future, the architects have relied on contrasts: the surfaces alternate between the warm tone of a pre-oxidized dark brown copper and the immaculate white of the painted concrete;

- The Covering of the runic stones in Jelling (Denmark) by NOBEL arkitekter a/s combines bronze and glass, to create a showcase for these ancient stones, classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Relying on the natural beauty, durability and timeless nature of bronze, the architects designed the structure with the precise intention of emphasizing its content.

    Platform of Arts and Creativity 216

    Platform of Arts and Creativity

    Guimarães / Portugal / 2012

    Dolomitenblick 67


    Sexten / Italy / 2012

    Seinäjoki Library 40

    Seinäjoki Library

    Seinäjoki / Finland / 2012

    Covering of the runic stones in Jelling 22

    Covering of the runic stones in Jelling

    Jelling / Denmark / 2011