The winner of the 2019 AR New into Old awards, alongside two Highly Commended and three Commended buildings, for sustainable alternatives to building anew have been revealed
Sala Beckett by Flores & Prats has been announced the winner of the AR New into Old awards 2019.
The ‘magical and inventive’ winning Spanish project was selected by our panel of judges, consisting of Roz Barr, director and founder of Roz Barr Architects, Hugh Strange, founder of Hugh Strange Architects, and Catherine Slessor, writer, critic and former editor of The Architectural Review.
AR New into Old 2019 results
Sala Beckett, Spain, by Flores & Prats
Renovation strategies for the ancient tulou, China, by Rural Urban Framework, The University of Hong Kong
Nevill Holt Opera House, UK, by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
OMR Art Gallery, Mexico, by Max von Werz, Mateo Riestra & José Arnaud-Bello
Qingyuan Young Professors’ Club, Zhejiang University, China, by the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Zhejiang University
Estació Enològica, Spain, by Aulets Arquitectes
The judging panel were clear that they were looking for intelligent, transformative work. Catherine Slessor posited that the time has come for adaptation to leave its specialist niche, and that as the climate crisis demands sustainable alternatives to new construction, ‘the responsible architect might never build a new building.’ Roz Barr described Sala Beckett as ’a magical and inventive re-use and celebration of a building that is beautiful and carefully revalued and restored – it has been dissected and then re-assembled to offer a mesmerising set of spaces that are more theatrical in how they challenge the existing building.’
Ar new into old awards sl flores & prats sala beckett theatre and international drama centre credit adria╠ç goula
Source: Adrià Goula
The winner is joined by two Highly Commended projects: renovation strategies for the ancient tulou, China, by Rural Urban Framework + The University of Hong Kong and Nevill Holt Opera House, UK, by Witherford Watson Mann Architects. ‘Though extremely modest in both form and materials,’ Catherine Slessor commented, ‘RUF’s project for the reactivation of Fujian’s historic tulous is admirably agile in its aim of bringing these extraordinary communal buildings back into the community. The project emphasises the value of such structures, and the need for imaginative programmes that do not pickle them in preservationist aspic.’
Ar new into old awards sl rural urban framework, hong kong uni renovation strategies for the ancient tulou credit rural urban framework 1
Source: Rural Urban Framework
Hugh Strange described the way ‘new materials engage with the existing construction’ of the Nevill Holt Opera House, ‘to form a richly textured room with a singular character. The courtyard of an existing stable block has been utterly transformed, with the potential limitations of the typological leap turned to advantages.’
Ar new into old awards sl witherford watson mann architects nevill holt opera house credit he╠üle╠çne binet 1
Source: Hélène Binet
Three additional projects were also commended by the jury, including Qingyuan Young Professors’ Club by the Architectural Design and Research Institute of Zhejiang University, Estació Enològica by Aulets Arquitectes, and OMR Art Gallery by Max von Werz, Mateo Riestra & José Arnaud-Bello.
Barr remarked that the Young Professors’ Club ‘works within the ruins of an existing school to form a new cloister, delicately weaving a new language of forms around the thickness of the ruined walls. It has a rawness that responds to the past but offers a worthy addition to this hilltop setting’.
Ar new into old awards sl the architectural design & research institute of zhejiang uni qingyuan young professors’ club, zhejiang uni 1
Source: Zhejiang University
Aulets’ Estació Enològica adapts an old wine station into a new headquarters for wine in the region. ‘The relationship between materials, sourced locally, has an ease that feels both characterful and fitting,’ Hugh Strange commented, ‘Exposed steel reinforcement and unfinished clay blocks connect with the modesty of the thick masonry walls.’
Ar new into old awards sl aulets arquitectes oenological station credit jose╠ü hevia 1
Source: José Hevia
Catherine Slessor explains that Max von Werz, Mateo Riestra & José Arnaud-Bello, architects of OMR Art Gallery in Mexico City, have performed a ‘forensic stripping down of a former record store, calling attention to the Modernist period in Mexican history, with a view to re-situating it in public consciousness’.
Ar new into old awards sl max von werz arquitectos omr art gallery credit rory gardiner
Source: Rory Gardiner
This year’s 16-strong shortlist included projects all around the world, from Cambodia and Australia to Sweden and the UK. Programmes include educational buildings at Harvard and Oxford Universities, in Spain and rural China, galleries in Mexico City and Helsinki, and theatres in Barcelona and London. Projects vary in scale, from small domestic transformations in Japan to Sweden’s largest art museum, and are located in a wide range of climates, from the Mediterranean island of Mallorca to rain-lashed Scotland. The full shortlist can be found here.
As the need for sustainable alternatives to building anew becomes increasingly urgent, the AR New into Old awards celebrate the creative ways buildings are adapted and remodelled to welcome new contemporary uses. Launched in 2017, the awards recognise the imaginative appropriation of existing structures, from innovative insertions to ambitious adaptations, that offer buildings a new lease of life.
Lead image: Flores & Prats’s Sala Beckett, Spain, photographed by Adrià Goula
Find out more about the New into Old awards here