Architects of the Year – Herzog & de Meuron
In 1978, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron (both born in Basel in 1950) founded an architectural firm in Basel that is now indisputably one of the largest and most important influential in the world with more than 500 employees and further offices in Berlin, Munich, London, Copenhagen, Paris, New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong. The partnership has grown over the years and is now under the joint leadership of the two founding partners along with five senior partners: Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler, Stefan Marbach, Esther Zumsteg, and Jason Frantzen. Its The office's international projects range from major, spectacular unique construction projects of various scales to urban studies and single-family homes. In addition to prestigious corporate headquarters, many of the their designs are public buildings, such as museums and sports arenas, but also hospitals, churches and buildings for healthcare as well as life science and research. Herzog & de Meuron’s best-known designs include the conversion of the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London (Tate Modern) with its later extension, the Allianz Arena in Munich and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg. As diverse and challenging as the projects tackled by the internationally award-winning firm may be, what they all have in common is the fact that they boldly transcend the boundaries of the everyday in a visionary way.
Statement of the jury
With their outstanding designs, which can now be admired on almost every continent, Herzog & de Meuron have over the past decades proven that they are among the most influential architects of our time. To this day, the team has time and again succeeded in combining form and functionality to create icons that have attracted international attention. The most recent examples are the extension for the »Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst«, which was completed in 2021, and of course the »M+« museum in Hong Kong, which also opened in 2021. The building, which looks like an upside-down »T«, has, according to Herzog’s own statement, »the potential to become the largest museum for visual culture in Asia.« And in the corporate sector, too, the firm has repeatedly managed to set standards, like with the 178-metre »Roche Tower« in Basel, which was completed in 2015 and will be followed in 2022 by a second tower that will be even taller at 205 metres. It will no doubt be interesting to see what icon Herzog & de Meuron come up with next.
Architects' Client of the Year – The Bruges Diptych
In 2015, Bruges managed to secure the Triennale for itself. Since then, every three years, the UNESCO World Heritage City invites international architects and artists to transform the historic city centre with temporary installations into a unique parcours for contemporary architecture and art. The »Triennale Bruges 2021« was held under the overarching theme of »TraumA« and thus opted for a multidisciplinary discourse that goes beyond the overtly visible touristy and also dares to look into the more hidden and darker areas of a complex city. An approach as bold as it is fascinating that was interpreted in 13 architectural or artistic works. In this way, architectural, sculptural and organic works were created in various, at times unusual, locations throughout the city in order to enter into a dialogue with both their surroundings and the visitors and to invite them to rediscover and experience the historic centre of Bruges with its buildings, squares, alleys and waterways.
Statement of the jury
Among the 13 works selected for the »Bruges 2021 Triennial«, which can be admired in public spaces, is the »The Bruges Diptych« pavilion by American designer and architect Jon Lott, which surprises with a very special architectural peculiarity. Constructed entirely of wood and erected on pontoons in the canal, the building not only combines historical architecture with modern design language at a high design level. At the same time, it visually extends the façade of a historic townhouse across the canal, folding open spectacularly into two identical façades – like a two-part diptych. While this creates the impression from the outside that there are two houses, a completely different truth is revealed on the inside. With this exciting interplay between the world in front of a façade and what is hidden behind it, Lott succeeds in an intelligently solved interpretation of the Triennale 21 theme TraumA«. It is precisely such unique projects and installations, like the building created by Jon Lott, that fantastically extend the Triennale into public space making the internation-ally acclaimed art show even more attractive and relevant for visitors.
Interior Designers of the Year – Matteo Thun & Partners
For almost four decades, Matteo Thun has been setting standards in design and architecture. Before founding his own studio in Milan in 1984, Thun was a student of Oskar Kokoschka and Emilio Vedova at the Salzburg Academy, graduated from the University of Florence and, together with Ettore Sottsass, founded the world-renowned Memphis Group in 1981 whose playful use of colour and geometric shapes had a decisive influence on the design style of the 1980s. Today, Matteo Thun & Partners is an internationally successful studio for trend-setting architecture and design projects in the fields of hospitality and healthcare, residential and office design, as well as retail and product design. Under the management of Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez, the designs are characterised by timeless simplicity and are consistently oriented towards the human scale combining sophisticated, essential aesthetics with intuitive functionality. Therefore, Matteo Thun and his partners in Milan and Munich live the concept of next generation »Made in Italy«.
Statement of the jury
Matteo Thun & Partners design spaces for private homes, hotels and restaurants, for clinics and for inspiring workplaces in office buildings that are designed to make people feel particularly comfortable. Matteo Thun & Partners design according to the philosophy of »Conscious Design«, an alternative to the complexity of current sustainability certifications that also encompasses the values of exquisite craftsmanship. In this way, the studio goes its own way and, not least for this reason, also implements special projects that are far from the mainstream and promote the positive relationship between people, places and properties. For example, the »Waldkliniken Eisenberg« in Thuringia, completed in 2020, and the »Alpine Healthy Living Hotel«, also realised in 2020, are characterised by special handling of wood that creates a special atmosphere in both projects. Or the iconic »Bar Campari« that has allowed the Campari brand to be experienced with all the senses since 2019. Timelessness, simplicity and humanity – the way Matteo Thun & Partners authentically translates this triad into stylish designs is unique.