Freelance designers eye £50,000 prize

Two teams of freelance design professionals from the UK are in the running to win the Architecture and Technology Award 2006 worth a cool €75,000 – more than £50,000.

Organisers of one of Europe’s most highly endowed architecture prizes said details of each British team, comprising independent architects and engineers, are to remain anonymous until the prestigious ceremony in April.

Speaking to Freelance UK, a spokesperson explained the British entrants face 42 other teams of independents, all competing for the Award that celebrates European buildings of stunning form and function.

The Award ceremony, in its second year, is looking to reward any project in Europe that is less than three years old but has been in operation for at least 12 months, after the competition commencement date.

The inaugural €75,000 prize was awarded by an independent jury to a team of Dutch and German freelance architects whose planning, realisation and operation of structural projects was exemplary.

This year, eleven members of the jury, including industry heavyweights and a member of the press, will assess each building for its architectural quality, combination of technology and design, functionality, innovation and running costs.

Other point-scoring features the judges will be looking for include whether the building is low in pollution, involved or integrated with city planning and the approach the freelance has taken to materials and saving resources.

Organisers of the ceremony, to be held in Frankfurt, have told entrants the most successful projects will be celebrated for uniting concepts and materials that appear in conflict.

“[The] greatest challenge is to combine and harmonise apparent opposites,” reads a promo for the Award.

“Such as form and function, design and utility, or aesthetics and technology. Now for the second time, the Architecture and Technology Award … is to be given in recognition of projects which have put this interplay into practice in an intelligent way.”

In a statement to Freelance UK, officials explained the thinking behind the unique event - noted not only for supporting freelancers, but also for recognising architecture that has proved its function, rather than other accolades that celebrate plans and calculations.

“The award is open to architects and engineers who run their own offices and are not employed by industrial or construction companies. We want to support the independent planners.

“The deadline for entries was Nov. 16, 2005. We have not decided upon the way in which the results or ceremony of the award will be published. It will certainly be adequate and also on the Web.”


9th January 2006

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