8 House, Copenhagen, Denmark

BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)

Date of occupancy: 2010

The 8 House is a mixed-use residential building located in the neighborhood of Ørestad South, outside of Copenhagen, situated beside a canal with views of the Kalvebrod Fælled fields. With 475 units that vary in size and layout, the building meets the needs of people in all of life’s stages; young and old, families and single people, growing and shrinking families. Within the 61,994 -square-meter building, the tranquility of suburban life goes hand-in-hand with the energy of a big city. Common areas and facilities are linked by a universally accessible sidewalk that functions as a major artery connecting each of the residential units with the urban fabric, including offices, kindergarten, and a café, on the ground floor. The structure’s bow shape allows apartments to benefit from natural light, air, and exterior views. Instead of providing car parking, 8 House prioritizes ease of access to public transit and bike paths.

8 House

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Jury Comments:

“This is a bold and beautifully integrated mix of multi-generational housing and universally accessible design.”
“8 house is a worthwhile experiment in the development of a new typology to create a vertical mixed-use community.”
“The proposed socio-spatial concept offers a more durable way of densifying housing while maintaining a human scale.”


BIG is a group of architects, designers and thinkers operating within the fields of architecture, urbanism, interior design, landscape design, product design, research and development with offices in New York City, Copenhagen, and London.

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Fuji Kindergarten, Tokyo, Japan

Tezuka Architects

Date of occupancy: 2007

Fuji Kindergarten is a one-story, oval-shaped kindergarten that accommodates over 600 children running around its open-air roof. Some children run more than six kilometres a day. The building complements an educational philosophy that children flourish in an open, free and natural environment with a strong sense of community. The architectural spaces were designed to be at the scale of a child, creating a close relationship between the ground and rooftop level. Three existing Zelkova trees grow through the structure for children to climb on.  Between April and November, the sliding doors are open. There are no clear boundaries between classrooms; boxes used as furniture and 1.8-metre tall panels indicate different areas. The principal reports that the school’s approach encourages calmness and focus, including in children with behavioural disorders. The architects said: “We want the children raised here to grow into people who do not exclude anything or anyone.”

Fuji Kindergarten

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Jury Comments

“This is an extraordinarily positive place – a giant playhouse filled with joy and energy, scaled to a broad range of the human condition.”
“This architecture in its simplicity and uniqueness embodies a pedagogical ideology of early education.”
“The limitless structure of the space liberates the child’s imagination.”


Tezuka Architects is a Tokyo-based firm led by Takaharu and Yui Tezuka, established in 1994 who have built a range of apartments and houses, office and commercial buildings, as well as educational and community spaces.

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Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

John Wardle Architects and NADAAA

Date of occupancy: 2014

The Melbourne School of Design embraces the emerging notion that the studio is not only a room or space, but a way of learning that favours the acts of doing, making and problem-solving in a critical, yet collaborative environment. In this definition, the entire building has become the studio. The structure continues a sequence of outdoor rooms arrayed across the campus through a Piranesian lacing of pathways with unusually wide corridors that provide workspaces and the opportunity for students to be exposed to each other’s work. As an architectural school, the building is active in the education of its occupants and visitors through its clarity of materials, tectonics, and organization. The building addresses the use of resources, challenges conventional means and methods of project delivery, and considers the life cycle implications of the building.  It has become a place where anyone can come to learn about design, education, and sustainability. Date of occupancy was 2014.

Melbourne School of Design

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Jury Comments

“The spatial concept of an architecture school has become the social focus of the campus for all students.”
"It is a beautifully orchestrated space, thoughtfully detailed and well crafted.”
“It redefines the educational mission by engaging students with the entire building as a collaborative learning environment.”


Melbourne-based John Wardle Architects (JWA) was founded by John Wardle in 1986, leading an architectural office that has built a range of projects from small dwellings to university buildings, museums, public spaces, high-density housing and large commercial offices.

NADAAA is a Boston and New York-based architecture and urban design firm as well as a platform for design investigation at a large scale with great geographic reach.

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The Village Architect, Shobac Campus, Upper Kingsburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Date of occupancy: 1994 – ongoing

Over 35 years of practice, Brian MacKay-Lyons, “the village architect,” has built more than 40 houses in the Kingsburg community. Shobac Campus has formed over 25 years in Upper Kingsburg, along the Nova Scotia coastline. With the help of friends, neighbors, and colleagues, MacKay-Lyons cleared the forest, revealing historic ruins and uncovering 400 years of agrarian history. In 1994, he gathered a group of architecture students for a two-week event with the aim of reconnecting with the master builder tradition and focusing on the timeless values of landscape, building, and community. They erected the first building on the campus, mirroring an archetypal farmhouse. The tradition continued for twelve successive years adding new structures. What began as a design/build laboratory has evolved into a place for community events, a school, and studio for local building practice. Integrating practice and teaching, family and community, it is an argument for landscape stewardship through agricultural and architectural cultivation.

The Village Architect

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Jury Comments

“In this age of specialization, this contrarian initiative questions the architect’s accepted role, and instead suggests a broadening rather than a narrowing of the current scope of practice. In so doing, the architect is re-established at the centre rather than at the periphery of critical decision-making.”


MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Led by Brian MacKay-Lyons and Talbot Sweetapple, the practice works locally and internationally on cultural, academic and residential projects, providing full architectural and interior design services.

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