Since 1994 entrants have consistently shown how construction sectors across the UK and Ireland test the technical limits and creative potential of a technology, which whilst having a three hundred year old history, remains at the forefront of 21st century construction and design.
As entries arrive for the GAGAs 2019, the awards themselves reach a milestone – it being twenty-five years since first launch. Conceived initially as a means of forging greater connections between the galvanizing industry and designers, architects, artists and engineers, the event has grown to represent much more over the last quarter of a century.
Today, not only do the GAGAs widen the conversation around successes within the galvanizing industry, they have also become a document of changing practices and philosophies within construction itself.
Eclectic mix of winners
Back in 1994 the judging panel included architect Julia Barfield, one of the leading visionaries on such iconic projects as the London Eye and the i360 Tower. To this day, the panel continues to attract influential names in architecture and construction.
Galvanizers Association has learned much from leading practitioners such as Ian Ritchie of Ian Ritchie Architects, recent winner of a RIBA Award for the ‘Sainsbury Wellcome Centre’ and have been fortunate to be able to call upon studios such as Sutherland Hussey Harris and be promoted by industry voices such as Matthew Wells of Techniker.
Winners come from across the UK and Ireland and a rich variety of sectors are represented, from site-specific artwork to landmark public buildings such as ‘The Glucksman Gallery’ in Cork, by O’Donnell + Tuomey architects. The project went on to win a RIBA award, as well as inclusion on the final shortlist for the 2005 Stirling Prize.
The awards have recognized outstanding engineered projects like ‘Peacehaven’, the wastewater treatment plant in Sussex by Bourne Construction Engineering, which has the largest green roof in the UK, and ‘Greenwich Low Carbon Energy Centre’ by CF Moller, a landmark project at the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula re-development scheme.
Progress in agricultural architecture has been rewarded too in projects like ‘Shatwell Farm’. Winners in the Sustainability category such as ‘Hengrove Leisure Complex’, ‘Hastings Pier Renovation’ and Global Rail Construction’s ‘Crossrail West Gantries’ all demonstrate how remove, reuse and recycle strategies are beginning to cut across all areas of construction.
Construction Industry vote
Because the awards are open to firms, projects or studios regardless of size, the GAGAs have gained a reputation for accessibility as well as prestige. As part of the twenty-five year celebrations, Galvanizers Association will be launching a series of activities to celebrate the anniversary, which will be announced closer to the event.
Galvanizers Association plans to open a celebratory people’s vote, where audiences will have the opportunity to review and remember projects from past decades and select their favourite winner of all time.