Surface Design Awards 2020 finalists announced recognising a wide range of ground-breaking projects from across the world

Renowned practices including Steven Holl Architects, Mikhail Riches, AECOM, WilkinsonEyre and Chris Dyson Architects are among those shortlisted for 2020 Surface Design Awards, which exemplify creative use of surface materials and lighting.

There are an impressive 39 projects across 14 categories in total, from retail and public buildings to commercial projects and housing, including new categories in public realm and affordable housing for 2020. Such was the quality of entries submitted that some projects won nominations across several categories.

Demonstrating the truly international reach of the awards, now in their sixth year, projects on the shortlist spanned 13 countries from 34 different organisations with emerging practices represented, as well as established firms. UK-based studios led the way with 14 finalists and those from China, India and the US all having strong showings in multiple categories.

The judging panel praised both the high quality and variety of entries within the field of surfaces and materials, which made for a captivating and exciting day of judging. The entries in the new affordable housing and public realm categories were particularly praised for their innovation and diversity in their respective sectors.

Key highlights from the shortlist include The REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts by Steven Holl Architects, which was shortlisted in the Light and Surface Exterior and Interior categories. Judge Nikki Barton, head of digital design at British Airways, in praising the project said, “the outside is simple yet beautifully thought through,” with fellow judges agreeing on the impact of the lighting featured.

The Light of City scheme in China by Kris Lin International Design was highlighted in the Commercial Building Exterior category, with judge Amin Taha describing it as a “perfectly symmetrical, well resolved piece of architecture.” Meanwhile architect Charles Holland praised the Kingdom Design Studio by Eric Corbett, which is shortlisted for best Commercial Building Interior stating that it, “celebrates the difference between the materials with a controlled sensibility.”

Giles Miller Studio’s BBC Pavilion project, shortlisted in the Temporary Structure category, consists of thousands of recyclable aluminium ‘petals’ on the front of the building, which open up as a complex mechanical concertina. It was first installed in aircraft hangars in Yorkshire before being transported to the Cannes beachfront where it was reconstructed, a logistical and design feat which found favour with the judges.

Shortlisted in both the Public Building Interior and Exterior categories, the Krushi Bhawan project, a modern government building in the ancient Indian city of Bhubaneshwar, was complimented for its sense of place, reflection of culture and use of local materials. Judge Glenn Johnson, director of design at the Advanced Design Group of Collins Aerospace added that, “Somebody’s heart and soul is in this building.”

Catching the eye of the panel, the stunning House on an Island by Atelier Oslo in Norway was highlighted in the Housing Exterior category for the complimentary design to its rocky surroundings. Paul Priestman, chairman of branding and design agency PriestmanGoode, commented on the “incredibly lightweight look of the design as well as the innovative use of the interior lighting illuminating the exterior of the structure.” In the running in the Housing Interior category, Spain’s Vallirana 47, by architecture and interior design studio Vora, was praised for the clever way in which the floor tiles delineated the space in the different rooms.

Impressing in the Sustainable Surface Exterior category with its inventive use of materials was finalist SPINN Arkiteker’s The Hammerfest Cabin in Norway, and Sustainable Surfaces Interior finalist Organic Store by Snehal Sutar in India was singled out by judge Sean Griffiths for its “audacious use of materials”. Also, in this category was the Muse Acoustic Panels designed by Michael Young for Australian firm Woven Image, the entrant from the furthest afield. This collaborative range of interior acoustic wall panels were praised for being a great product with true green credentials.

The winners, including the supreme winner, will be announced during the Surface Design Show at London’s Business Design Centre on Thursday 13 February 2020.

Surface Design Awards 2020 Finalists

Housing Exterior Private House, London Evonort, London & Bernhard von Erlach, Architekt ETH SIA UK
House on an Island Atelier Oslo Norway
Cork Screw House Rundzwei Architekten BDA Germany
Alferes Malheiro Building Ana da Franca Portugal
Housing Interior Creek House AR Design Studio UK
20 Kings Road, London Patrick Michell UK
Tile House, London Proctor & Shaw UK
Vallirana 47 vora Spain
Cork Screw House Rundzwei Architekten BDA Germany
Affordable Housing Lot O4 A – ZAC Clichy Batignolles Cecile Brisac & Joao Baptista France
Goldsmith Street Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley UK
Light & Surface Exterior Quadrant Arcade AECOM UK
University of Sheffield Concourse Arup UK
Hi-Tech & Digital Centre, South Devon College Michael Grubb Studio UK
Rope Terrace Cafe Snehal Suthar India
  Tree Villa Matter Architects New Zealand
The REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Steven Holl USA
Light & Surface Interior Treasured Mansion Kris Lin International Design China
Yashoda Cancer Hospital Ankita Sweety & Pratyoosh Chandan India
Flow – Turkish Airlines Lounges, Istanbul Softroom Turkey
The REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Steven Holl USA
Public Realm Spain Central Bank Logistics Yard vora & Virai Arquitectos Spain
CF Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler Architecture USA
Temporary Structures BBC Pavilion Giles Miller Studio France
Navigator Kris Lin International Design China
London Hairport Studio Evans Lane UK
Mini Monkey Playground Trellik Design Studio France
Can Rosés temporary school Vora Spain
Commercial Building Exterior Nobu Hotel Shoreditch Ben Adams Architects UK
Light of City Kris Lin International Design China
Commercial Exterior Ceramic Surface Maria Ana Vasco Costa for Augusto Vasco Costa Arquitectos Portugal
Commercial Building Interior The Workshop, Styal Annabelle Tugby Architects UK
Lotus Giles Miller Studio China
Kingdom Design Studio Eric Corbett USA
Public Building Exterior Crystal Palace Park Café Chris Dyson Architects UK
Krushi Bhawan Studio Lotus India
Public Building Interior Krushi Bhawan Studio Lotus India
Retail Building United Cycling Lab & Store Johannes Torpe Denmark
Fluid Space Kris Lin International Design China
Sustainable Surface Exterior Hammerfest Cabin SPINN Arkitekter Norway
Crystal Palace Park Café Chris Dyson Architects UK
Sustainable Surfaces Interior The Workshop, Styal Annabelle Tugby Architects UK
Organic Store Snehal Suthar India
Muse Acoustic Panels Woven Image in collaboration with Michael Young Australia