A winner will be picked from: AHAM, Frost Architects, Gibson Thornley, Mailen Design, Studio Seilern and Dominic McKenzie
Six shortlisted candidates are vying for a chunk of the £5,000 Future Reception prize fund after a select jury picked the best from a pool of 40 submissions. Schemes in the running include an artist’s studio in reception, a butterfly enclosure and a bicycle store.
The AJ contest, sponsored by Derwent London and Office Concierge, challenged entrants to design a future office reception space which would provide a ‘dramatic, enjoyable and efficient arrival sequence’ at Derwent’s new 16-storey office block by AHMM, with 2,500 employees and 500 visitors expected daily.
Entrants were asked to submit images and a plan plus an ‘inspiration’ object or model. The judges (pictured below, l-r) included Simon Allford, director, AHMM; Peter Murray, chair, NLA; Simon Silver, director, Derwent London; Simon Cooney, director, Office Concierge; and AJ editor Christine Murray.
The shortlisted contestants, who will now be invited to meet the jury to discuss their submission, include Daniel Frost of Frost Architects; Ben Gibson of Gibson Thornley Architects; Ben Mailen of Mailen Design; Dominic McKenzie of Dominic McKenzie Architects; Angela Santos of Studio Seilern Architects and Ashleigh Watkins of AHAM.
Silver said he found the entries ‘stimulating both visually and in compositional terms, with lots of ideas for the reception of the future.’ Cooney said he was interested in entries ‘which looked for secondary uses such as events for the reception space, which is empty a lot of the time and is normally totally unused outside of Monday to Friday office hours’.
Allford said he was impressted with ideas that combined technology with design: ‘It shows that, whatever the virtual, we also need the physical in creating a space.’
Dominic Mckenzie, Dominic Mckenzie Architects – Artist In Res-eption
‘A rethinking of what people call office art, and a deeper engagement with the commissioning of art.’
Daniel Frost, Frost Architects – Untitled
‘This entry showed real clarity of thought, and the coherent expression of a single spatial idea.’
Ben Mailen, Mailen Design – Digital Urban Playground
‘A familiar, virtual vision of the future, but manifested in the physical, recycled future of the site.’
Angela Santos, Studio Seilern Architects
‘Whimisical, attractive and different.’
Ben Gibson, Gibson Thornley
‘Well thought-out, doable and well presented.’
Ashleigh Watkins, AHAM – Reception in the Bicycle City
‘A refreshing, unusual take that connects this reception into wider ideas about a changing city, highlighting the role of the bicycle.’