A prototype folding canopy system by Grimshaw and manufacturer MDT-tex has been named best architectural collaboration in this year’s AJ100 awards
This outstanding collaboration between architect and manufacturer resulted in a successful tessellating roof structure – but it was the nature of the process that the judges particularly admired.
Grimshaw and MDT-tex were introduced through a personal contact, and were inspired to collaborate on a product. Through a series of exploratory workshops they identified the potential for a new canopy that would not only be significantly lighter than any of MDT-tex’s existing range, but which would also be easy to erect and could be configured into different spatial arrangements. MDT-tex invited Grimshaw to its factory to learn about its manufacturing capabilities and to help produce a series of test samples.
The folding canopy system became a prototype pavilion at Clerkenwell Design Week last year. Grimshaw and MDT-tex are now working on a new collaboration on a mixed-use development in Switzerland and the pair continue to pursue new products and ideas.
‘The winning entry highlights a successful, proactive relationship between a designer and a manufacturer that goes above and beyond the standard day job,’ said the panel. ‘It was about wanting to explore something. There was an excitement there that was truly collaborative.’
- Allies and Morrison with OMA and Arup, West 8 and John Pawson, The Design Museum
- Avanti Architects with Max Fordham, Mossbourne Riverside Academy
- HOK with PLP Architecture, Francis Crick Institute
- PLP Architecture with the Centre for Natural Materials Innovation at Cambridge University, Timber skyscraper
- Purcell with OPEN (Optimised Environments) Landscape Architects, Dorchester and Shepton Mallet prison conversions
- Scott Brownrigg with UP Projects and Nicky Hirst, Vista Chelsea Bridge public art
- tp bennett with Make Architects, UBS office
- Emily Booth, editor (maternity cover), AJ
- Rob Partridge, director, AKT II
- Roger Zogolovitch, chairman and creative director, Solidspace
- Sarah Gaventa, director, Made Public
- Steve Sanham, managing director, HUB
- Wolfgang Buttress, artist, Wolfgang Buttress Studio