(Above: Detail of the Malapa Hominid Fossil Site Cover)
The Structural Awards "Community or Residential Structures" category recognises excellence in the structural design of projects which benefit their local environments or communities - here are five of the best from the last 10 years of awards.
2007 - New Life Boat Station RNLI Padstow
(Image credit: Graham Gaunt)
Cornwall, UK - John Martin Construction Ltd and Royal Haskoning Ltd
Located at the base of a 30m high rock cliff, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the constraints of this project called for ingenious design. A Glulam frame was chosen for its ease of construction and organic form, and most marterials were delivered to site by sea - creating an attractive structure that will provide an invaluable service to the Cornish coast for years to come.
2008 - Casa Kike
Costa Rica - Tall Engineers Ltd
A small, beautifully detailed timber building consisting of two pavilions linked by a timber walkway. the structure is exposed throughout, and supported on an array of Cacha timber mini-piles sunk into hand-dug pits. "A real triumph" said the judges.
2009 - The Cathedral of Christ the Light
(Image by Skier Dude, Common.wikimedia.org)
California, USA - Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Built in a highly seismic zone in California, this 1350 seat cathedral has a structure defined by the sacred geometries of Visica Piscis (vessel of the fish) - important in early Christian symbolism. The superstructure is composed of timber ribs and louvers working together with steel rods and timber compression struts to create a light and uplifting space.
2011 - Elsinore Culture Yard
Denmark - Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers
This conversion of an old shipyard to a new cultural facility included complete conversions of two buildings, and the addition of a further three. The judges called it "a fine example of what can be achieved by demonstrating flair and excellence in the use of new and existing materials, dynamics, buildability, specialised construction methods and a respect for heritage".
2015 - Malapa Hominid Fossil Site Cover + Visitors' Platform
Malapa, South Africa - Fellows Consulting
“Australopithecus sediba” – arguably the most important hominid fossil - was discovered at "Malapa", a sensitive UNESCO World Heritage Site. This steel insect-like structure is designed to be a recyclable platform for visitors. No foundations were permitted, ensuring that it does not damage the sensitive area even after it is removed.