Homes, 3D printed vases, a cinema and a big red shed – last night was the Blueprint Awards. Held at the trendy Village Underground, this industrial venue welcomed a packed crowd of 400 people for the annual awards competition celebrating the best in design and architecture from the past year. Haworth Tompkins were the big winners on the evening scooping two awards – their Stirling Prize-nominated Everyman Theatre picking up the Best Public Use award and their prominent Shed, situated next to the National Theatre, winning Best Sustainable Project. Could this be a good omen for Thursday’s Stirling Prize announcement?
The Design Museum’s Designers in Residence scheme is proving a continuing success as two of its recent alumni picked up Blueprint awards. Adam Nathaniel Furman received the award for Best Design Innovation for his Identity Parade project that saw an exploration into rapid fabrication techniques and 3D printed to help create a series of stunning vases. Chloe Meineck was also on the winners list claiming the Blueprint Award for Design. Asif Khan was also among the shortlisted entrants for his MegaFaces installation at the Sochi Olympics.
dRMM won the Small Project award for their Comet Street Studio – the rectangular box structure rises up from the ground transforming a formerly dull carpark. A cinema in Hong Kong by One Plus Partnership claimed Best Interior and the delightful Kew House by Piercy and Company received the Best Non Public Award.
Structural engineers Techniker – who we share an office with – were also up for an award in the Best Design Innovation category for the Miles Staircase at Somerset House that was created with Eva Jiricna Architects. A stunningly crafted cantilever staircase, the steps surround a central metallic structure and include subtle detailing on each step. The only shame about this project is you can’t see it on your next visit to Somerset House – unfortunately the staircase is not in a publically accessible area of the museum. On this occasion the staircase missed out on the Blueprint Award but we’re hoping we get to visit this great addition to Somerset House next year during Open House – fingers crossed its in included.
Miles Staircase by Techniker for Somerset House
Two architectural heavyweights grabbed the final two awards of the night. Sir Terry Farrell received the award for Critical Thinking and Lord Rogers and his practice Rogers Stirk Habour and Partners received the Blueprint Architecture Award. And who would argue – with Ledenhall, British Museum and an exhibition 12 months ago at the Royal Academy – this has definitely been a great year for the historic practice based in Hammersmith.
Once the awards were done and dusted the crowd was left to enjoy the prosecco and the music of the Hoxton Whores, questionable name I know. Despite many a sore head this morning, I’m sure all will agree the Blueprint Awards was a great mix of a wonderful venue and great architecture and design nominations.