Build, Young Architects, Build

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Architectural Review has announced four principal winners for its annual design prize and, boy, they do not disappoint. Expanding the reach of a typical architecture honorarium, one of the winners is not even a building but a single entry into an edifice, aka a door. Brilliant! Now let’s see the goods.

The Emerging Architecture Awards, sponsored by design consultants Ramboll and Austin-Smith:Lord, “celebrate the best pieces of design by young architects from across the world.” Besides The Door (see below), one of our favorites is an inventive plan for a friary in County Kilkenny, Ireland. Designed by ODOS Architects, the refurb unites friary and church with a new residential cloister. Those are some seriously lucky monks, and not just because they get to live in a place called Knocktopher.

Now this is where we freak out over the precious, elusive fulcrum where form balances function. Matharoo Associates designed some showboat mansion for a design merchant in India and came up with this ingenious rendition of a front door.

Courtesy of our pals at Fast Company, we know that:

The door is a whopping 17 feet high and five-and-a-half feet wide, and comprises 40 sections of Burmese teak, each of them nearly a foot thick. Each section revolves around some pretty complex machinery: The door’s single pivot hides a counterweight, 80 ball bearings, and 160 pulleys which all work together invisibly. Push on any one plank, and all 40 sections reconfigure themselves into a sinusoidal curve, revealing an opening into the house.

Other nominees include a sports research center in Spain whose “eerily perfect geometry suggests something not of this world,” and creek-spanning school building in a remote region of China.

Sports Research Centre in Guijo de Granadilla, Caceres, Spain, by Jose Maria Sanchez Garcia.

School in Xiashi, Fujian Province, China, by Li Xiaodong Atelier.

Check out the awards website for a list of past winners and much, much more architecture eye candy.