The Deutscher Naturwerkstein-Verband (DNV) presented the 12th German Natural Stone Awards -- an architecture prize worth a total of 30,000 euros (over $38,000 U.S.) -- on May 27 at Stone+tec 2005 at the Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. This year's jury, chaired by BDA President Kaspar Kraemer of Cologne, awarded two first prizes in different categories for the

first time.

The winner in the category of private and commercial properties of natural stone was the Ritz Carlton Hotel and Apartment Tower in Berlin, designed by architects Hilmer & Sattler and Albrecht, Gesellschaft von Architekten GmbH. The Ritz Carlton Hotel is clad in Branco Rosal, a Portuguese limestone supplied by Natursteinwerk Hofmann of Werbach-Gamburg, Germany, and it is located on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. According to the jury, the architecture of the building “cuts a fine urban figure. The building is self-assured and interacts with the neighboring Hans Kollhoff building to form an ensemble with a gateway to the well-known Beisheim Centre. The hotel's appearance is impressive; similar to a precious dress. The almost white stone facade is interrupted like a net by openings for windows, with flutings and projections profiled and woven tectonically with a textile effect.”

In the category of public and cultural projects of natural stone, American architect I. M. Pei of New York received the Natural Stone Award for the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin, which features Magny Le Louvre limestone and Mason granite, supplied by Schön & Hippelein of Satteldorf, Germany. According to the jury, “the building's special shape shows a high degree of architectural imagination in both exterior and interior design. The basic architectural figure of the triangle is powerfully and decisively formed in the urban area by the closed facades of limestone. The solid block formation of the outer cornerstones underlines this architectural concept. Inside, the building impresses with spatial variety and the masterly use of light as an additional enhancement factor of the carefully processed natural stone slabs with their material texture and exact jointing. The exemplary and skilled processing of the natural stone material down to detail deserves special mention.”

Special merits

A special merit award went to the Wallraf-Richartz Museum - Fondation Corboud, Cologne, designed by architect Oswald Mathias of Ungers, Cologne. The building features basalt lava, tuff and slate from Zeidler & Wimmel GmbH & Co. KG of Kirchheim, Germany. “The architect's assignment was to create a modern museum building characterized by high technical standards and to integrate discriminating architecture into a gap between existing buildings,” stated the jury. “The building -- with its reduced shape and its strict arrangement based on the existing buildings -- is highly impressive. A simple appearance and clear objectivity give the building an unmistakable look.”

Another special merit award was presented for the General Medical Council's building in Berlin, designed by Heinle, Wischer und Partner. The project utilizes a material referred to as “Dorfer Grun,” supplied by Natursteinwerk Hofmann of Werbach-Gamburg, Germany. The jury found the quality of the work was “the convincingly clearly formulated urban and architectural concept. The building envelope, with its homogeneous and spaciously arranged facade and functional natural stones, conveys a pleasant restrained design combined with noble city presence: a successful symbiosis between a strictly arranged facade and the rather heterogeneous appearance of the natural stone.”

Highly commended

The following works were highly commended:

  • Dom Aquarée, Berlin. Architects: Sergei Tchoban, nps tchopan voss, Berlin. Material: Bateig Blanca, Bateig Azul , Basaltina, Moleanos White. Supplier: Stuna GmbH, Hönow / Zeidler & Wimmel, Kirchheim, Germany.

  • Reconstruction of Monopteros, Potsdam. Architects: Gibbins European Architects, Potsdam. Material: Friedewald sandstone. Supplier: Bamberger Natursteinwerke, Bamberg / Ellwart Steinrestaurierung, Berlin.

  • Hotel and office block, Friedrichstrasse, Berlin. Architect: Max Dudler, Berlin. Material: Cape Green granite, Creme Royal sandstone. Supplier: Natursteinwerk Hofmann, Werbach-Gamburg, Germany.

  • SPK Mainfranken Savings Bank, Wurzburg. Architects: Kuntz + Manz, Wurzburg. Material: Shell limestone slabs. Supplier: Hemm GmbH, Kirchheim, Germany.

  • Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Berlin. Architects: Krause Bohne Architects + Planners, Eschweiler, Germany. Material: Berlin sandstone, Botticino Classico, Giallo Venezia, Imperial White, Azul Bahia. Suppliers: Hofmann, Werbach-Gamburg, Germany; Itter Granit Marmor Betonstein, Kaufungen, Germany.

  • New Milchhof building, Berlin. Architect: Wurlitzer Architekten, Berlin. Material: Winterhäuser shell limestone. Supplier: Naturstein Villmar GmbH, Kottenheim, Germany; Wohn- und Geschäftshaus, Berlin.

  • Residential and office block on Leipziger Platz, Berlin. Architects: Hilmer & Sattler und Albrecht, Berlin. Material: Bateig, Giallo San Giacoma. Supplier: Marmor-Line GmbH, Wetzlar-Dutenhofen, Germany.

    The German Natural Stone Awards are is presented by DNV every two years. NurnbergMesse, the organizer of Stone+tec is patron of the award.