PES-Architects have been awarded with the Architectural Review MIPIM Future Project special award for Innovation for the Sino-Finnish Economic, Trade and Cultural Cooperation Centre in Nanjing, China. The annual awards celebrate excellence in unbuilt or incomplete projects in eleven categories, in addition to which two special awards were granted this year. A total of over 220 proposals from almost 30 countries competed for the award.
According to the jury chaired by Paul Finch, Editorial Director of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal, PES-Architects’ design “combines cultural, technical and aesthetic considerations in an approach that marries art to the sustainable generation of energy in an architectural tour de force”. The design won first prize in 2016 in an invited competition organised by the Nanjing Southern New Town Construction Development Office with support from the Embassy of Finland in China and Finpro’s Beautiful Beijing programme. Construction of the centre is set to begin this year.
The complex comprises a conference centre and design hotel, exhibition halls and showrooms, an office block and business hub as well as a Finnish-themed retail area over a total floor area of 194,400 m². The overall design metaphor is ice – the massive ice blocks shaped by icebreakers or the pack ice formations that develop at sea in late winter. The façades are clad with glass panels embedded with printed photovoltaic Chinese calligraphy graphics resembling ice crystals. The panels have been designed together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to provide shading while harvesting solar energy.
The firm PES-Architects is a pioneer of Finnish architecture export with an extensive track record in China. Their design for the Wuxi Grand Theatre was shortlisted for the 2012 World Architecture Festival Award for Culture Buildings and has been featured in publications all over the world. Currently, besides the Sino-Finnish Centre in Nanjing, they have another big cultural project in China, the Strait Culture and Art Centre in Fuzhou, which also made it to this year’s MIPIM awards shortlist.
“We entered the MIPIM competition with two projects in different categories, Mixed Use for Nanjing and Urban Regeneration for Fuzhou, and both were shortlisted. To our surprise, we won an award for Innovation, outside of any given category. We regard this as a wonderful acknowledgement,” explains Architect, Professor Pekka Salminen, chief designer of the awarded project and founder of PES-Architects.
The award was presented to Jarkko Salminen, CEO, and Tuomas Silvennoinen, Design Director of PES-Architects, at the Future Projects Awards Dinner on 15 March 2017 in Cannes. The annual event is organised in accordance with MIPIM, the leading international property market.
Pekka Salminen / PES-Architects