Design and innovation

In association with
Albert Sloman Library and Silberrad Student Centre, designed by Patel Taylor
Albert Sloman Library and Silberrad Student Centre, designed by Patel Taylor · Credit: Patel Taylor

There’s a lot of adaptability on show in this year’s Schueco awards. The idea is that the architecture comes first, the system second, and it shows. What, after all, connects the ultimate one-off project – Sir Peter Cook and CRAB Studio’s fluid drawing studio for the Arts University in Bournemouth (p24) – with the beautiful rationality of Hopkins Architects/Colorminium’s new overcladding for Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital (p20-21) in London? Nothing whatsoever beyond the fact that the Schueco systems involved in each were developed in close collaboration with the architects to achieve the award-winning result.
Those projects were winners in two of our ten categories this year. There were meant to be nine but we added a Judges’ Special Award to recognise the unique Bournemouth drawing studio. We also show Schueco systems being used fruitfully across cultural, commercial, education, refurbishment, residential, individual houses and steel sectors and in the specialist contractor category.

When it comes to translating the architect’s concept into reality, it is vital to ensure that the fineness of detail comes through in the finished building. All of the examples you see here demonstrate this joy in the fine detail, none more so than our overall winner, which offsets very precisely handled glazing against a new concrete structure, all while echoing the civilised brutalism of the original building.

It would be tempting and only partly true to regard the Schueco systems as a kit of parts for architects, because that would suggest that the parts are all the same out of the box. They are a lot more clever than that, as the partnerships with the Schueco specialist contractors here demonstrate. You want to know how the best buildings are made? Our winners and commendations show you how.

Hugh Pearman
Chair of judging panel


The Judges...

  • Louise Cotter is co-founder of the Cork-based practice Carr Cotter Naessens.
    Louise Cotter is co-founder of the Cork-based practice Carr Cotter Naessens.
  • Paul Monaghan is a director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, winner of the 2015 Stirling Prize for the Burntwood School in south London.
    Paul Monaghan is a director of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, winner of the 2015 Stirling Prize for the Burntwood School in south London.
  • Steve Mudie is a partner specialising in facades at London-based cost consultant alinea
    Steve Mudie is a partner specialising in facades at London-based cost consultant alinea
  • Greg Sinclair is a director and lead consultant of facade engineering consultancy Wintech, which he joined in 1999.
    Greg Sinclair is a director and lead consultant of facade engineering consultancy Wintech, which he joined in 1999.
  • Hugh Pearman is editor of the RIBA Journal.
    Hugh Pearman is editor of the RIBA Journal.