Barts & Minds

Above: Winner – Maggie’s Centre Barts by Steven Holl Architects


The winners of the 2019 Surface Design Awards were recently announced at the impressive Surface Design Show, celebrating the best and most impressive use of materials in, and on, architectural projects from around the globe.


The beautiful new Maggie’s Centre Barts was selected as the well-deserved Supreme Winner, capturing the judge’s hearts and minds. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building – by Steven Holl Architects – was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining great acclaim from the judges, including Christophe Egret, who stated: ‘You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space.

‘A beacon in the middle of a hospital is really incredible. It has materiality and sensuality – its Maggie’s. It has everything.’



Above: Aesop Flagship Store by Clayworks & Snohetta


Sited within the grounds of St Bartholemew’s Hospital, the building is a vertical blend of materials. Light pours into the building through a matte white glass façade, which also creates a glow to the surrounding area after dark.

Across 13 categories, entrants to the awards read like a ‘Who’s Who’ in architecture and design from around the world.

The Aesop Flagship Store, by Clayworks & Snohetta, won the Retail Interior category. Noted for its exceptional use of a single material, the sweeping arches that define the space are finished in beautiful, tactile clay plaster. The colouring and texture of the plaster were chosen to relate back to the body and create a soft, human feeling for the skincare brand.



Above: The Lava Stone Shopfront by STAC Architecture


The Lava Stone Shopfront took the judges by surprise in the Retail Exterior category, as it dawned on them that the project was a Nando’s restaurant. STAC Architecture created a handsome exterior using a 3D tile tessellated ingeniously to avoid the need to cut a single tile and avoiding any material waste.

The tranquil Writ in Water project took the Public Building Interior award. Studio Octopi worked with Mark Wallinger on Writ in Water, which is an immersive space where visitors can contemplate around a reflective pool, with inspiration drawn from Clause 39 of the Magna Carta and the fundamental principles of justice it embodies.

Taking the winning place in the Commercial Interior category, The Veil by Giles Miller Studio and Orms is a 17-metre solid brass sculpture embedded in an entranceway that allows light into the space and enables occupants to see out, while protecting their privacy by blocking the view in from the double height reception below.


Writ in Water

Above: Writ in Water by Studio Octopi and Mark Wallinger


The extraordinary Morpheus Hotel, by Zaha Hadid Architecture and Isometrix Lighting Design, picked up the Commercial Exterior category. Two towers are bound together within an exoskeleton inspired by China’s traditional Jade carvings.

A large structure made entirely of timber, the TED Theatre – created by Rockwell Group – scooping the Temporary Structure award, this temporary, demountable and portable theatre will be installed in the Vancouver Convention Centre.

In the Sustainable Interior Surface category, Hewitt Studios’ project for SGS Berkeley Green was the winner. A large regeneration of a collection of run-down offices, stores, labs and workshops next to Berkeley’s redundant nuclear power station, the project has created a pioneering campus focused on renewable energy skills training.



Above: The Veil by Giles Miller Studio and Orms


The winner of the Sustainable Exterior Surface category was Cultural Village by Kengo Kuma & Associates. Enveloped in the Portland Japanese Garden, the building’s custom metal roofing is single skin, non-combustible, with no reportable VOC content, 100% recyclable and contains postconsumer recycled content.

There were two winners in the Light & Surface Interior category. Firstly, Morpheus Hotel, which created debate and all-round admiration across the panel of judges. Meanwhile, a central London branch of Gymbox, whose lighting was designed by Lightivity Lighting Design, shared the accolade. The design uses light throughout, for functionality in visibility, aesthetics, wayfinding and mood.

Another category that had judges torn was the Light & Surface Exterior award. The lighting installation by Michael Grubb Studio in the Black Prince Road tunnel is a visual nod to the Black Prince’s Ruby – one of the oldest parts of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. AF Lighting’s Story Wall shared the win, with its simple and ingenious lighting solution. Story Wall is a lighting installation transforming a tunnel into a bright, safe and playful for passers-by.



Above: Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architecture and Isometrix Lighting Design


The winner of Housing Interior was Powis Cloud by Lily Jencks Studio. The project made smart use of materials to create a feeling of living up in the clouds. A simple, continuous curtain track creates a soft look and feel in the space.

In the final category, Housing Exterior, Mole Architects picked up the award for the Fijal House project. The fascinating use of serrated brickwork on the front elevation of this home was inspired by stone columns at the entrance to Ely Cathedral and an interpretation of Edwardian decorative brick. The Surface Design Awards recognise and celebrate the best use of innovative surface materials in architecture and design internationally.

Launched five years ago, the awards have grown to become one of the most respected accolades in the design arena. The 2019 shortlist consisted of 43 projects from nine countries, with winners coming from the UK, USA, China, Canada and Sweden.


Above: TED Theatre by Rockwell Group



Above: SGS Berkeley Green by Hewitt Studios



Above: Cultural Village by Kengo Puma & Associates



Above: Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architecture and Isometrix Lighting Design



Above: Gymbox by Lightivity Lighting Design



Above: Black Price Road tunnel by Michael Grubb Studio



Above: Story Wall by AF Lighting


Powis Cloud

Above: Powis Cloud by Lily Jencks Studio



Above: Final House by Mole Architects