The American Concrete Institute (ACI) announced the winners of the 2017 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards, who were honored during the Institute’s Concrete Convention and Exposition, Oct. 16, in Anaheim, Calif. The ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards were created to honor the visions of the most creative projects in the concrete industry, while providing a platform to recognize concrete innovation, technology, and excellence across the globe. An independent panel of industry professionals judged projects and selected winners based on architectural and engineering merit, creativity, innovative construction techniques or solutions, innovative use of materials, ingenuity, sustainability and resilience, and functionality.

The highest honor was presented to R·torso·C, Tokyo, Japan. This award is given to a project that demonstrates excellence in concrete innovation and technology, and stands out above all other entries.

This house is in the center of Tokyo, sitting on an area of 66 m2 (710 ft2). The clients are a married couple, sharing a passion for architecture and art. When they found a rare corner lot of land in central Tokyo, they knew they wanted to build a home with unique materials and construction methods. In high-density residential districts, one way to architecturally build is towards the sky—creating a high-level insulated audiovisual room respecting nature and the environment. It is the only direction that captures the feeling of the vastness of nature. The project team has studied this approach towards the sky as an element of nature for many years, and for this project they pruned away the corner of a rectangular volume to achieve this. For architecture on a small site, sectional and volumetric design becomes very important.

Cutting away the internal volume paradoxically creates a sense of spaciousness in the continuous four-story space inside. Large openings facing the sky are effective means to incorporate the feeling of vastness into the internal space. The chamfered corners not only provide a view to the sky from the internal space, but also for the people outside. There is a high-level, sound-insulated audiovisual room in the basement, and a spacious gallery and a Japanese room on the first floor. Functionality was prioritized on the second floor with a living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. The living room is a very small space, but a 5 m high ceiling and a large oblique triangular window—drawing in an abundance of external light—results in a cognition of spaciousness that is far greater than the actual space in terms of footage. The final design of this space was derived through a vast number of three-dimensional models.

“Concrete has been and still is the main material used for the structure of contemporary architecture worldwide, a trend I believe will continue for a while,” said Yasuhiro Yamashita, Atelier Tekuto Co., Ltd.

Other winning projects included:

Repair & Restoration
1st Place: Market Street Parking Garage Restoration ( Wichita, Kan.)
2nd Place: Chillon Viaducts (Veytaux, Switzerland)Mid-Rise Buildings
1st Place: Denver International Airport - Hotel Transit Center (Denver)
2nd Place: Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building (New York City)Decorative Concrete
1st Place: Ryerson University Student Learning Centre (Toronto, ON, Canada)
2nd Place: Lock 8 Skate and BMX Park (Port Colborne, ON, Canada)Low-Rise Buildings
1st Place: R·torso·C (Tokyo, Japan)
2nd Place: Frick Environmental Center (Pittsburgh Pa.)High-Rise Buildings
1st Place: Embassy Lake Terraces (Karnataka, India)
2nd Place: Premiere on Pine (Seattle, Wash.) Infrastructure
1st Place: Johnson County Gateway (Overland Park, Kan.)
2nd Place: Winona Bridge (Winona, Minn.)

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