HÄUSER AWARD 2015: The Best Conversions, Extensions and Modernisations

HAMBURG, Germany, March 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The award winners are located in Heidelberg (Germany), Paris (France) and Santa Pau (Spain); the interior design prize goes to Switzerland

HÄUSER, the premium magazine for international architecture, design and lifestyle, presents the winners of its 2015 HÄUSER AWARD in edition 2/15 (in shops from 9 March). The theme is ‘Rebuild not new build’, and all the winners demonstrate that the future of construction lies in our existing stock of buildings. The jury awarded prizes to the best renovations, extensions, conversions, interior works and modernisations. These showed individual architectural creativity and innovative ways of adapting older houses to today’s standards of comfort, building technology and energy efficiency.

This is the first time that three projects have been chosen as joint first prize winners: ‘The objects all demonstrate an architectural quality that can be clearly identified and described, despite the very individual conditions and solutions of each case. We therefore found it relatively straightforward to select the top 20 buildings from all the entries received. The jury also agreed, that among these 20 buildings, three stood out in particular. But which was the very best? We ultimately decided there would be three winners because all three designs were equally successful, even though they represent very different levels of intervention, sizes of budget and geographical locations,’ said Anne Zuber, editor in chief of HÄUSER.

The three winners have each been awarded with 5,000 euros. In addition, each winner with a separate developer and architect will receive an award of 1,000 euros from the Verband Privater Bauherren e.V. This applies to the projects in France and Spain.

HÄUSER has joined forces with the InformationsZentrum Beton, the Verband Privater Bauherren e.V. (VPB), the Association of German Architects (BDA) and Parkett Dietrich to grant this year’s prestigious HÄUSER AWARD architecture prize to the following projects:

RS29 in Heidelberg (Germany): Architects Dea Ecker and Robert Piotrowski (Ecker Architekten, Heidelberg) transformed an inherited cafe from the 1950s into a light-flooded, spacious urban space with both working and living areas. The biggest challenge was removing the traces of a previous renovation and harking back to the optimism and new beginnings of the original 1950s building. The architect’s office now occupies the front of the house, while the family can live peacefully overlooking the calm courtyard. The residential part is situated deep within a housing block, and its two storeys of restored glass facades look onto the courtyard garden. The existing structure has also been extended by adding a third storey at roof level, providing a total living area of 160 square metres.

Maison Clone near Paris (France): The second winning development comprises both an existing and a new building, divided into two wings and arranged in a U-shape. Jacques Moussafir of Moussafir Architectes Associés, Paris, has skilfully clad the ensemble to give the appearance of a unified whole. The architect completely gutted this detached suburban Parisian home, a traditional clinker-brick building with stone foundations. The living area was doubled by sinking the plot lower and adding new parts. The budget was tight, but this design nevertheless successfully combines architectural quality and individuality. For example, customised box windows protruding into the interior extend the sight lines from one part of the building to the other.

Porch House in Santa Pau (Girona, Spain): Daring intervention has enabled architects Bet Capdeferro and Ramon Bosch (Bosch.Capdeferro Arquitectures, Girona) to transform a rustic Catalan farmhouse into a modern family home. The fortified character of the original farmstead, which dates back over 250 years, has been preserved. A new, zinc-clad rectangular parallelepiped extension has been added to the longer side behind the existing building; it can only be discerned upon second glance. This extension partially encloses the old farmhouse, much like a passepartout. Technically striking, contemporary functionalism contrasts with irregular walls of natural stone which are left virtually untouched. The kitchen counters and dining area, which lie behind the extension’s fully glazed facade, resemble a kind of covered terrace. The old and new building elements are given equal prominence and stand alongside one another as independent entities. The HÄUSER AWARD jury praised the way they reinforce one another and create synergy for the development as a whole.

This is the first year the HÄUSER AWARD has also honoured exceptional interior design quality. Together with Parkett Dietrich, HÄUSER is awarding the Interior Prize, valued at 2,000 euros, to the architecture studio Savioz Fabrizzi from Sion, Switzerland. The architects converted a small barn into a neat 48-square-metre holiday home. The floors, walls and ceiling, as well as built-in furniture are made of larch wood and have been executed with the greatest precision in terms of design and craft. Free-standing furniture is replaced with walls, that turn into cupboards and deep window reveals serve as seats. Glass doors and full-length windows provide plenty of light inside.

The book on the best renovations

The book of the competition Häuser mit Charakter umbauen, erweitern, aufstocken (Buildings with character – renovations, extensions and tall storeys) collates and documents the 20 commended contenders for the HÄUSER AWARD 2015 – all with brilliant photos, ground plans and eloquent text.