Announcing the project of the year and finalists from AN’s 2022 Best of Design Awards

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Announcing the project of the year and finalists from AN’s 2022 Best of Design Awards

The Reggio School in Madrid by Office for Political Innovation (José Hevia)

As part of AN’s Best of Design Awards, our jury selects a Project of the Year from among the winners of the Best of Design Awards. Given the number of submissions this year, our jury selected a winning project—the Reggio School by Office for Political Innovation—followed by four finalists.

Don’t miss AN’s Best of Design Awards winners, honorable mentions, and editors’ picks.


Project of the Year

José Hevia
“The design of Reggio School is based on the idea that architectural environments can prompt in children a desire for exploration and inquiry. In this way, the building is thought of as a complex ecosystem that makes it possible for students to direct their own education through a process of self-driven collective experimentation.

Avoiding homogenization and unified standards, the architecture of the school aims to become a multiverse where the layered complexity of the environment becomes readable and experiential. It operates as an assemblage of different climates, situations, and regulations. Its vertical progression stacks a ground floor, engaged with the terrain, with classrooms for younger students; a cosmopolitical agora in the second floor, as the main gathering space of the school. Classrooms for older students are organized around an inner forest in the next floor, as in a small village reaching the upper level under a greenhouse structure.”Office for Political Innovation

Wu Tao/Shrimp Studio
Moongate Bridge
The Moongate Bridge marks a moment between a historical referentiality and a contemporary reflexivity. Interpreting traditional Chinese moongate motifs, the bridge’s circular openings frame the water as it spans across a manmade waterway on the former grounds of the 2010 Shanghai Expo. The bridge marks the gateway into the new public park. The form of the bridge conceptualizes two separate pedestrian bridges as a conjoined pedestrian plaza. The resulting landscape offers a series of viewing platforms, meandering paths, and reflection points.

The bridge is a gathering place and a viewing device, inviting pedestrians to look both inward and out. The scene evokes a historical Chinese garden inflected with contemporary material textures. Pavers form patterns to designate areas for vehicles or pedestrians. The bridge’s curving geometries are realized through an array of cobblestones, layered to form a stepped curve that moves up the balustrades.”Höweler + Yoon

Andrew Schwartz
“Prince Concepts is well-known for creating a distinct urban community within Detroit’s Core City neighborhood, with the integration of public greenspaces and lush greenery at the center of all projects.

In 2022, the company completed PARK(ing) with Julie Bargmann, extending Core City Park with a community greenspace that doubles as a 28-car parking lot. In the heart of Core City, the 21,000-square-foot site is generously punctuated with 76 trees, creating a parking lot that is in harmony with nature—underpinning beauty and functionality in a lush urban environment. Every project, no matter its object, is an opportunity to inspire; with PARK(ing), Prince Concepts sought to create an urban environment that takes cues from the surrounding area and expresses our overall intent in Core City—the creation of inspired indoor and outdoor spaces.

PARK(ing) builds onto this concept while providing the neighborhood with a central place to park cars free of charge.”Prince Concepts

Iwan Baan
Church Hill North Community Hybrid
O’Neill McVoy Architects
Richmond, Virginia
“In the heart of Church Hill, an underserved neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, a food desert and heat island, the hybrid program—a culinary school, workforce housing, and community office space—provides healthy food, job opportunities, and affordable housing.

The U-shaped building opens to the community with green space and a social courtyard for Reynolds Culinary School. The transformative project involves extensive community engagement. State-of-the-art teaching kitchens are visible to passers-by. The Greenhouse, where students grow food, fronts the main street. The Market Café offers low-cost, student-prepared meals. Workforce housing with generous light and views sit above the school’s east wing. The west wing projects out framing the main thoroughfare. The building has no back: All sides engage the community with entrances.

“I’m excited to see residents in Church Hill gain a true sense of community; a community that all comes together for nourishment, for growth, for development,” Curtis Lee, community development coordinator, said.”O’Neill McVoy Architects

Timothy Hursley
Marygrove Early Education Center
“The Marygrove Early Education Center (EEC) is a part of a newly created cradle-to-career educational partnership, serving students from ages birth through five years old, located on the campus of Marygrove College in northwest Detroit.

Situated on this historic Collegiate Gothic campus, the Marygrove EEC is both resonant and deferential, clad in glazed terra-cotta within a low but distinct profile. The plan is organized around three courtyards that introduce natural light into the building and mark the journey from the building entrance to the classrooms. Accentuated with vibrant colors, each classroom opens to the outside with those at the south facing directly onto an existing, old-growth grove that is transformed into a large natural play space.

The Marygrove EEC offers a place for children to experience the rhythm of the days and seasons, imparting dignity, grace, and joy to the children, families, and community members that the center serves.”Marlon Blackwell Architects