Here’s an example of a government interior that matches function with (innovative) form

To give our audience eyes and ears into the live judging sessions that took place at Frame Awards 2020, we're sharing coverage of the insightful jury conversations that decided the winning projects. Below, we celebrate the recipient of the Governmental Interior of the Year award: Kunshan Government Public Affairs Service Centre by Shanghai SiYu Interior Design. Find the full collection of reports in our upcoming May/June 2020 issue, Frame 134.

Kunshan, China – Thanks to their personal experiences with designing institutional buildings, the jury members were aware that the nominated projects and their respective architects in the Governmental Interior of the Year category had to deal with complex programmes and strict specifications, leaving little room to experiment. Shanghai SiYu Interior Design managed to convince them with a project that succeeded despite the limitations its public function might have brought with it.

The Public Affairs Service Centre of the government of Kunshan, a county-level city not far from Shanghai, is designed with the visitor in mind. Michelle Nicholls of Jump Studios appreciated that the architects ‘considered the feelings of the people in the space’. As showcased in the presentation, most municipality service centres in China look uninviting, chaotic and daunting.

Kunshan Government Public Affairs Service Centre was commended for creating a surprisingly welcoming space.

The Kunshan centre, in contrast, feels welcoming. ‘I think that within its geographical context, this project is really revolutionary,’ said Kees Kaan of Kaan Architecten. ‘These types of buildings are usually quite military, characterized by the use of cold granite, stainless steel and rows of anonymous counters. Shanghai SiYu Interior Design managed to create a nice, diverse, airy and truly public interior, on all levels.’

The People’s Choice award went to State Office De Knoop by Fokkema & Partners Architecten.

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