The annual Brick Awards are one of the oldest and most respected design awards in the United Kingdom. In 2012 the Brick Development Association presented the awards for the 35th time.
From more than 300 entries, Vandersanden Group and 5 other candidates were nominated in the “Worldwide Brick Award” category. The prize was awarded to Vandersanden Group for the Raakspoort project in the Netherlands. On January the 8th. 2013 the official hand over of the Award took place in the factory Hedikhuizen (NL). The ceremony took place in the presence of the BDA and the German architects Bolles + Wilson from Münster.
The winning project
At first sight a town hall and a cinema are two types of building that do not seem to go well together. And yet in Haarlem they are both united within one complex, the Raakspoort complex. Architects Bolles+Wilson from Münster (Germany) designed the new building with the clock tower. According to the panel of 9 adjudicators, Raakspoort was chosen because of the way the building blended in with its environment and the wealth of innovation applied to the detailing in the masonry. “The characteristic brick features completely come to their advantage. The detailed exterior walls that face each other and the beautiful incidence of light provide a continuously changing view of the project,” the panel of adjudicators explained.
The Viola handformed facing bricks are the only bricks that have been incorporated into the building. The use of different colours for the pointing and uniform and textured bonds have created several different effects in the overall result.
The project took a long time to plan. It took more than 10 years of well-considered municipal master planning and revisions to arrive at a final overall result. In October 2011 the doors to Raakspoort were opened. Commercial Director of Vandersanden Group, Wilfried Lenaers: “This is a good example of how the right choice of facing bricks combined with creative masonry can result in an astonishingly beautiful architectural design.”