Archello Awards 2023 has revealed the projects selected as winners of this year’s awards categories. For each of the 27 categories, one project was awarded by jury vote, and one project was awarded by public vote. The public has selected Jonas by Orange Architects as overall Building of the Year.
The name Jonas draws from the title of the story ‘Jonas and the Whale', in reference to the mixture of adventure, protection and comfort found inside a ‘big body’. The housing project is located at the evolving harbor area of IJburg, Amsterdam and accommodates 190 rental studios, 83 owner-occupied apartments as well as amenities.
The building is fronted by a public forecourt and playground. The site features a landscape with trees for shade and a public beach at the water’s edge. The landscape extends deep into the building along a communal route shaped as a canyon linking the public and collective programs that include a living room, cinema, patio and rooftop bar.
The building form is irregular and angular. Its pre-patinated zinc facade appears to be lifted off the ground above a commercial plinth. On its interior, the architects reference traditional wooden ship construction: a skeleton of timber trusses forms the main structure, with large hollows carved out of the volume buttressed by the 273 apartments within the building's 'skin'.
The zero-energy housing project has achieved BREEAM Outstanding certification due in part to its use of CSC-certified concrete with granulate consisting of recycled material taken from construction waste, its use of European Douglas wood, and its generous incorporation of solar panels.
A number of other climate-friendly features include a collection sytem which reuses rainwater to flush toilets in the public spaces and commercial units, vegetation on the rooftop to slow water runoff, a low-temperature heating system connected to the public heating grid, and a cold storage source that makes use of the adjacent harbor waters for cooling.
"We are delighted that Jonas has been selected by the public as the Overall Building of the Year 2023," says Elena Staškutė, a senior architect at Orange Architects. "Furthermore, we are happy that the integral design of the building and its surroundings, coupled with a powerful storytelling concept, has been recognized. More than just a building, Jonas serves as a case study for sustainable and collective living in high urban density. It features an innovative housing concept, a spectacular spatial interior, and holds the prestigious BREEAM Outstanding certification."