We are surrounded by architecture and design, but what makes architecture award-winning?

14 October 2020

To be award-winning or not to be? Read along and get the answers on how to create a wow-effect in architecture.

FI, Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Helsinki, ALA Architects, Leisure, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, TE-edge, 1200x1200, White, Library

Oodi Helsinki Central Library - Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic

Are you interested to know what defines award-winning architecture? Then you've come to the right place. We take you on a journey of how architecture has evolved through history and the different criteria the World Architecture Community evaluates as an award-winning design.  

Architecture and design from ancient times to nowadays

From ancient Greece and Rome, we see how humans designed and constructed geometric structures. Archaeologists have always been amazed by how the ancient buildings mirror nature and the constellations and how they've created a perfect harmony of the world and shapes. In ancient Egypt, the monumental pyramids, temples, and shrines are the perfect result of great engineering. However, the ancient Egyptians didn’t have many options for equipment and materials available, which led to having buildings and monuments made from sun-baked mud, granite, and limestones. When we look at the evolvement over architecture, we see clearly how new movements build on top of the previous and adjust it. 

In ancient times, architecture was designed to reflect great pride, heroic representation, and their powerful position. Nowadays, architecture has a human-centric approach with a focus on well-being. The design of buildings reflects on who is going to use it; whether it is a school where the learning environment has to inspire and nourish pupils with creative and comfortable surroundings, or a restaurant with a calm, relaxed, and modern atmosphere or a great office space that nurtures creativity and productivity.

We want to show our appreciation for the architects around the globe by recognizing their work and the great impact they have on society. Here, we want to show you the criteria architecture needs to have to be award-winning.


Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space ... On the one hand, it's about shelter, but it's also about pleasure.

Zaha Hadid

How to get award-winning architecture?

According to World Architecture Community, architecture and interior design are equivalent and should be viewed from a holistic point of view. The rapid progress in technology and the changing conditions in everyday life force tomorrow’s design and architecture to re-think the boundaries of exterior and interior design.

The majority of architectural awards require us to think of more than just the aesthetics of a building. The World Architecture Community truly stresses the importance of fulfilling the benefit of productivity, sustainability, and community.

The criteria for award-winning architecture

1. The premium level of quality

The architecture and design are judged on the level of quality, which means it has to demonstrate that it can contribute first-class services to the community it is located in.
With quality, we also imply artistic design. The exercise is to have a great balance of style, comfort, and top-grade finishing. Artistic interior design aims to create elegant, high-quality, and comfortable spaces that inspire. Therefore, it is crucial to pair interior design with great acoustic solutions.

2. Function and impact

With the constant change in technology and their impact on daily life, architecture should relentlessly look forward and embrace the new technologies along with the shift in social and demographic trends. Therefore, projects will be judged on their understanding of the existing practices and how to improve them. The impact is referred to as the environmental, material, social, and professional measurement, whereas it is divided into short-term and long-term impacts.

3. Importance of productivity and climate

The reward highly emphasis the human-centric approach, whereas the projects need to consider productivity and the climate within the interior environment. It encounters both the physical spacing, noise absorption, and indoor climate as it contributes to the well-being of people.

The architecture of workspaces needs to infuse the environment with great design, so efficiency and productivity can arise while comfort can be improved as well.  

4. Innovations

To re-think design with the purpose of either maximising comfort, productivity, or developing a nurturing, educational, and practical community, the design needs to be problem-solving.
The innovation is a lot more powerful if it contributes to a solution. And it will have the benefit of the wow-effect as people will get surprised by the outcome.

With these criteria in mind, it is important that the projects either have an artistic expression with prize-worthy structures or enable practical and durable solutions that overcome challenges to contribute to a circular economy.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word

Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic seamless ceiling system is installed throughout to meet both the aesthetic and acoustic requirements which helped the project win the prestigious Public Sector Interiors Project of the Year award in 2016 Mixology North Awards. The Word is designed to be South Shields’ gateway to cultural, social and business knowledge, and to be exciting. 

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word 

The Word,United Kingdom,South Shields,1.100m²,Steve Dickson,Senior Director at Faulkner Browns Architects,Daniel Reilly at Reilly Ceiling and Drywall,Ben Clarkson,Group Photographer for Bowmer and Kirkland,ROCKFON® Mono® Acoustic

Helsinki Central Library Oodi

In the heart of Helsinki, on Kansalaistori Square, is the Finns' new, readers’ haven: the Oodi Library. From the top floor - also called 'the book sky' - visitors get a prime view of the city and the nearby park. Oodi, which means ‘Ode’, is an innovative space for book lovers, events and multifaceted activities. In 2019 Oodi won the world's best new library international award. 

Helsinki Central Library Oodi 


FI, Helsinki Central Library Oodi, Helsinki, ALA Architects, Leisure, Rockfon Mono Acoustic, TE-edge, 1200x1200, White, Library

The Arboretum, Hørsholm, Denmark

The design for this unique research institute in Hørsholm, Denmark, has been awarded the Hørsholm commune’s yearly architectural prize. Rockfon Blanka® helped create a natural building that truly engages the surrounding nature outside. The sleek, matt white ceiling harmonises well with the natural materials and does not disrupt from the overall design. 

The Arboretum, Hørsholm, Denmark


DK, Arboretet, Hørsholm, Claus Francke ApS, School, Rockfon Blanka, X edge, 1200x300, White

Aha! Great design is founded on great materials

Above we have seen how award-winning design is a lot more than artistic expressions. When creative design embraces innovative acoustic solutions, the spaces can benefit from a great indoor climate.

At Rockfon, you have a trustworthy and great partner that deliver materials that utilize the creative freedom from architects or designers. We are lucky to offer a beautiful range of modern materials in our acoustic design solutions. They are available in many different shapes, colours and can be adjusted to the settings. Whether you are renovating or building something new, Rockfon can provide a complete ceiling system. Not only are they easy to install and durable, but they make your design feel as good as it looks.

Sounds beautiful.  

Contact our local sales representative to work with us.