Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre Nominated for Brick Award
small, Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre Nominated for Brick Award, Skyline of Gdańsk, pictured: sunroof of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, photo: Dominik Sadowski, gdanski_teatr_szekspirowski_2_fot_dominik_sadowski.jpg
The Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre is among 50 sites from around the world nominated for the Brick Award, a prestigious biannual prize awarded to excellent brick architecture.
The Brick Award is a biennial competition which selects the best, the most interesting and the most original brick buildings. The history of the competition shows that this ancient material can be still used creatively in the 21st century to create buildings of diverse character, from minimalist cubes to expressively sculptured edifices, from cosy detached houses to huge public buildings.
Wang Shu, Pritzker Prize winner 2012 and jury member of the 2014 Wienerberger Brick Award, stated:
When we talk about brick, people think that we talk about tradition. But in this competition, you can find many projects with an innovative approach, giving brick a new meaning and a new appearance. I think this is very important.
The Brick Award was started in 2004 by the Wienerberger company, an Austrian producer of building materials, one of the biggest and most famous worldwide. The winners of the seventh edition of the Brick Award will be announced on 19th May 2016. They will be selected out of over 600 projects submitted from 55 countries.
The winners are selected by a four-member jury which changes every competition (the 2016 jury includes architects from Belgium, Slovenia, the UK, and Italy). This year, the jury has already shortlisted 50 projects, which can be awarded in the competition's five categories: Residential Use, Public Use, Re-Use, Urban Infill, and Special Solution.
Among the 50 nominated projects is one building from Poland: the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, designed by Italian architect Renato Rizzi. The building is competing in the Public Use category. In the rationale for the decision, the jury argued that thanks to the use of anthracite brick on the façades the building creates a spectacular theatrical space in both its interior and exterior.
Its simple yet monumental silhouette was appreciated by the jury, as well as the use of brick which links it to its historical surroundings. The jurors commented on the relationship between the theatre and the neighbouring Church of St. Mary's, a massive Gothic basilica:
One of the reasons for using the dark brown brick was that this is the colour of the shadow of the cathedral close by, as if the theatre is the mere shadow of the cathedral.
Besides the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, the Brick Award shortlist includes Frank Gehry's university building in Sydney, and the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre in London by O'Donnell and Tuomey. The nominated buildings come from all over the world: for example, Austria, Switzerland, and Australia as well as Iran, Rwanda and Vietnam.
The competition's website: clay-wienerberger.com/brick-award
Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre
Written by Anna Cymer, translated by Olga Korytowska, 26 Feb 2016