Nothing better than an expert to analyze and appreciate a piece of their specialty. That is the concept of the Architizer A+ Awards, a prize that gives annual recognition to the best and most outstanding in the field of architecture. These awards, which are the largest and most important in the architectural community, enjoy great prestige because the participating pieces are evaluated by more than 400 luminaries and opinion leaders from fields as diverse as fashion, publishing, product design, real estate development, and technology.
However, the A+ Awards are also known as the most democratic awards. Why? Because the choice of its winners is open to anyone interested in architectural lines, materials, and innovations; regardless of their country of origin or profession. Therefore, annually there are over 400,000 voters from over 100 countries, who choose the 200 + winners of this prestigious award.
An award open to enthusiasm
The democratic nature of this contest is not just about any fan of design or architecture being able to participate in the vote. No. This award is completely open to those who have in their hands an inspiring project or a cutting-edge product. The Architizer A+ Awards do not try to reward famous names. They seek to recognize talent and ingenuity no matter where it comes from.
The Architizer A+ Awards have three basic categories: typology (rewards traditional types of buildings), other categories (recognizes the link between global issues and structures built by society), and products (which rewards the symbiosis between products and construction), which in turn are divided into other subcategories for which the expert jurors choose 5 finalists. This makes the opportunities of the participants almost infinite.
In the 2016 Typology category, sub-category of commercial offices with more than 16 floors, the Poly International Plaza, an incredible building in Beijing -almost alien in appearance- was awarded both by the jury and by popular vote for its exoskeletal structure and interstitial space that reduce high outdoor temperatures by 23% and carbon emissions by 18%.
The Hermès Gion-mise store in Kyoto, Japan, winner of the 2017 jury prize in the Concept+Architecture+Branding category, is a restructuring of an old tea house in the most traditional area of this Japanese city. Kugumi, a technique for which no nails or adhesives are needed, was used on its walls.
In 2016, in the Products (accessories) division, the Coral Vase won for its simplicity and usability. This vase designed with 8 arms, which are communicating tubes, allows the making of ingenious floral arrangements.
If architecture fans find that participating in the award process isn’t enough, the A+ Awards make a print edition of the awards, edited by Phaidon, in which they collect the images of the winners of the Typology and Plus categories. The luxury edition, with full color images, has comments from the creators of each project. Undoubtedly, a collection coffee book for the lovers of world design.