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Announcing the TECU® Architecture Award 2022

Copper is a very versatile material. This fact is highlighted by KME’s TECU® Architecture Award, a competition for architectural practices and students that has just been launched for the sixth time.

Since time immemorial, copper has been lending character to architecture. It is one of those materials that highlight the entire spectrum of different approaches to architecture – from traditional building concepts all the way to avant-garde formal experiments. For instance, today it is not unusual to see copper being used, among other things, as façade cladding, so as to lend buildings an expressive quality, their own material and stylistic character. In this context, the "TECU®" brand by KME, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of products made of copper and copper alloys, enjoys a great reputation globally.

With "TECU®" products, architects have at their fingertips modern design medium with which to mastermind highly expressive buildings. Indeed, the material not only boasts great potential in terms of creativity, it is also particularly sustainable, as the copper in question has been obtained exclusively from recycled materials. In order to highlight the material’s versatility, this year, KME is once again, for the sixth time now, calling for entrants to the TECU® Architecture Award competition. The aim of the initiative is to highlight developments in built culture that use copper. The honors in the competition go not only to outstanding construction projects that have used "TECU®" products, but also to designs by students that include copper.

In past years, the prizewinning buildings at the TECU® Award had evidenced all kinds of different uses, demonstrating in exemplary fashion how the use of copper can be instrumental in fostering great diversity in architecture. To date, recipients of the first prize have included Portuguese architect Gonçalo Sousa Byrne, who won the award in 2002 for his harbor control tower in Lisbon. For this 38-meter landmark that leans out toward the sea, the choice was sheets of "TECU® Classic". Their exposed setting meant that their color soon became a lively dark brown hue, which later took on typical coppery nuances. Another example is the service center on Munich’s Theresienwiese by Volker Staab Architekten, also clad with "TECU® Classic" which garnered first prize in 2005. Just how manifold the uses of copper can be is demonstrated particularly well by another of the three recipients of the top accolade in 2005. Architectural practice modulorbeat covered its temporary information pavilion Switch+ in Münster with "TECU® Gold_punch", taking advantage of the material’s perforations, which allowed people to look both into and right through this temporary structure.

The TECU® Architecture Award is made up of the categories "Realized Projects" and "Student Project Prize ". The projects and items of work submitted must have been realized between 2016 and 2021 using TECU® products or have been designed as a student research project associated with the material that is copper. Both exemplary uses of the product and the overall architectural concept are of prime importance in this respect. An international jury will be judging the entries:

Diane Heirend, Diane Heirand Architecture & Urbanisme (Luxemburg)

Jette Cathrin Hopp, Snøhetta (Oslo)

Jan Kampshoff, modulorbeat (Münster)

Bernd Köhler, Senior Architect @ Werner Sobek Design (Stuttgart)

Charlie Sutherland, Sutherland Hussey Harris (Edinburgh)

The competition is open with immediate effect. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2022. Entry forms can be downloaded from the Award-Website.