Yesterday, at the awards ceremony of the Iconic Awards 2014 in Munich, the Qingdao Grand Theatre and the Berlin State Ballet School were awarded Best of Best and Winner respectively in the Architecture category.
This year, the German Design Council’s competition for architects and related professions took place for the second time and, in addition to the awards, special prizes were awarded: the Ahrenshoop Art Museum (Volker Staab Architects) was named Project of the Year; the accolade Architects of the Year was given to the SPARK practice, and John Pawson Ltd was elected Interior Designers of the Year by the jury. The honorary award of Architects’ Client of the Year went to the Krumbach cultural association.
Qingdao Grand Theater, Qingdao, China
The Grand Theater is situated on the eastern side of the city of Qingdao between a bay in the Yellow Sea and Mount Laoshan (1,130m above sea level). The style of the building echoes the enchanting landscape, with the massif and the lightness of the clouds reflected in the appearance of the opera house. It rises from the landscape like a mountain – and a cloud-like roof seems to wreathe the four buildings. The raised terraces in the surrounding park are reminiscent of a mountain plateau, and take their bearings both from the sea and the mountains. The opera house itself offers direct views of the coast. Audiences can enter the auditorium on two levels, either via the lower level, giving access to the large cloakrooms and the lower circle, or via the main foyer above with its large glass facades and view of the terrace, park and Yellow Sea. The walls and floor of the foyer are clad with local stone, which emphasizes the affinity of the building with the mountain.
State Ballet School, Berlin, Germany
The overall architectural concept for the State School of Ballet and Artistry focuses on the special nature of the school, with its constant ebb and flow of pupils between the creative world of dance and the classic functions of full-time schooling. A curved multistory hall runs through the new building, with the adjacent four-story school and ballet rooms facing each other. The various areas of the ensemble are related to each other above this linking space, and accessed on the second floor via a bridge. Large display-window openings in the façade provide transparency and a view of the outside world for the dancers and give passers-by a glimpse of the ballet rooms and dance training.
Christian Gahl (Qingdao Grand Theatre)
Marcus Bredt (Berlin State Ballet School)