In its eighth year, the Shaw Contract Group Design is… Award program honours architecture and design firms that are changing the very idea of what design is. Six projects out of 369 entries from 26 countries were selected as winners. Through these winning projects, selected from commercial spaces from around the globe, we see how design is redefining our lives and improving it for the better.
“After eight years and more than 1,700 entries from 31 countries, the Design Is… Award continues to champion design excellence across market segments and around the world,” says John Stephens, vice-president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group. “The Design is… Award program celebrates more than just beautiful spaces. These projects surmount simple beauty to deliver innovative solutions, impacting the people who encounter the space and the functions that take place within.”
There are six winners in 2013. Drumroll, please…
FIRM: AECOM | Los Angeles, CA
PROJECT: Velti Headquarters | San Francisco, CA
The design redefines the dynamics of the modern workplace with a creative workspace that actually feels like a social network. Carefully attuned circulation, retractable walls, natural light and formal and informal workspaces create a “neighborhood” vibe. Spaces are linked by exposed concrete floors, layered open ceilings, as well as bold graphics and textures.
FIRM: ITOKI Corporation | Tokyo, Japan
PROJECT: SYNQA ITOKI Innovation Center | Tokyo, Japan
With the concept of “co-creation, open innovation,” the design encourages a lively flow of ideas spread over three floors. The first floor represents the influx of ideas, the second floor expresses the interaction of external wisdom and the third floor reflects the fruition of internal knowledge. The result is a space that communicates the idea that human activities come first.
FIRM: HDR Architecture | Omaha, NE
PROJECT: Bellevue Medical Center | Bellevue, NE
Informed by nature and hospitality, the interior is designed to soothe and relax. Carpet patterns are abstracted from the natural environment. Glass along the patient room corridors is etched with a grass motif. Abundant daylight, hotel-like furniture and finishes, textiles with floral motifs, along with soft lighting, make for a comfortable environment designed to meet LEED certification.
FIRM: HGA Architects and Engineers | Minneapolis, MN
PROJECT: Macalester College – Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center | St. Paul, MN
Inspired by village squares, the design uses warm materials, accent lighting and comfortable furniture to invite community. Connected to the Arts Commons, the Concert Hall is surrounded by Red Oak slats in a pattern inspired by polyrhythm and staccato textures. The idea is echoed in the floor finishes, pendant lighting, signage and exterior facade. –
FIRM: HNTB Architecture | Kansas City, MO
PROJECT: NNSA National Security Campus | Kansas City, MO
The design team created a workplace to replace the National Nuclear Security Administration’s outmoded office space and to celebrate collective genius. The project, which anticipates LEED Gold Certification, includes a walking trail, courtyard, fitness center and cafeteria. A white-box aesthetic is accented by walnut paneling and strategically placed color. Interiors also draw inspiration from graphic models used by scientists to visualize their work.
FIRM: Avola-Llaber Arquitectos | Buenos Aires, Argentina
PROJECT: Red Bull Argentina | San Isidro, Argentina
The design was inspired by the brand mantra: “Red Bull give you wings.” The space focuses on charged creativity, while encouraging social butterflies – from reception to workstations. A semi-open gallery with sliding doors features brand imagery. Customers can linger in the dining bar or choose to view one of the brand’s own Red Bull Media House films. Avola-Llaber Arquitectos won the People’s Choice Award, which brought in over 900,000 votes.
Winning firms will be recognized in an upcoming advertising campaign in leading industry publications and receive an original award sculpture. A $2,000 charitable donation in the name of each winning firm will be awarded to the program or organization of the firm’s choosing. Shaw Contract Group will also promote its winners through promotional and marketing materials. Winner videos can be found on Shaw Contract Group’s Vimeo channel.
Firms can currently enter the 2014 Design is…Award competition at shawcontractgroup.com.
ABOUT SHAW CONTRACT GROUP
A leading global floor covering brand, Shaw Contract Group defines design through not only by great appearance, but also performance and sustainability. Its Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM products perform in commercial spaces around the world, and can be endlessly reclaimed and recycled into new high- performance product. Shaw Contract Group has received Best of NeoCon awards for its carpet collections every year since 2002; was rated “best overall business experience” by facility managers and designers; and was recognized among Contract magazine’s top ten “Brands that Inspire.” A brand of Shaw Industries, Shaw Contract Group combines the expertise of the world’s largest carpet manufacturer with the financial stability of a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary. For more information, visit shawcontractgroup.com.