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Studio Seilern wins AJ Future Reception contest

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Studio Seilern has won the £3,500 first prize in the AJ Future Reception contest, sponsored by Derwent London and Office Concierge, with Gibson Thornley named runner-up

The design, incorporating a butterfly enclosure, scooped first prize with Gibson Thornley’s flexible reception named runner-up for a £1,500 prize.

The duo were chosen ahead of designs by AHAM, Frost Architects, Mailen Design and Dominic McKenzie Architects.

Studio Seilern’s design - described by the judges as ‘whimsical, attractive, inspiring and different’ -  transformed the reception into an indoor park including meeting rooms, an event space and a garden.

‘What stood out for the judges in selecting the final shortlist of six were submissions that combined technology with design and that personal service.’

‘We see this competition as an opportunity to challenge current thinking on the arrival experience in office buildings,’ said Simon Silver, director of Derwent London.

The judges, which included Silver from Derwent London, AHMM director Simon Allford, NLA chair Peter Murray, Office Concierge director Simon Cooney and AJ editor Christine Murray.

The open competition gained 40 entries from architects and designers. Murray said among the submissions was a consensus that too many receptions were vast, sterile and underused spaces, neither public, nor private, and that with digital technology the desk and printed pass was universally viewed as ‘practically redundant’.

Murray added: ‘However our digital lives have made the human touch even more prized in business and service – and there remains the desire to be welcomed, ushered, and cared for - the shortlisted projects found a balance between the digital and personal service.’

Entrants were asked to submit images and a plan, plus an object or model. The shortlist was invited to Derwent London’s offices to make a presentation to the jury.

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