Dezeen Awards 2021 winners champion sustainability and vigour in design

Now in its fourth year since its inception in 2018, Dezeen Awards continue to highlight the best in the fields of architecture, design, and other allied disciplines, globally.

by Anmol AhujaPublished on : Dec 14, 2021

Emerging from a particularly tough year, the Dezeen Awards this year were announced through a series of six virtual shows, while a distinctive panel of 75 judges evaluated over 4,700 entries from more than 86 countries. Like 2020, the awards and winners cast a conscious spotlight on sustainable design and architecture as the need of the hour. Commendably, the winners this year also showcase a marked propensity for smaller, emerging studios to be put on the global stage by virtue of their highly inventive and distinctive work.

More importantly, along with returning favourites, 2021 serves to be the inaugural year for the newly launched Media category, highlighting the unequivocal role that new media and communication play in modern-day architecture and design. Participants across the newly formed category were judged across architectural photography, videography, visualisation, and website design: both architecture and design oriented, as well as for brands.

Divided into six categories, an additional two compared to last year, the awards notably encompass a larger gamut of projects, along with diversity in disciplines and participants. The categories included Architecture, Interiors, Design, Sustainability, Media, and Studio, with winners being announced across several subcategories.

WINNERS: ARCHITECTURE

  • Stone Garden: Mina Image Center and Housing by Lina Ghotmeh - Architecture | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Stone Garden: Mina Image Center and Housing by Lina Ghotmeh - Architecture Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Yabuli Conference Center by MAD Architects | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Yabuli Conference Center by MAD Architects Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Helfštýn Castle Palace Reconstruction by Atelier-r | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Helfštýn Castle Palace Reconstruction by Atelier-r Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Eleven subcategories round up the expansive selection of architectural projects shortlisted for the awards this year. Winners were declared across urban and rural houses, small buildings, cultural, civic, and office buildings, along with landscape and 'rebirth' projects, implying adaptive reuse, presumably divided according to their varying scale and typologies. Most notably, however, Lina Ghotmeh’s edifice of architectural resilience in Beirut, Lebanon, Stone Garden: Mina Image Centre and Housing was declared the Dezeen Awards 2021 architecture project of the year. Achieving the status of an urban legend following its survival in the wake of the Beirut port explosion, the structure, emanating and assuming the appearance of the ground itself, also lapped up the 'Housing project of the year' for its inclusive design and principles of collective living succinctly employed in its architecture, along with making a splash this year at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

  • Ørsted Gardens by Tegnestuen Lokal | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Ørsted Gardens by Tegnestuen Lokal Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • PokoPoko Clubhouse by Klein Dytham Architecture | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    PokoPoko Clubhouse by Klein Dytham Architecture Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Back to the Neighbourhood: The Playscape, children's community centre by WAA | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Back to the Neighbourhood: The Playscape, children's community centre by WAA Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Other notable winners in the category include the Bat Trang House by VTN Architects as the Urban House of the year, The Playscape by WAA in Beijing as the Landscape project of the year, and Poko Poko Clubhouse by Klein Dytham Architecture as the Hospitality building of the year.

WINNERS: INTERIORS

  • Sher Maker Studio by Sher Maker | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Sher Maker Studio by Sher Maker Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Istetyka by Yakusha Design | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Istetyka by Yakusha Design Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Projects shortlisted in the interior design category were particularly diverse across scales and styles, being awarded across residential and apartment interiors, along with restaurant, bar, hotel, workspace, civic, hospitality, and retail design. Sher Maker Studio by Sher Maker won the Interior Project of the year, along with the small workspace interior of the year. Located in Thailand, the intimate office space, designed by the architecture and design studio for its own operation, was commended for its harmony with its quaint surrounding environment and championing the use of local materials. "This is a workspace people dream about since COVID”, stated one of the judges.

  • Toggle Hotel by Klein Dytham Architecture | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Toggle Hotel by Klein Dytham Architecture Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Waldkliniken Eisenberg by HDR and Matteo Thun | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Waldkliniken Eisenberg by HDR and Matteo Thun Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Other winners include Toggle Hotel by Klein Dytham Architecture in the Hotel and short-stay interior category, and Waldkliniken Eisenberg by HDR and Matteo Thun in the Leisure and wellness interior category. Additionally, Veneno by Monteón Arquitectos Asociados in the restaurant and bar interior category, and Art Barn by Thomas Randall-Page in the small workspace interior category were highly commended by the judges this year.

