Cutting Edge yet Casual, the GAGAs reward Excellence

Hailed as relaxed, accessible awards that truly reconnect architecture with the construction industry, the annual Galvanizing Construction awards, aka the GAGAs, were held at the Royal Aeronautical Society in Hyde Park on Thursday the 29th of June.

One hundred industry professionals attended the event from across the UK and Ireland.

Once again entrants proved that a simple and robust technique, which is over two hundred years old, could still be harnessed to produce visionary architecture and engineering that integrates innovative design with the benefits of sustainability.

Stand out projects included the Greenwich Low Carbon Energy Centre by CF Moller Architects, the largest new build residential heat network in Europe. As winner of the Galvanizing in Architecture Award, the energy centre forms part of a major urban development initiative on the Greenwich Peninsula and will save over 20,000 tonnes of carbon every year. This cutting edge build added exceptional cultural value to the accompanying visitor centre, by re-imagining a standard flue stack as a galvanized work of art.

At Hastings Pier, judges were impressed by a £14.2m rebuild that has seen the replacement of 90% of the historic structure. After decades of neglect and having been all but permanently destroyed by fire in 2010, the Pier won the Galvanizing in Engineering Award for an ambitious reconstruction which used galvanized trusses, cross beams and ties. An extensive use of galvanizing in the marine environment has secured the pier against future degradation, creating a lasting legacy central to the local seaside economy.

Another coastal win went to Snug Architects who took home the Galvanizing in Detail award with their design for the Milford-on-Sea beach huts, whilst the best use of a Duplex coating went to Ian Ritchie Architects for the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre London, where galvanizing and painting were used to provide visual consistency and a durable and robust fire protective system. The duplex solution answered the need for a no maintenance 60-year lifespan.

Notably Galvanizers Association did award a Sustainability Award this year. Recognition went to Global Rail Construction for exceptional developments in steel signal structures. Not only does their design demonstrate significant cost efficiencies it also promises new strategies for reuse and recycling of galvanized steel structures.

Speaking of the winning projects, Iqbal Johal, Marketing Manager of Galvanizers Association, said, “Judging was exceptionally difficult this year due to the calibre of entrants and it is unfortunate that some excellent projects did not cross the winning line. Our winners reinforce the fact that galvanizing is all around us and plays an important role within our built environment.”

For more information please contact Iqbal Johal at: i.johal@hdg.org.uk