Blueprint Awards 2015: The winners

Best Public Use Project with Public Funding

Winner: Wolfgang Buttress, Nottingham, UK
UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015, Milan, Italy

Wolfgang Buttress,Nottingham, UK 

JUDGE'S COMMENTS
'Staying true to its namesake, the project explores the metaphor on multiple levels - from space and experience, to form and graphics, to technology and science - a rigorous form of storytelling.' Lyndon Neri

For the UK's contribution to this year's World Expo in Milan, Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress created a multimedia Hive dedicated to the plight of the honeybee. A third of our national food supply depends on this unsung hero's pollination, tying in with the overall Expo theme of 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'. Visitors to the pavilion map the journey of the bee, meandering through an orchard and along a 40m-long meadow of wild flowers (landscaped by BDP) before entering a sculptural, honeycomb inspired lattice. A 9-metre spherical void is hollowed from the centre, allowing visitors to peer up at the extraordinary lattice above, made of 32 layers and 115,000 aluminium components.

Raised up on columns, this Hive is illuminated by more than 1,000 LEDs that buzz and pulsate according to live vibrational activity of bees in real UK beehives, part of research work by Dr Martin Bencsik at Nottingham Trent University. Acrylic rods conduct light from the LEDs into acrylic glass bulbs which refract and diffuse this light, while soundtrack samples by the likes of Spiritualized and Sigur Rós play.From ground level visitors can also look up through the glass floor of the Hive to view the immersive light display above. In our review (Blueprint 340, May/June 2015) Herbert Wright championed the UK pavilion as 'a carefully crafted synthesis of art, science, architecture, music and - in the meadow - nature itself. It is more than a spectacle. The experience is almost metaphysical'.

Commended

Denton Corker Marshall, London, UK Melbourne, Australia
Stonehenge Exhibition and Visitor Centre, Wiltshire, UK

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dRMM Architects, London, UK
Endless Stair Scale Infinite, London, UK

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Grimshaw Architects, London, UK
Fulton Center, New York, US

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Image: James Ewing

MUMA, London, UK
The Whitworth, Manchester, UK

sdfImage: Paul Raftery

Stanton Williams, London, UK
King's Cross Square, London, UK

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Hufton + Crow

Finalists

Haworth Tompkins, London, UK
Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, UK

Haworth Tompkins, London, UK
National Theatre - NT Future, London, UK

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, London, UK
JW3, London, UK

Louise Braverman, New York, US
Centro de Artes Nadir Afonso, Boticas, Portugal

Mecanoo Architecten, Delft, The Netherlands and Sasaki Associates, Massachusetts, US
Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building, Boston, US

Ryder Architecture, London, UK
Manchester Central Library, Manchester, UK

Tabanlioglu Architects, Istanbul, Turkey
Dakar Congress Center, Dakar, Senegal

Team CS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Rotterdam Centraal, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Category sponsored by Equitone

Main image: Paul Raftery

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