Variety and flexibility characterise what Schueco brings to buildings
There is no such thing as a tell-tale Schueco ‘look’.
There is certainly a systemic design, manufacturing and specification approach underlying the ranges on offer, but these serve to enable good architecture, not dictate it. Looking through the entries and the winners in this year’s Schueco Excellence Awards, what’s striking is how very adaptable the various Schueco building envelope systems are in the hands of the best architects and specialist contractors. As judges, we simply found ourselves appraising good buildings, and the matter of what components they were made of quickly faded into the background.
Some of the buildings entered mix it up more than others. Some keep things calm, some go a bit wild. Some make extensive use of the Schueco systems available, some are more pick-and-mix. We looked at new builds and radical refurbishments, very large and quite small buildings. Again: great variety.
The architects who designed these buildings range from small UK firms to international superstars, and their designs respond to their contexts in very different ways. Showy or shy, the thing they all share is originality, inventiveness and a gratifying attention to detail.
So, given this variety, how do you decide on the overall Schueco Excellence Award, the best of the best? This year cultural and civic buildings made an impressively strong showing, and we are delighted to highlight a building which not only symbolises one country’s emergence from economic crisis, but is also a calling card for a fine practice I hope we’ll be hearing much more of.
Chair of judging panel
Hugh Pearman is editor of the RIBA Journal, architecture critic of The Sunday Times and writes for many other media. An honorary fellow of the RIBA, he is also visiting professor in architecture at the Royal College of Art.
Paul Monaghan is a director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, which he co-founded in 1989. His key projects include the BBC Television Centre masterplan and the new Scotland Yard headquarters for the Metropolitan Police in Whitehall.
Joanna Bacon is managing partner of Allies and Morrison. Her key projects include the BBC Media Village, the Royal Festival Hall refurbishment and the ongoing 100 Bishopsgate, a 40-storey tower due for completion in 2018.
José Silva Hernández-Gil is an associate at Duggan Morris, which he joined in 2010. He was lead architect on Ortus, which won the top award at the 2014 Schueco Excellence Awards, and is finishing a PhD on the work of James Stirling