SFE Façade of the Year winners revealed

Bloomberg HQ, Morpheus and Great Arthur House pick up awards


Three striking buildings have triumphed at the Society of Façade Engineering’s (SFE’s) Façade of the Year Awards.

Bloomberg HQ in London, by Sir Robert McAlpine and Josef Gartner, won the New Build award. The building, which won the 2018 RIBA Stirling prize, impressed the judges with the complexity of the façade engineering.

They said the final composition, brought together with brilliant architectural and functional purpose, produced a ‘once in a generation project’.

The Refurbishment Award was won by Mott MacDonald for Great Arthur House, in London. A story of persistence and belief by the Mott MacDonald team, the refurbishment symbolises the enormity of the challenge our industry faces in upgrading the stock of 20th-century highrise apartment buildings, and the further challenge of listed buildings.

The judges felt the solution was innovative and proportionate, balancing the competing needs of conservation, performance, functionality, cost and access, and the constant occupation of residents.

The Morpheus Hotel, Macau, China, won the Innovation Award. Already a global award winner for BuroHappold Engineering, the structure may be the world’s best example of a freedom-twisting, geometric exoskeletal supporting façade elements.

The judges said the project absolutely mesmerises in respect to difficulty of engineering, design and delivery.

There was also a discretionary award to Seele, for Iconsiam, Bangkok, Thailand, which the judges felt deserved to be commended for its design.

The annual event is the façade industry’s longest-running and most prestigious awards. They recognise and reward excellence and achievements in façade engineering, raising the profile of – and drawing attention to – the importance of the discipline in modern architecture.

The 2019 winners, announced at the Glass Supper, in London, in December, demonstrated the diverse and remarkable nature of what can be achieved with façade engineering.