Archnec 2019 – Winners and Honourable mentions

Jury statement:

In the invitation to the 2019 competition for An Architecture of Necessity the jury formulated its expectations in the following way: “Considering the most pressing issues of today the jury would especially love to see entries that deal with the rural context – reactivation of forgotten places both with transformation of existing buildings and with new typologies, for example combining living, work and ’freespace’. Like many others we are looking for an architectural language, developed for smaller cities and places integrating landscape, typology and details and materials”. As underlined here, “forgotten places” is a global problem. But it is also to a high degree a question which has been focused by Virserum Art hall from its very beginning 15 years ago. And the countryside and the future is also the theme of this year’s exhibition, Wood 2019.

On June 27 the winning projects were presented at the conference Wood Summit Småland 2019 at Virserum Konsthall. On June 30 the exhibition Architecture of Necessity, with chosen projects from the competition, was inaugurated. 

Over 60 entries from all over the world have been sent in to this year’s competition. On a jury meeting in Virserum in early May, surprised by a late snowfall, the jury, after hard work with many good projects, most of them within the theme proposed, made the following choice:

Winning projects and motivation:

A home of sport, community and celebration Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects with Advanced Timber Concepts Studio, Australia

Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre is given a prize is given for the project’s informal lightness in creating a low-threshold meeting place based on local culture, built in local materials and with the complex of different spaces held together by an open verandah, a sidewalk in nowhere. Pingelly is a small town with some 1000 inhabitants. It is situated in the sparsely populated “Wheatbelt” of Western Australia. It has all the problems of similar areas with ageing population and diminishing employment. Sport has traditionally been important in both the white and Aboriginal communities. The new sports centre is a Shire initiative, responding to popular demand. Four pavilions with a Function centre with bar, a Sports hall with change rooms, a gym and storage spaces are linked together by a verandah facing east towards the already established sports fields. The verandah forms a welcoming “breezeway”, tempering the hot climate. All visible surfaces are of prefabricated Eucalyptus wood, locally grown and processed in thick sections to stand the harsh climate. It is the first civic timber building in Western Australia for almost a century. Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects were founded in 1999, working in a landscape “dominated by the horizon” with sustainable buildings. The same office was given a prize in the Architecture of Necessity competition in 2016 for a home for elderly aborigines.

Stokkøya – Investigating the potential of rural communities by Pir II, Norway

Stokkøya local development in a rural community is given a prize for a playful architecture, based on a local initiative to develop a remote local neighbourhood, with modern buildings of great typological inventiveness and skilful reuse of materials, well adapted to the local context. Stokkøya is an island on the Atlantic coast north of Trondheim in Western Norway. The project was initiated in the early 2000s by a local farmer who did not want to see his community decay. A Beach Bar, a building with workshops, brewery and food lab, a Beach Hotel and family dwellings and small cottages have been built in a more than one kilometre long area around a bay, open to the sea. Tourism is an asset thus exploited in a remote location, but at the same time it gives job opportunities for permanent inhabitants. Recycled materials and half climatized zones of buildings are part of the concept of sustainable building. Pir II Architects were founded in Trondheim in 1994 with the aim to design “good, playful and sustainable architecture”.

Healing Garden by ZRS Architekten, Germany

Healing Garden Trauma Therapy Centre is given a prize for the project’s beautiful and ecologically and socially responsible reuse of traditional typologies and technologies in a modern interpretation, based on diligent work with both principles and local conditions. Chamchamal is a town populated through forced resettlement. The Trauma Centre, run by The Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights, provides therapy for victims of war. The Garden is a meeting point between patients and the neighbourhood. The traditional typology of the courtyard house and the use of earth blocks covered with clay straw plaster is not only a proper building method given the local conditions, but also offer patients a connection to pre-resettlement habitats. At the same time the modern pavilion system opens up the gardens to the neighbourhood. The whole healing Garden will take many years to complete with a bakery, an open-air theatre and community spaces as well as workshops for traditional crafts, used in the therapy. The office ZRS are specialized in building in traditional materials and since its start in 2003 engaged in design and research aimed at minimizing the use of fossil resources.

Honourable mentions and motivation: 

Drawing from context by Davide Macullo Architects, Switzerland

Drawing from context is given an honorary mention for its serious, strange and playful attempt to demand much more from a building than to protect man from the elements. This house in the village Rossa in Calanca valley in south-eastern Switzerland is a “living sculpture” designed in collaboration with the artist Daniel Buren. The cross-formed small building contains two open space apartments on top of each other. Interiors are untreated wood with an expressive roof beam structure. The wooden façade is painted in red, green and white.

