New Stylepark building is one of the exemplary buildings in Hesse
The list of awards for Stylepark's residential and commercial building in Frankfurt am Main is growing steadily: Having already been one of the five finalists on the shortlist for the 2020 DAM Prize, and having received the 2021 German Brick Award, the building designed by NKBAK Architects has now been awarded first prize in the "Building in Existing Contexts" category as part of the "Exemplary Buildings in the State of Hesse 2020" awards process. The renowned Baukulturpreis for architecture and urban development has been awarded every three years since 1954 by the State of Hesse and the Chamber of Architects and Town Planners of Hesse. In the current procedure, an international jury selected 12 award winners from a total of 124 projects and 21 short-list projects, which received five awards and seven recognitions in the categories "Building in Existing Contexts", "New Building", "Open Space and Landscape Planning", and "Neighborhood Planning and Urban Development".
A central theme of the award was sustainability: The projects of the award winners and the respective shortlist nominations are therefore to be understood as Hesse's first interim balance on the way to environmentally compatible planning and building – be it in terms of achieving climate protection targets, implementing a consistent circular economy in the building sector or intelligent handling of existing buildings. The latter is exemplified by Stylepark's residential and commercial building, as jury member Prof. Dr. Markus Harzenetter, President of the Hessian State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, explains in the jury's statement:
"The loss of accustomed uses, traffic routing, the social balance, and time and again the development of the cityscape are topics in Frankfurt's inner city that are controversially debated with great continuity. Of all things, the comparatively small expansion project of a private marketing agency for architecture and design in a classicist tenement building now provides a much-noticed indication of how redensification, mixed use, the clash of private and public space and of different time layers can also be solved in Frankfurt's inner city without further distortions. The consistency with which the responsible planning office avoided recourse to the familiar and was guided entirely by the function, the location and the means of contemporary design that does not shy away from abstraction or traditional materials is astonishing. As always, the successful project on the northern edge of downtown Frankfurt owes much to the special project constellation and cannot be repeated. The award of a prize for architecture and urban development captures this special moment and documents its social and design content. At the same time, it can be understood as a call to further exploit the potential of the sporadically preserved classicist buildings on the inner city edge of Frankfurt, along the train of inner Wallstraßen, for sustainable urban development as a whole."
In the context of the award process, the first two volumes of the "Sustainability Papers" of the Chamber of Architects and Town Planners of Hesse have also been published. They provide insights into possible approaches to sustainable planning and building that contribute to the definition of sustainability criteria. Using various project examples, including the buildings that have received awards in 2020, they show how planners can work together with clients, the skilled trades and the construction industry to provide new impetus for environmentally compatible architecture.