“Where surfaces come alive”. Never have these word rung truer, with reference to the winning projects of the latest Surface Design Awards, announced at the Surface Design Show, London, which took place on 8th February. Innovative surfaces triumph as the 'true' protagonists of architecture and design, featuring in a remarkably varied range. They include those for interiors which integrate lighting and sound absorption, as featured in Soundscapes interiors by Zumi, winners of the Light and Surface Interior category, or more spectacular exterior ones such as the three-dimensional glazed ceramic tiles of the iridescent façade cladding of the MAAT, Lisbon, by AL_A architects, the Supreme Winner as well as best Public Building Exterior Surface. A total of twelve winners across eleven different categories selected from 80 proposals from 16 countries, by jury members Jenny Jones (Studio Jenny Jones), Sacha Leong (Studioilse), Constantina Tsoutsikou (HBA London), Jo Littlefair (Goddard Littlefair), Howard Sullivan (YourStudio) and Nir Gilad (Nous Design) and co-chaired by Tina Norden, Conran and Partners, and Ab Rogers, Ab Rogers Design.
Surfaces for interiors include the walls made from stacked sheets of paper of the Vanke Day Park Sales Office & Culture Exhibition Centre, Shenzhen, China, by the firm Zhao Yu (Commercial Interior Surface), the double perforated screen by Coffey Architects for the Science Museum, London (Public Building Interior Surface), the continuous surfaces between underground and overground of House 31, London, by Studio Octopi (House Interior Surface) and the audio-acoustic and air purification system by Delta Tecno Studio for enhanced interior comfort in the Italian Cannavacciuolo Bistrot, Turin (Retail Interior Surface).
In the categories dedicated to surfaces for exteriors, Maria Ana Vasco Costa received recognition for two creations, both in Lisbon, characterised by a play on the elaboration of cladding tile shape: diamond for the Friendly Border Apartment by GAS2 Architects (Commercial Exterior Surface), and with size variations in the Presidente Arriaga Building by STC Arquitectos, joint winner of the Housing Exterior Surface Award, together with the residence in John Ruskin Street, London, designed by David Stanley and Romy Grabosch.
Another private home in Vilnius, the Valley Villa by the firm Arches, won the Sustainable Exterior Surface category in virtue of its use of natural wood as cladding for façades and double pitched roof, in harmony with natural surroundings.
Conceived for the seaside setting of Eastbourne, UK, the Beach Hut Monument for Beachy Head Lady by Stephen Foley made from translucent Corian won the Light and Surface Exterior award: “an illuminated and multifaceted hut which engages in a strong dialogue with the exterior”.
Lastly, The Bolt, designed by Giles Miller Studio for St. Johns Square London during Clerkenwell Design Week 2017, was declared the best Temporary Surface, an example of a brise soleil façade which enables control of visual and luminous permeability.