AW2 has won the 2011 Green Good Design award from the European centre for architecture art design and urban studies and the Chicago Athenaeum museum of architecture and design, for its project, Six Senses Con Dao, in Vietnam.
This annual programme is the largest and oldest award for contemporary design in the world. It was founded in 1950 by Eero Saarinen and Charles and Ray Eames, and honours the sustainable innovation product designs, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning.
The Six Senses Con Dao, located on Con Dao island, in the south of Vietnam, is a 35 suites and 14 villas resort. The project appeared as a case study in CID’s June 2011 edition praising designer, Reda Amalou’s eco-design.
Based in Paris, AW2 is a firm of architecture, masterplanning and interiors established since 1997. Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux are the managing partners.
“We, at AW2, are thrilled at this award. It is important our work is recognised internationally for both architectural quality and sustainability. We feel strongly about this, and when designing hotels, especially in the high end sector, we have to lead the way,” said Amalou.
“Working on the project was a tremendous experience. The location is remote and difficult to access. This has had a major impact on the design strategy, leading to the choice of prefab timber frame structures.
“However, we were intent on creating something more than just another prefab so we had to bring in other ideas such as the old doors recycling element. This was a statement in itself, not only a strong visual element for the project, but also a link to the history of the country and its craftsmanship and a way to show that recycling or re-use can be a creative attitude.”
The client, Indochina Land, and the operator, Six Senses, gave the team a lot of freedom in the design and it was able to explore resort architecture on a remote island and stay away from the usual ‘shack on the beach’ idea.
The 20-strong office has a portfolio covering hotels, housing, public buildings and masterplanning. Projects include the French School of Amman, Jordan and The Chedi Tamouda Bay, Morocco.
“Our current hotel projects, in Asia and North Africa, are all different as we tend to take a ‘local’ approach. We believe it is important to anchor our designs into the culture of the place, while retaining a contemporary philosophy,” added Amalou.
“We do not try and copy the local, but rather we try and understand its essence, and then reinterpret it in a new way. The fact that we have worked in over 25 different countries certainly gives us an edge in doing so.”