International : DETAIL Prize 2009 awarded

The DETAIL Prize 2009 was awarded in seven different categories during the glamourous DETAIL Gala at the Munich House of Artists. The architectural DETAIL Prize, which was awarded for the third time this year, has "Aesthetics and Construction" as its motto and total prize money of 29,000 euros. It awards completed structures characterised by well-designed, future-orientated and technically innovative details within an outstanding overall design. New and expanded categories mean that there is now a greater emphasis on cross-sectoral connections and the strengthening of the interdisciplinary network.

The main prize was won by FAM architectura y urbanismo from Madrid together with Schlaich Bergermann & Partner from Stuttgart for the M-11 Memorial in the centre of Madrid.

The monument commemorates the victims of the terrorist attack of 11 March 2004. The actual place of remembrance is located underground, with daylight entering via a massive, elliptical glass structure that is perceived above-ground as a monument. At night the glass cylinder is lit up and dominates the surroundings. The laudator and DETAIL editor-in-chief Christian Schittich quoted from the jury's adjudication, which praised the innovativeness of the project and its systematic implementation, which had resulted in the reinterpretation of the monument theme and the development of new constructional details.

The jury awarded the prize in the "Wood" category to the Berlin project E2, designed by Kaden + Klingbeil Architekten. This residential building in Berlin is the first 7-storey 100% wood construction to be constructed in the centre of a major European city, the client having expressly requested that wood be used as the construction material. The jury praised the exacting design requirements, characterised by the high degree of facade transparency and wide internal floor plan variations.

The winner in the "Glass" category was the "Ring House" weekend house in Nagano, Japan. The two architects from Tokyo-based TNA, Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima, travelled especially from the Japan to accept their prize. According to the judges, the main design idea behind the residential tower is transparency. The jury in particular praised the effective use of glass, which transforms the building and site into a magical location.

The recipient of the "Innovation Steel" category prize was the BMW World by Coop Himmelb(l)au. The jury believed that both the multilayered three-dimensional framework with very few support points and the off-centre rotation of the cylinder could only have been realized using steel.

The best project to be submitted this year in the "Acoustics" category was that by Rotterdam-based Atelier Kempe Thill for the Franz List Concert Hall in Raiding, Austria. The jury considered recourse to the proven acoustic box shape and the creation of solid fundamentals for sound solely by architectural means to be evidence of systematic implementation.

The "ArchitekturXport" special prize went to Cologne-based architects FAR frohn&rojas for their "Wall House" residential building project in Santiago de Chile. The jury found the project impressive on account of its innovative interpretation of the idea of a home and the successful way in which it blends massive building and tent architecture. It appears mobile, like a nomad's tent, but is nevertheless firmly anchored and represents a type of its own.

The "Solar Decathlon" project, submitted by Darmstadt University of Technology, won the "Students" special prize. The prototype for a 100% solar-power-operated house was created for the "Solar Decathlon" university competition, in which it also emerged as the overall winner. The house was designed by the students design group Solar Decathlon 2007 - Team Germany and impressed the jury on account of the systematic way in which the sustainability concept of the building was planned and realized.

The DETAIL Industry Prize, awarded for the first time, was aimed at manufacturers and developers of innovative construction products and technical solutions, as well as at architects and engineers who have made use of them. Entries were meant to show how the innovative products, once embedded into the overall concept of a reference building, could play a decisive role in their overall design. The winner was a product called "Mediamesh", developed by Ag4 media facade and GKD Gebrüder Kufferath. Mediamesh is a stainless steel fabric with integrated LEDs for the medialization of facades during the day and night. In Milan, Europe's largest media facade was created using Mediamesh opposite Milan Cathedral to cover scaffolding.

Also awarded for the first time was the Honorary Prize, which was awarded to 1997 Pritzker Prize Winner Sverre Fehn. 84-year-old Fehn unfortunately could not accept the prize himself. Author and architecture critic Christian Marquart however spoke to him and paid tribute to the Norwegian architect at the event.

Further Information

Partners and Sponsors

Partner DETAIL Prize and Gala 2009 is BAU 2009, Munich trade fair centre.

The co-operative partners are

· Bavarian Chamber of Architects

· Bund Deutscher Architekten (German Association of Architects) BDA Bayern e.V..

Sponsors of the DETAIL Special Prizes und Gala 2009:

· German Timber Promotion Fund for Wood

· Okalux GmbH for Glass

· ArcelorMittal for Innovation Steel

· Heradesign for Acoustics

· Corus Bausysteme GmbH für ArchitekturXport

Sponsors of the Gala:

· Tretford

· Kreon Vektron


· Munich House of Artist

· Audi

· Graphisoft

· System180

· Züco4+

· Denz office architecture