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Creatively rendered

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Sto Render Awards 2001


There were 29 entries for the first Sto Render Awards, run in conjunction with The Architects' Journal. The entries were numbered, mounted on boards and judged (anonymously) in September by Piers Gough, Paul Monaghan and Paul Finch. There was no requirement for a Sto product/system to have been used.

General comments

The judges commended the general standard of entries.We particularly liked the way in which colour seems to have made a comeback in contemporary architecture, and in the best cases not simply as a 'trophy' attached to otherwise white buildings. The occasional bravura use of colour was welcomed, as was evidence of a preparedness to experiment confidently with shaping, and exploration of a material which is 'sticky', neither wet nor dry. The judges also liked the way in which render had been used in a seamless way as part of a palette of building materials rather than necessarily as a primary material. In respect of the three winners, the judges felt that these entries showed the best combination of originality and controlled use of the material. The prizes are a three-night break in a European city; an Olympus digital camera; and a Palm personal computer.


Guy Greenfield Architects, doctors'surgery, Hammersmith The design uses and exploits the advantages of render to the fullest extent; it makes the building seem weightless, and although the building itself is modest in scale, it has been given gravitas because of the separation of plans; inside, the mass seems to dissolve, denying render's surface qualities and producing an ethereal masonry. The external insulation was 'shaved' to form the compound curved sections, and the finish then smoothed. Our hope is that the detailing and weathering will prove as successful as the design concept, which includes lighting that accentuates the curved render's sculptural qualities. A beautifully executed original idea.

CLIENT: Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Health Authority

VALUE OF CONTRACT: £1.15 million

TYPE OF RENDER USED: StoTherm Classic, StoSilco MP (White)


John Outram Associates, East Workshops, Welbeck The colour palette keeps going after 'pallids', and this entry suggests that the predilection for pale colours may just be fashion. Render is often used as a hermetic, free-of-movement joint. Here it is just the opposite, giving render weight rather than a 'fly-by-night' quality. The method adopted to achieve this design was particularly interesting.

(Temporary battens are used rather than stop beads, of plastic, galvanised or stainless steel. Temporary battens add to the solid feel, accentuated by shadow gaps. Unit numbers were created by rendering around plywood cut-outs later removed to give the recessed appearance. The architect made special mention of Paul Harris of Lychgate Plastering, which was responsible for all the render work. ) And it has the courage of its colour convictions.

CLIENT: The Harley Foundation


TYPE OF RENDER: Pigmented Sand/Cement

SUPPLIER: Marmorit

UK PRODUCT: MAK3 Scratch Coat Render and SM700 Reinforcing Render


Walter Menteth Architects, house, Warburton Terrace, Walthamstow This entry shows you can make buildings that even in our climate are conceptually wafer-thin - like a butterfly (roof! ). Had white been chosen as the render colour it would have been less successful; the design shows how choosing the right shade can make all the difference to a building - it sits naturally with the other materials.

CLIENT: Ujima Housing Association



SUPPLIER: External wall services (ESW) Ltd

PRODUCT: StoTherm Classic

selected entries

Bennetts Associates - Alexander Graham Bell House, Edinburgh Acrylic render was used on the internal cubic form (sitting within a glazed drum), to give a special identity to the building.

Knott Associates, handbag factory, north London Piercing the rendered wall is a grid of 144 Perspex rods of a random variety of colours, projecting 200mm on the outside face, flush on the inside. Morning sunlight is transmitted through the wall; at night internal light goes in the opposite direction. The design was achieved with artist Kerry Stewart. The render was two parts Leighton Buzzard (one part soft, one part cement) with fungicidal waterproofer.

Patel Taylor, University of Wales, Aberystwyth This theatre and building studies educational building is part externally insulated, part cavity wall. Polymer-reinforced undercoat mortar was used, with a self-finish top coat.

RMA Architects, Poplar Dock, London E14 On of several London residential schemes, this uses acrylic render in a pleasing variety of colours.

Goddard Manton, Pierhead Lock, London Docklands White acrylic render was used throughout this confident scheme, dealing successfully with the strong geometric form and curved shape.

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