Icon 139: Awards 05.12.14

awards cover

Our January issue, available now, features profiles of all the 2014 Icon Awards winners and information about the runners-up

On a wet and misty day in mid-October, the five judges of the Icon Awards assembled at the top of the BT Tower, a 188m-high landmark that is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Even through the thick rain, which seemed more lugubrious at such altitude, the views of the city were spectacular.

The room provided by our generous hosts for the day of judgement used to be the Butlin's "topofthetower" restaurant. In this revolving eatery, which closed in 1980, diners once feasted on barquette of caviar and filets of sole coated in lobster or champagne sauce.

Many thanks are due to our distinguished judging panel – Jay Merrick, Vicky Richardson, Oliver Wainwright and Corrina Gardner – who only received coffee and biscuits for their agonising deliberations. They hardly had time to look out of the windows as we energetically set about pruning down a shortlist and selecting a victor for each of the ten categories.

Here we profile and interview all of the winners, as well as our Icon of the Year, the landscape architect Piet Oudolf, who we chose to receive a lifetime achievement of sorts.

Oudolf has worked with architects such as Peter Zumthor (on a Serpentine pavilion) and Diller Scofidio + Renfrew (on New York's Highline) to create his trademark choreography of wild plantings that change with the seasons. We visit his own garden in Holland, a laboratory for these ideas, as well as the colourful landscape he has designed for Hauser & Wirth's new gallery in Somerset.

The designer Anton Alvarez created this year's unusual trophy using a Thread Wrapping Machine of his own invention. He cacooned wooden shapes in multi-coloured, glue-soaked thread to create eleven awards of splendid, almost tropical exuberance, each one of which is unique.

IN THIS ISSUE

Emerging Design Studio of the Year

Design Studio of the Year

Emerging Architecture Practice of the Year

Architecture Practice of the Year

Socially Responsible Design of the Year

Technology of the Year

Building of the Year

Interior of the Year

Product Design of the Year

Furniture Design of the Year

Icon of the Year

PLUS

Rethink Design awards
Icon of the Month The podium

Here is the full list of Icon Awards winners

 

Words

Christopher Turner

 

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In this revolving eatery, which closed in 1980, diners once feasted on barquette of caviar and filets of sole coated in lobster or champagne sauce

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