Excellent façade design requires imagination, technical expertise, skilful delivery and, above all, close collaboration. The latter is particularly important as, without the input of an inventive and rigorous architect, a responsive and forward thinking manufacturer, and a flexible yet pragmatic specialist contractor, façade designs will rarely if ever reach their full potential. Alongside these attributes, the Awards also highlighted the importance of good environmental design, including daylighting, solar control, ventilation, and energy performance; fundamental issues given our Climate Emergency. Chaired by Architecture Today editor Isabel Allen, the 2023 jury comprised architects Ingrid Petit (Feilden Fowles), Carol Patterson (OMA), Holly Galbraith (Níall McLaughlin Architects), and Barbara Weiss (Barbara Weiss Architects) – all previous Schüco Award winners – as well as façade specialist Steve Mudie (Alinea Consulting), façade engineer Anna Wendt (Buro Happold), and environmental designer Innes Johnston (Max Fordham). Stuart Hosier, National Specification Manager at Schüco, provided additional technical insight on the entries. In their assessment of the projects, the judges focused on four key qualities:
Does the project demonstrate design quality, whether on a macro and/or micro scale?
Is there evidence of significant innovation in terms of design, detail or constructional skills?
Does the project show high levels of technical skill in its detailed design and/or assembly?
Does the project demonstrate a productive and creative collaboration between the designer, specialist contractor and/or manufacturer?