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Architecture Tomorrow 2016: the winners

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A panel of expert judges has selected Pilbrow & Partners’ Canary Wharf office as the overall winner from the AJ’s selected crop of yet-to-be-built schemes

Architecture Tomorrow will once again be exhibited at the MIPIM UK property fair (19-21 October), providing a snapshot of the built environment in the months and years to come.

This year we introduced an awards element for the first time with a prestigious panel of expert judges selecting an overall winner plus two highly commended projects. You can see the other finalists here.

Winner: Canary Wharf C2 by Pilbrow & Partners

(project 2145) canary wharf c2 (c) pilbrow & partners and wadsworth3d

(project 2145) canary wharf c2 (c) pilbrow & partners and wadsworth3d

Canary Wharf C2 by Pilbrow & Partners

Client: Canary Wharf Group
Location: Canary Wharf, London E14
Type: Workplace

Pilbrow & Partners was selected by Canary Wharf Group’s project manager, Canary Wharf Contractors Limited, to design the Market Building at Wood Wharf following an invited competition.

The 14-storey building will form the centrepiece of Canary Wharf’s new mixed-use urban quarter and will boast a rooftop restaurant, office and major new food market.

The judges were wowed by such features as the building’s distinctive steel-frame exoskeleton enveloping a lightweight glazed structure, which they predicted would help activate the public realm and tempt the public inside.

One said: ‘The design has got variety without chaos – it’s interesting and appealing but it’s not a mess and hasn’t relied on an engineer to do the architecture.’

Another commented: ‘Places like Canary Wharf get criticised for being full of tall towers by American architects. This creates a very different impression.’

Highly commended: Manchester Engineering Campus, by Mecanoo

Mecd ubs

Mecd ubs

Manchester Engineering Campus, by Mecanoo

Client: University of Manchester
Location: Manchester
Type: Education

The University of Manchester’s new landmark engineering campus (MECD) will celebrate engineering within the world’s first industrial city. Set to house the university’s four engineering schools and two research institutes, the scheme will include 70,590m2 of interactive learning environments, flexible labs, and bespoke project areas containing the latest technology.

The judges said they were intrigued by the design’s business-like aesthetic and its referencing of the city’s history. One remarked: ‘Manchester has these heavy industrial building and you can see its industrial heritage in this design.’ Another added: ‘It looks like it will be a real centre of excellence and, if you’re going to have that, you have to have excellent buildings.’

Highly commended: Cadogan Café, by Nex Architecture

Front close up

Front close up

Cadogan Café, by Nex Architecture

Client: Cadogan Estate
Location: Chelsea, London SW3
Type: Leisure

Nex beat 147 competitors in an international design competition to design a new restaurant building for the Cadogan Estate. The scheme will be located in the Grade II-listed Duke of York Square off the King’s Road, and employs a contemporary yet sensitive design language based on a spiralling colonnade enclosing a space for 100 diners with a rooftop terrace above.

It is aiming to achieve BREEAM Excellent, and will give the client the ability to alter the flow of people between the inside and outside space through a groundbreaking structural glazing system which retracts into the basement – the first of its kind in the UK.

The judges said the design had achieved just the right architectural balance in its historical surrounds. ‘I could well imagine it being more contextual,’ said one. ‘It’s elegant and well-mannered but also modern.’ 


Hanif Kara, co-founder and design director, AKT II 
Louise Wyman, head of Garden Cities, Towns and Villages, Homes & Communities Agency
Andrew White, development director, Great Portland Estates
Crispin Kelly, director, Baylight Properties
Karen Rogers, design executive, Canary Wharf Contractors
Will Hurst, managing editor, The Architects’ Journal

• Hanif Kara declared an interest in the Cadogan Café due to AKT II’s involvement in the project and did not participate in that vote.
• Karen Rogers declared an interest in the Canary Wharf C2 project and did not participate in that vote.

See all the other finalists in this year’s Architecture Tomorrow here 

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