Record number of entries for Surface Design Awards as 2022 finalists announced

The 48 finalists of the 2022 Surface Design Awards have just been announced with a record number of entries demonstrating a wealth of talent and material innovation. Projects shortlisted include 22 Handyside, an office in London by Coffey Architects, Maggie’s Centre for cancer care in Southampton by AL_A and Sangini House, a workplace in Gujarat, India by Urbanscape Architects. There were nearly 200 entries for this year’s Awards, with submissions sent from 24 different countries around the world including China, France and the USA.

There are twelve Awards in total, which every year form an integral part of the Surface Design Show (8-10 February 2022) and reward both interior and exterior innovation.

The Awards are divided into a handful of building categories: commercial building, housing, light and surface, landscape + public realm, public building and temporary structure, with each project judged on a variety of criteria including materials used, type of surface, sustainability, and aesthetic design.

The 2022 Awards also include a new category of Architectural Photography recognising the most outstanding photography achievements by both amateurs and professionals, capturing the best in architecture and interior design.

While it was good to see the loyalty shown by familiar practices entering once again this year, it was refreshing to see submissions from new designers from across the globe and those Award entries also being successful finalists. Indeed, the international breakdown of the Awards gave the judging panel the opportunity to compare a wide range of design styles and to review the different materials used in the built environment.

The judging panel, co-chaired by Nicola Osborn, creative director, Basha-Franklin and Joseph Henry, principal project officer with the Greater London Authority (GLA) expressed their delight at the quality and the variety of the entries once again and high on their list of priorities when discussing the projects were social values and a duty of care, as well as sustainability and surface creativity.

In the housing exterior category, the Freeholders project in Wells-Next-The-Sea by Mole Architects was highlighted for its “narrative of the pickled steel, how it responds to its coastal complex, difficult environmental considerations’ while in the Landscape + Public Realm shortlist there was praise for the Valley Gardens scheme in Brighton by Untitled Practice as a “romantic gesture, uniting strategic ambition and managing to deliver it”.

Outside the UK, the judges said of the Peacock Cellar in Shanghai by August Green which made the Light + Surface shortlist, “A beautiful use of local craftmanship and cultural sustainability, reviving ancient skills to achieve the unique colour for each ceramic form, the overall effect is stunning.” Located in Madhya Pradesh in central India, the Adharshila School Extension by Forum Architecture is a finalist in the Public Building interior category and was described as, “A great educational space for the whole community using traditional techniques that have been tweaked to make a functional and attractive building.”

The winners of the 2022 Surface Design Awards will be announced on Thursday 10 February, in a breakfast ceremony at Surface Design Show at London’s Business Design Centre including the Supreme Award, which is selected from the category winners.

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