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 SuperHub Meerstad by De Zwarte Hond to receive the overall For the Planet Award, which honors a sustainably-built project completed in the last year.
De Zwarte Hond was commissioned to design a multifunctional and adaptive central building for the neighborhood of Meerstad in Groningen, a cultural and economic capital in the nothern Netherlands. According to the architects, the area is popular for its open space, greenery and a recreational lake, around which an expanding neighbourhood is being built, with 5,000 new homes anticipated in the coming decades. The SuperHub is envisioned as a sustainable space for the growing community of residents to shop, gather and eat.
The SuperHub is open and luminous, with a complex and finely textured structural system, all of which lend the space an aesthetic like that of a cathedral. The primary structure is made entirely of cross-laminated timber (CLT) columns and beams which provide large spans and a nine-meter ceiling height. The roof forms a canopy that extends out more than five meters from the facade to protect it from the sun. The spans yield column-free spaces that are ideal for large gatherings and a high level of flexibility should the building layout and programming require future change.
The roof of the SuperHub has been reserved for the placement of solar panels and plants to attract bees and insects. An optimal and energy-efficient indoor climate is ensured by a built-in air treatment installation, as well as heat and cold ground storage.
“The client’s ambition made us, the architect, and the structural engineer come together in a search for healthy building materials," says Erik Roerdink, a project architect with De Zwarte Hond. "As a firm, we are trying to take the next step in all our projects towards eco-friendly buildings. We wanted to fit in with an environmentally-friendly lifestyle by ensuring that the materials we use have as small a carbon footprint as possible. The building is also designed to be as modular as possible, which makes is future-proof. We are honored that our efforts towards sustainability have been recognized by the public.”