WINNERS: DESIGN

  • Bicycle Parking Garage The Hague by Silo | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Bicycle Parking Garage The Hague by Silo Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Sunne by Marjan van Aubel Studio | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Sunne by Marjan van Aubel Studio Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Elvie Curve by Elvie | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Elvie Curve by Elvie Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • V&A Fashioned From Nature at the Design Society by Studio 10 | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    V&A Fashioned From Nature at the Design Society by Studio 10 Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Perhaps a more expansive category than any other, 'Design' itself serves as an umbrella to a number of other classified disciplines that form the subcategories for awards in this category. Encompassing furniture design, lighting design, product design, exhibition design, wearable design, graphic design, and installation design among others. Surprisingly, a graphic design project bagged Dezeen’s design project of the year: Bicycle Parking Garage The Hague by Silo, in the Netherlands. The awards also saw British designer Faye Toogood awarded for her Puffy Lounge Chair for Hem Design Studio in the seating design of the year category, along with V&A Fashioned From Nature at the Design Society by Studio 10 winning Exhibition design of the year. Overlapping with notions of art, Chila Kumari Burman’s Remembering a Brave New World won Installation design of the year.

WINNERS: SUSTAINABILITY

  • Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Mo de Movimiento by Lucas Muñoz | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Mo de Movimiento by Lucas Muñoz Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

As the need of the hour, and presumably the only way forward, given the alarming state of the global climate crisis, the Sustainability category is a rather essential one. The projects commended in this category serve to be a beacon for contemporary buildings and practices everywhere, and as such, span and transcend the categories above at the same time. Considering sustainable architecture, the Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP scored sustainable building of the year at the Dezeen Awards. The horseshoe shaped building in Japan is literally framed by timber offcuts and windows donated by the community. Mo de Movimiento by Lucas Muñoz, modeled from a former theatre and recording studio using reclaimed materials almost exclusively, took home the award for sustainable interiors of the year, while material innovation in Forite Tiles by Studio Plastique, Snøhetta and Fornace Brioni: a collection of recycled glass tiles made from the glass components found in discarded ovens and microwave ovens, won sustainable design of the year.

The Arc at Green School Bali by IBUKU | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
The Arc at Green School Bali by IBUKU Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Additionally, The Arc by IBUKU, Green School, Bali, was highly commended by the jury this year for its inventive and aesthetically pleasing use of bamboo construction to create a swirling multi-use pavilion.

WINNERS: MEDIA

  • David Rubenstein Forum 0005 by Angie McMonigal Photography | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    David Rubenstein Forum 0005 by Angie McMonigal Photography Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Remember To Breathe by Alexis C Studio | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Remember To Breathe by Alexis C Studio Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Making its debut this year, the winners in this category were sure to set precedents for the awards in next year. Needless to say, the Media category held an interesting nexus of disciplines under it, including architectural photography, visualisation, and web design. A particularly interesting choice was David Rubenstein Forum 0005 by Angie McMonigal Photography being awarded the architecture photograph of the year, for capturing the latest addition to the University of Chicago campus, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in an appealing, angled composition of shadows and landscape design. Among other winners, Remember To Breathe by Alexis C Studio as visualisation of the year appealed with its floral composition and CGI highlighting the architecture housing it, and designer Samuel Day’s own website, designed as a voyage inside his mind, was cheerful in pastels and playfully interactive.

Samuel Day (designer) website by Samuel Day | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
Samuel Day (designer) website by Samuel Day Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

WINNERS: STUDIO

  • Aranya Art Centre, by Neri&Hu Design and Research Office: Architects of the year | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Aranya Art Centre, by Neri&Hu Design and Research Office: Architects of the year Image: Courtesy of Dezeen
  • Invocation for Hope at the Vienna Biennale, by Superflux: Designers of the year | Dezeen Awards 2021 | Dezeen | STIRworld
    Invocation for Hope at the Vienna Biennale, by Superflux: Designers of the year Image: Courtesy of Dezeen

Reserved as the highest accolade in the Dezeen Awards lineup, studios rewarded in this category were lauded for holistic work and consistent innovation. Neri&Hu took the top honours, being named Architect of the year, along with ODDO Architects, Vietnam, as Emerging architect of the year; Fyra, Finland, as Interior designer of the year; WGNB, South Korea, as Emerging interior designer of the year; Superflux, UK, as Designer of the year; and finally, Studio Raw Material, India, as Emerging designer of the year.

STIR is a Media Partner for Dezeen Awards 2021. Read more about the awards here.

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