Mpanau-Community Centre by Depan Rumah Studio, Indonesia

Mpanau Community Centre is given an honorary mention for its locally produced multifunctional space that gives victims to a disaster back the important sense of normality and community in a state of emergency. An earthquake and tsunami struck Mpanau village in Indonesia in 2018 and forced the inhabitants to move to a temporary site, living in tents. The project gave the people a Bantaya, a traditional communal space, for playground, meetings and sports. The 100 square metre space is built in bamboo in a modular frame system with joints of rattan and roof of rumbia, all local materials.

Tre Søstre by Salmela Architects, USA

Tre Søstre is given an honorary mention for its dense cluster of three individual, but closely related small buildings with properly rough detailing. The name, Three Sisters, relates to the Scandinavian fishermen settling on this rugged coast of Lake Superior a century ago. The project is a private initiative to build cottages for rent to tourists in a small village. The three buildings are part of a hillside settlement of one-family houses. The small footprint is inspired by Scandinavian “stabbur”. The construction is prefabricated low-cost timber with a cedar façade.

Retracer Aubrac: Pathway through nothingness by Sato (studio associatif architecture + territoires), France

Retracing Aubrac is given an honorary mention for its poetic interpretation of a traditional landscape and its possible transformation into a modern ecological agriculture. The jury would love to see this thesis work by two students realized in some form. Aubrac is a granitic plateau in southern Massif Central in France, known for its pastures with bovine breeding and traditional production of cheese in “burons”, now ruined stone structures. The project proposes a restructuring of the burons and a revitalization of local agriculture in the form of a cooperative based on ecological production.

As a conclusion, the jury would like to underline the importance, as always, of an informed and engaged client, a local rootedness and a professional architect for the good result. Such projects, like the ones here, give us what we need most today, hope.


Claes Caldenby, professor emeritus in Theory and history of architecture at Chalmers university of technology, Gothenburg.

Tone Selmer-Olsen, architect and assistant professor at the Oslo School of Architecture, responsible for the master course In Transit.

Johan Tali, architect and founder of molumba architecture in Tallinn. Curator of 14th and 15th Biennale di Venezia Estonian exhibition.

All projects selected for the exhibition are:

&Rundquist, SWE – The yellow line – Celebrating the everyday life – Kallhäll station – Detail matters

70°N arkitektur, NOR – Layered Landscapes Lofoten

70F, NLD – Visitors Centre

Burnazzi Feltrin Architects, ITA  – An upcycling public project

C F Møller Danmark A/S, DNK – A heart for every walk of life

Davide Macullo Architets, CHE – Drawing from context

Depan Rumah Studio, IDN – Mpanau-Community Centre

Diestrich Untertrifaller Architekten ZT GmbH, AUT – Via Donau Administration –College Lamballe – Music and Convention Center Strasbourg–  Unterdorf School Höchst – Gut Hochreute application

dmvA Architects, BEL – House TP: Farming in the city

Dreem arkitekter, SWE – Kista Pavillion

Duran-Orensanz-Flores, MEX – The water tower

Egnahemsfabriken, SWE – We build together

Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana, SVN – Mytyrn pavillion

Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor, SWE – Dovetail

Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects, AUS – A vessel to protect, celebrate and share Nyoongar culture

Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects with Advanced Timber Concepts Studio, AUS – A home of sport, community and celebration Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre 

Krupinski/Krupinska Arkitekter, SWE – The Orchard – The King´s Garden

Modersohn & Freiesleben Architekten PmbB, DEU – Meltzow, Reinterpretation of local typology for working and living in rural surroundings

Natural building lab, DEU – Infozentrale auf dem Vollgut

Peeter Pere Arhitektid, EST – SIK-SAK

Pir II, NOR – Stokkøya – Investigating the potential of rural communities

Ravnikar Potokar arhitekturni biro, SVN – Moderns space in historical setting

Room Without a Cause Arkitektur, SWE – Not yet modern

Sacher Locicero Architects, AUT – In the silence of the forest

Salmela Architects, USA – Tre Søstre

Sato (studio associatif architecture + territoires), FRA – Retracer Aubrac: Pathway through nothingness

Spol Architects, NOR/BRA – Amazonia School – The Ring

SSP AG, DEU – GreytoGreen Fritz Henßler Vocational College

Taller General, ECU – PlayGround

Tallerken, USA – FUNdaMENTAL Design-Build Initiative

Titan architects, FRA – Context amd Origins

UArchitects, NLD – de Geluksvogel

ZDES Design-Build, USA – Shotgun Chameleon House

ZRS Architekten, DEU – Healing Garden

For further information, please contact barbro.wenden @ or +46 49531580.