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Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Springdale, Arkansas by Marlon Blackwell (designed using AutoCAD)
November 16th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Marlon Blackwell Architect wins World’s Best Civic and Community Building at World Architecture Festival Awards 2011
“the designers on this project really made architecture out of nothing”
Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, USA, designed by Marlon Blackwell Architect, has won the ‘World’s Best Civic and Community Building’ award at the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2011.
The presentation of the WAF Awards are taking place during the largest global celebration of architecture – the World Architecture Festival, which is being held at the Centre Convencions International Barcelona (CCIB) this week.
The church is the result of a transformation of an existing metal shop building into a sanctuary and fellowship hall in anticipation of a larger adjacent sanctuary on the same site. The simple original structure is enveloped by a new skin, obscuring and refining the original gabled form. Although a small structure, its bold form makes it visible and recognizable from the interstate (I-540) which passes nearby.
The building was selected by a panel of esteemed architects and designers, beating off competition from a shortlist of 15 entries.
The jury commended the project, saying “This section was one of the strongest sections with four or five outstanding projects. It is really important to make the point that the designers on this project really made architecture out of nothing – the project was fully developed and really fulfilled the private and public component.”
Speaking at the WAF Awards 2011 Paul Finch, WAF Programme Director, said: “The World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest, live, truly inclusive and interactive global architectural awards programme. Attracting entries from internationally renowned practices to small local architects, the stellar quality of this year’s designs demonstrates their commitment to designing the world’s most exciting buildings. This year we’ve attracted more entries than ever before, with over 700 submissions from 66 different countries. Our congratulations go to the winners for a truly accomplished project.”
This is the 4th year the World Architecture Festival Awards have been presented, and by the end of the awards 38 WAF Awards will have been announced across the three main sections of Completed Buildings, Structural Design and Future Projects. The Festival culminates with the announcement of the prestigious ‘World Building of the Year 2011’ award.
Previous winners include ‘World Building of the Year 2008’ – Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects; ‘World Building of the Year 2009’ – Mapungubwe Interpretation Centre in South Africa, designed by Peter Rich Architects of Johannesburg, and ‘World Building of the Year 2010’ – MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) in Rome, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.
The WAF Awards see unsung local buildings take on internationally acclaimed projects in what is the world’s biggest architecture contest. Unlike other architectural competitions, architects present their work in front of leading industry judges and a live public audience as they compete for the accolade of ‘World Building of the Year’.
Project in Detail
Saint Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church is the result of a transformation of an existing metal shop building into a sanctuary and fellowship hall in anticipation of a larger adjacent sanctuary on the same site. The simple original structure is enveloped by a new skin, obscuring and refining the original gabled form. Although a small structure, its bold form makes it visible and recognizable from the interstate (I-540) which passes nearby.
For the interior, the vertical surfaces are considered neutral with limited articulation, but the horizontal surfaces are expressive, revealing priorities and hierarchies. In the fellowship hall, the original concrete slab and the roof structure of the metal shop building are exposed, revealing the origins of the building. As one passes through the narthex, the ceiling gradually descends above a floor of rift-cut white oak, compressing the visitor before passing under the skylit tower that marks the entry to the sanctuary.
The white oak floor continues into the worship space, while a dome hovers above the parishioners. At the East end, the ceiling is carved away to allow for a 30 foot wide transom of translucent glass which bathes the sanctuary in soft light for Sunday morning services. The iconostasis – the screen wall between the sanctuary and the altar area – is the one vertical surface that is articulated in great detail, featuring hand-painted, gilded icons, representative of the separation of heaven and earth. The southern wall of the sanctuary opens to accommodate additional visitors at holiday services.
Contact Marlon Blackwell Architect