A biennial competition, The Great Indoors Award celebrates the best interiors from around the world. Last Friday 15 November, the winners of the 2013 edition were announced in four categories; each received a portion of the €20,000 prize pool. The jury selected 20 nominees, five in each category: Show & Sell, Relax & Consume, Concentrate & Collaborate, and Serve & Facilitate.

The following winners were selected from 271 entries from 39 countries:

Show & Sell

Relojeria Alemana Boutique designed by OHLab (ES)

Five ‘precious boxes’, housing various functions, are the real gems in OHLab’s Mallorcan jewellery store. These stainless steel-clad volumes with golden mirror finishes add a sense of tangible luxury to the space, which the jury cites as a ‘very daring and well-proportioned project’ while complimenting the designers for ‘convincing the client that the architecture of a shop is at least as important as the merchandise’.

Relax and Consume

Pakta Restaurant designed by El Equipo Creativo (ES)

Traditional Peruvian weaving looms create the tactile, colourful walls of a Barcelona eatery. On the looms are intersecting rows of cord, which give the place its name: in Quechua, pakta means ‘union’, a term that also reflects a blend of cultures. Faced with the ‘impossibly high standards of a three-star chef’, the architects impressed the jury with a solution based on ‘a few strong gestures’.

Concentrate & Collaborate

Social Workplace designed by i29 (NL)

A whimsical setting of colour-coded islands enlivens the ordinary interior of an office for the unemployed in Den Hoorn. Spaces separated by colour, instead of by walls, enforce the humane design concept that people should not be placed in boxes. Swaying the jury was i29’s use of ‘banal elements in an interesting way to create complexity’ in a design that ‘challenges people to move through the space to discover it’.

Serve & Facilitate

Cineteca Matadero designed by Churtichaga+Quadra-Salcedo Arquitectos (ES)

Ignoring the cinematic potential offered by converting a slaughterhouse into a movie theatre, CH+QS came up with an interior that is more fantasy than horror. Steel frames, interwoven with irrigation hoses and tube lighting, conjure an experience that seduces the senses. According to the jury, Cineteca Matadero is ‘a commendable technical insertion in an old building, showing the architects’ genuine understanding of what it means to go to the movies’.

The Award Ceremony is part of a larger event that includes an extensive education programme, lecture series and a Design Route. The Great Indoors is an initiative of FRAME magazine, Bureau Europa/platform for architecture, and Marres, House for Contemporary Culture. The Great Indoors is generously supported by the City of Maastricht, the Province of Limburg, the Creative Industries Fund NL, and Mosa.

The international jury consisted of: Edouard François (FR), Director Maison Edouard François, Paris; Beatrice Galilee (UK), Chief curator of 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, London; Fabrizio Gallanti (IT), Associate Director Programs at Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Christien Meindertsma (NL), Designer, Rotterdam; Lyndon Neri (CN), Founding Partner of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, Shanghai and Design Republic, Shanghai.

A full overview of The Great Indoors winners and nominees will feature in Frame 96, January/February 2014 Issue.