In fact, community is a core theme amongst all of June’s celebrated Frame Awards submissions. The Interior of the Month, a library designed by JKMM Architects in Finland, is a key example for creating strong ‘civic foundations’.

Kirkkonummi Library Fyyri, an institution located in the Helsinki suburb Kirkkonummi, is a new-generation institution. Meaning, more specifically, that the space is built to go beyond books: firm JKMM wanted to show how libraries can serve as ‘vibrant multipurpose buildings without losing any of their core concept as distinct places suited to reading, research and learning for all age groups’ – it functions as a meeting place to share knowledge and experiences via multiple channels. Scoring above 8 in Innovation, Functionality and Creativity, and 7.56 in Sustainability, the cultural space – which finished with a total score of 8.11 – was given high marks by nearly all jury members last month. 

Kirkkonummi's new library comprised an adaptive reuse project – it was built using the existing concrete structure of the original 1980s library. Photos: Pauliina Salonen

Kaan Architecten has reinstated original colours, materials, and routing within the historic halls of the KMSKA Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, and added a new vertical museum hidden in the heart of the structure. Photo: Stijn Bollaert, Sebastian Van Damme, Karin Borghouts

Juror Richard Parr, founder at Richard Parr Associates, calls the building a ‘supremely elegant and worthwhile piece of architecture.’ JKMM reworked the concrete structure of a 1980s library to house the new hub, doubling its volume and introducing a variety of communal spaces. Its relaxing interior draws upon the surrounding coastal landscape and Finnish modernism, with a natural material palette and subdued colour use. ‘It’s a shrine for books,’ says Joanna van der Linden, global retail identity and design manager at Nestlé Nespresso. ‘Beyond the stunning aesthetics, I love the community dimension of this space.’ Bret Recor, founder and creative director of Box Clever, echoes the sentiment: ‘Those are some lucky books!’

Our first runner-up, KMSKA Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, inched in on the win with an 8 overall. Kaan Architecten was briefed to return the Belgian cultural space to its original 19th-century glory, overhauling a 20th-century renovation and implementing a modern intervention. ‘The old building is beautifully renovated, and the new additions show how the old and contemporary have been masterfully blended,’ comments Lucky Fox chief creative officer Jason Traves. Jonathan Tuckey Design’s David Brownlow Theatre, which came in third place at 7.77 (Learning Space), poses yet another instance of innovation in the cultural realm. Situated on the grounds of a school in southeast England, the theatre provides students a place for education on performance, production and design.

A school venue, the David Brownlow Theatre serves as a learning space for young performers. Photo: Jim Stephenson

Het Vakwerkhuis is built within a century-old monument in Delft.

Bangkok's Vikasa Yoga displays a fusion of 3D technologies with traditional Thai craftsmanship. Photo: Edmund Sumner

Het Vakwerkhuis, a co-working office in Delft, the Netherlands, also impressed the jury. Vakwerk Architecten transformed a century-old monument building for the workspace (end-score: 7.71), focusing intently on circular construction. The flexibility of the design allows it to become a venue for debates, parties, courses and music and yoga classes by night. Bangkok health club Vikasa Yoga (7.66) earned our final honourable mention. The Enter Projects Asia-designed space displays a fusion of 3D technologies with traditional Thai craftsmanship, bringing a feeling of nature to the urban context to help users connect spiritually as they practice.