Lina Ghotmeh’s Stone Garden apartment block has won the Dezeen Awards 2021 architecture project of the year. The building in Lebanon “has this remarkable freshness and it has power in its simplicity and elegance,” said judge Christina Seilern.
Announced at the Dezeen Awards 2021 architecture show, the building, which features a hand-chiselled facade, won the prestigious architecture project of the year award, as well as being named housing project of the year.
Although Ghotmeh was on the master jury for the Dezeen Awards architecture categories, she was not present when this category and the overall winner were discussed.
There were 1,551 entries for the architecture categories at this year’s Dezeen Awards, which is sponsored by Dodds & Shute, Longboard Products, Knauf, Kingspan, Kvadrat, Tom Dixon and Norse Projects. Of these, 56 were shortlisted by our jury of 25 leading figures from the world of architecture.
The winners of the interiors categories will be announced on 23 November, the design winners will be unveiled on 24 November, the sustainability and media winners will be revealed on 25 November, and the studio winners will be announced on 26 November.
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Stone Garden, Ghotmeh’s first architecture project in her hometown of Beirut, was designed to symbolise the resilience and long history of the Lebanese capital.
The building, which houses apartments as well as an art platform dedicated to image, photography, debate and reflection on the Middle East, withstood the explosion that destroyed a large part of Beirut, Lebanon in August 2020.
Stone Garden’s traditional reinforced concrete shear wall system acted as a shield, sheltering the inhabitants of the building as well as the neighbouring buildings.
Seilern, founder of Studio Seilern Architects, said: “Stone Garden is based on the perception of archaeology being a very strong aspect of Lebanese architecture.”
“It doesn’t dwell into a Western aesthetic,” she said, adding it “very much dwells in the roots of Lebanese architecture and Middle Eastern architecture.”
Seilern was joined on the jury by Hanif Kara, Juliane Wolf, Cecil Balmond, Noelia Monteiro and Lina Ghotmeh, who virtually met in September.
Ghotmeh was not present when the housing project category and the overall winner were discussed.
The jury chose this project for its “wonder and poetry” and said Stone Garden “is going to give a new platform for a seed of ideas in Lebanon.”
The project was recently exhibited at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia and will be on view at the MAXXI National Museum in Rome and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum after that.
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