On September 19, architects, engineers, manufacturers, and, above all, facades geeks, gathered in the basement of the Center for Architecture to attend the awards ceremony for the 2023 Vitruvian Awards. Hosted annually by the Facade Tectonics Institute (FTI), the Vitruvian Awards “seeks to recognize unprecedented innovation and achievements in the field of facade design and delivery,” according to the FTI website.
The ceremony kicked off with a presentation by Rowan Georges, associate principal at SOM, covering advancements in specifications writing at the firm, specifically, more rigorous standards for environmental product declarations. The awardees are listed below:
Outstanding New Facade (Low Rise)
Google Bay View Campus
Designed as a collaborative effort between Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Heatherwick Studios, Google’s Bay View Campus is composed of a series of large canopy structures which allow for open workspaces. The project aims to operate without the use of carbon-producing energy sources. Photovoltaic shingles were installed on the roof and natural light penetrates the office floor plates through clerestory windows.
Outstanding New Facade (Mid Rise)
Schüco One Headquarters
Schüco, the German window and facade manufacturer, commissioned Copenhagen-based architectural firm 3xn for the design of their new headquarters. Constructed from recyclable materials, the building has achieved a number of high-performance certifications including LEED, BREEAM, and DGNB— the first building in the world to receive all three.
Outstanding New Facade (High Rise)
Pendry Hotel— Manhattan West
The Pendry Manhattan West is wrapped in a billowing glass curtain wall segmented by horizontal bands of granite at each floor. Convex curves in the glass function as a modern take on the bay window, enhancing views of the city. SOM collaborated with Fabbrica, who devised a modular curved-glass and granite panel for the project.
Outstanding Facade Renovation
UC San Diego Humanities & Social Sciences
Architectural Resources Group
The University of California San Diego’s (UCSD) renovation of the brutalist Humanities & Social Sciences Building was carried out by Architectural Resources Group in collaboration with Moore Ruble Yudell. Damage to the precast concrete facade necessitated a full renovation of the facade from floors 3 through 8.
Outstanding Facade Innovation
Designed by SHoP Architects, the Uber Headquarters in San Francisco features an innovative glass curtain wall with mechanically-controlled operable windows that take advantage of the city’s temperate climate. Heintges collaborated with the architects on the facade system.
Outstanding Facade Integration
Harvard Science & Engineering Complex
Utilizing four distinct facade types, the Harvard Science and Engineering Complex features the first-ever use of a hydroformed stainless steel screen covering the central laboratory building. During the construction of the complex, materials were tested to remove toxic chemicals and the project achieved a number of high performance standards and certificates.
UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Replacement
The design of the University of California Los Angeles’s (UCLA) new Neuropsychiatric Hospital will consolidate the University’s mental health services into a single building in Los Angeles’s Mid-Wilshire neighborhood. The new facility entails both the renovation of the existing structure as well as new construction.
Wind-borne Debris Resistance of Facades
Extreme winds are increasing worldwide due to climate change effects. Angela Mejorin, post-doctoral researcher at Western University, won the award for her Ph.D research results which proposed the implementation of alternate impact test requirements for façades, to mitigate the damaging effects of wind-borne debris.
FTI also presented two awards given to individuals—the Unsung Hero Award, which was presented to Michael Mulhern of TriPyramid Structures, and the Emerging Professional Award which was presented to Andrew Maier of Heintges.