The 3rd edition of the UIA Friendly and Inclusive Spaces Awards attracted 91 entries from 35 countries across the world. Despite widely varying economic, political, social and cultural contexts the submissions demonstrated how sensitive architectural design and collaborative processes can create inclusive, friendly and enabling environments.
Five juries, one from each UIA region, together with a past award winner, assessed the entries which were submitted in four categories – New Buildings, Refurbished Existing including Historic Buildings, Public and Open Spaces and Research. The assessment was conducted in two stages with 27 entries proceeding to the second stage. A separate jury reviewed the Research Category.
The final jury commended the quality of projects ranging from a small rest area on a U.S. highway to a technologically advanced aquatic centre in Canada, from a complex reconstruction of a group of medieval buildings in Warsaw to a hospital in Afghanistan, from a joyful playspace in Bangladesh to a special school for disabled children in Hong Kong, and to the sheer range of buildings from South Africa and elsewhere in the world which sensitively and sustainably respected their environments. In most of the submitted projects the diversity of human needs were seamlessly accommodated allowing people of all cultures, genders and abilities to participate fully without exclusion.
NEW BUILDINGS CATEGORY
Medal of Excellence : Wits Rural Facility, South Africa
"Inherent to this project is an underlying respect for people and place. What results is a symbiotic and universal relationship between the architectural spaces created and the natural world into which they insert themselves effortlessly, respectfully, beautifully."
Honourable Mentions :
A Special School for Children with Mild Intellectual Disability, Hong Kong
"The building is successfully integrated into a relatively hostile environment creating a small oasis of relative tranquillity. The simple planning and clear relationship to the courtyard facilitate orientation and intuitive wayfinding."
26 York Street, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Ireland
"A large building on an urban site which has comprehensively addressed many inclusive design issues for a client with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. The shared central areas are bright and welcoming, with numerous places for social interaction."
Linden Farm Supported Living Centre, UK
"A sensitive approach to providing residential accommodation for 10 young people with neuro-diverse conditions. The use of colour and natural materials successfully create an easily negotiated and calm environment closely linked to the rural setting."