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LocHal Public Library wins World Building of The Year Award for 2019
Netherlands Architecture News - Dec 7, 2019 - 14:00 4611 views
Designed by Civic architects (lead architect), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau and Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse, LocHal was a former locomotive hangar dating from 1932, and was transformed into a public meeting place and new library typology.
The library capitalises the existing structure, thereby greatly minimising the amount of new structural elements, while also providing ample opportunity for interaction and the creation of new knowledge.
The building houses amenities shared by the library, arts organisations and co-working facilities. In addition to areas for lectures and public events, the building also has a number of ‘labs’ where visitors can learn new skills.
The judges were impressed by the way "this project transformed a significant building which had been planned for demolition" and how "the result has created a physical facility in which a variety of users can meet for multiple purposes. In this sense, the building has become a social condenser".
The winner was selected by a super jury of luminaries of the global architecture industry – comprising Ben van Berkel, Founder and Principal Architect at UNStudio and Founder of UNSense; Aaron Betsky, President of Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; Anuradha Mathur, Associate at University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia; Murat Tabanlioglu, Founding Partner at Tabanlioglu Architects and Maria Warner Wong, Design Director at WOW Architects & Warner Wong Design.
The World Building of the Year and a host of other top awards has been presented last night at a glamorous gala dinner for over 800 international architects at the Beurs van Berlage, the former stock exchange building dating back to the turn of the 20th century, which is located in the heart of Amsterdam.
The LocHal Public Library is now the twelfth project to claim the illustrious title of World Building of the Year, since its inception at the inaugural World Architecture Festival in Barcelona in 2008.
World Architecture Community is official media partner of this year's WAF and INSIDE festival. Following four years in Singapore and two years in Berlin, this is the festival’s second year in Amsterdam, where over 2,000 architects from across the globe have convened for three days of debate and discussion.
The atmosphere of the building is that of a productive knowledge institute. The main structure, various original features which have been carefully preserved and the new additions make use of ‘honest’ materials such as black steel, concrete, glass and wood, applied over large surfaces.
Textile screens add accents of scale and colour. It is the main structure which determines the architectural language, while the details adapt themselves to the scale of the building.
The architecture creates a colossal, industrial setting for all types of activity. The interior design, with its unique fixtures and fittings, creates an extra layer that adds playful variation to the overall visual experience.
Judges commented that The World Architecture Festival 2019 had displayed "welcome evidence of serious thinking about environmental and community issues" and “noted the increasing incidents of architecture and landscape integration".
The festival will reconvene in 2020 at a new location in Lisbon for its 13th edition.
All images © Stijn Bollaert
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