Talk at Nuremberg’s Stone+tec 2018 presentation of the German Natural Stone Award
Heiner Farwick, President of the German Chamber of Architects (Bundesarchitektenkammer BDA), directs brow-raising remarks his own profession: „Perhaps we have paid too little attention to durability and worth of buildings in the past“, he said admonishingly, „does not the value and worth of a building make up its impression as a whole?“
He directed the same words of warning at the provenance of building materials – the provenance is what ties a building in with its surroundings. It either blends in or stands out like a sore thumb. Farwick was speaking at the presentation of this year’s German Natural Stone Awards, where he also functioned as president of the jury.
Durability and worth of a building was also the theme of award-winner Arno Lederer from Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei: he compared the cost of building ancient cathedrals or colosseums, which are tourist attractions of modern times. His thesis: building with natural stone should be the norm and he asks: „Have we lost touch with normalcy?“
The German Natural Stone Award has been bestowed biannually since 1983 for extraordinary work in stone in 4 categories: public and industrial buildings, landscaping and leisure spaces, massif buildings and elements in existence, and finally homes and home dwelling complexes.
The over-all winner is chosen from among these categories and is doted with 15,000 € in prize money. Winners of the 4 categories each receive 5,000 €. The purse is jointly bestowed by the Deutscher Naturwerkstein-Verband (DNV) in cooperation with the German Chamber of Architects (deutsche Architektenkammer). Presentation takes place at the venue of the Nuremberg Stone+tec Trade Fair.
Note that architects and builders from across Europe are eligible to submit their work for judgement. The only restriction is that local companies carried out the work using local natural stone.
A total of 94 submissions entered the race this year.
We show the works of the award winners. An online-brochure in German language also mentions honors in the various categories.
Deutscher Naturstein-Preis 2018 (German)
Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei took first prize for their construction of the Historisches Museum Frankfurt/Main. The jury was particularly pleased with the use of local building material as represented in surrounding buildings. The stone façades are not clad in the usual large slabs of stone but have real masonry walls. The thickness of the walls is 11 cm leaving room for surface décor. The base-plinth is made of basalt and doubles as possible seating for weary passers-by.
The prize in the category landscaping and leisure space design went to WES Landscape Architects for their realization of the new market place in Bad Lauchstädt. The tiny health spa town in Saxony-Anhalt, already a popular wellness destination in Goethe’s times, was reverted to its original splendor – albeit with a few modernizing details. The old Gommeraner Quartzite stone was used, but to facilitate walking, the surfaces were cut and blasted. The work was carried out by BBN Umbreit. Rain runoff is facilitated by specially shaped stone, which the architects developed.
The prize in the category massif building elements and buildings in existence went to Hilmer & Sattler und Albrecht Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH for their new Museum Barberini, Potsdam. The design relates to the precursor building which was built in the style of a Roman 17th century Palazzo. The supporting concrete wall is clad with another wall 36 cm thick. Natural stone elements set into this wall complement the picture.
The prize for best submission in the category single family homes and home dwelling complexes went to Max Dudler Architects for their Munich-based Schwabinger Tor Nord home dwelling complex in light colored Trosselfels Limestone which blends in well with the surroundings. The various surface treatment of the slanted portions and level sections make best use of the design options of the material.
Author: Peter Becker
(14.08.2018, USA: 08.14.2018)