Construction Awards: GAGA 2020

The 26th anniversary of the Galvanizers Association Galvanizing Awards  (GAGA) celebrated conservation, innovation and sustainability when it was held online on Tuesday the 17th November. Projects that prioritised radical conservation, portable architecture for sites at risk, and a new vision for the first sake production on UK soil, just some of the winners at this year’s GAGAs.

2020 GAGA Winners

Architecture Award Winners

The Architecture Award went to joint winners, both radical solutions at heritage sites. Fordham Abbey Dojima Sake Brewery, near Ely in Cambridgeshire, has established a new standard in rural production and is the first traditional sake brewery in the UK. Studio Cullinan and Buck Architects Ltd (SCABAL) with Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects (KPTA) used galvanized steel to create a structure that not only meets the specific climatic conditions required for the traditional brewing process, but also provides an open visitor space for viewing, educating and cross – cultural exchange.

dojima sake brewery scabal


Click to read more about Fordham Abbey Dojima Sake Brewery

The Hill House Box in Helensburgh by Carmody Groarke presents a radical departure in conservation. Erected as a vast temporary museum to shelter The Hill House, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s residential masterpiece which is undergoing restoration, it consists of a giant galvanized box with walls covered entirely in a steel chainmail mesh.

It acts as a monumental drying-room, protecting the historic building and gardens from the elements. Internally, an elevated walkway loops around and over the Grade A listed building at high level, providing a remarkable public visitor experience of conservation in progress.

hill house box carmody groarke

© Johan Dehlin

Click to read more about The Hill House Box 

Engineering Award Winner

The Engineering Award went to Haston Reynolds for Centre for Dairy Science Innovation. A brand new re-imagining of dairy facilities at Nottingham University, which allows for increased herd size and greater productivity, whilst providing a flexible platform for research.

centre for dairy science innovation nottingham haston reynolds

© Haston Reynolds Ltd / University of Nottingham

Click to read more about Centre for Dairy Science Innovation at University of Nottingham University.

Sustainable Award Winner

With environmental efficiency an ever-pressing concern, Galvanizers Association was pleased to award the Sustainability Award to a special project focused on the sensitive use of sites in danger of coastal erosion.

The Listening Station by Beech Architects replaces a former Royal Navy structure with two new, portable, low-energy holiday homes. Built with galvanized steel frames, not only can they be moved to various locations, they are also designed to be ‘infinitely recyclable’.

The Listening Station Beech Architects

© Suffolk Hideaways

Click to read more about The Listening Station

Duplex Award Winner

This year’s Duplex Award went to Ditton Hill House in Surbiton by Surman Weston for an industrial take on mock Tudor architecture. It uses an exposed exoskeletal steel frame to create a modern, residential dwelling that perfectly contextualises its suburban setting. The steel framework of the building was hot dip galvanized and then painted on site, whilst galvanized steel fittings complement the exposed blockwork walls and roughly-screeded concrete floors.

surman weston ditton hill house

© Johan Dehlin

Click to read more about Ditton Hill House

Detail Award Winner

In the Detail Award category, judges singled out winner MELOY Architects, for Hill House Passivhaus. Conceived as a 21st century memory of two delipidated sheds that once occupied a South Downs site, the project has features designed to reference modern agricultural structures, including a galvanized ramp leading to the front entrance and hot dip galvanized window trims, which frame the full-height, sliding glazing.

hill house passivhous meloy architects

© Charles Meloy

Click to read more about Hill House Passivhaus

Art Award Winner

The new Art Award was won by Arup, in collaboration with British designer Paul Cocksedge. Their large scale installation in Finsbury Avenue Square Please Be Seated uses timber sourced from reclaimed scaffolding planks and galvanized steel scaffolding poles. It brings focus to the reuse and repurpose of construction waste and was exhibited as part of the London Design Festival in 2019.

arup please be seated

Click to read more about Please Be Seated

Special Mention

Judges also awarded a special mention to metal sculptors Bill and Peach Shaw, for their work Peacock. The piece was constructed from mild steel and shaped using traditional hammer forming techniques. Once the structure was hot dip galvanized, the galvanized surface was patinated, and the copper and brass fittings added at their Northam studio, Devon.

poeacock bill and peach shaw

© Bill and Peach Shaw

Click to read more about Peacock

GAGA Judges

Thank you to all our entrants to this year’s Galvanizing Awards. The judging panel consisted of Matthew Wells (Techniker), Isabelle Priest (RIBA Journal), Robin Dryer (chadwick dryer clarke studio) and Iqbal Johal (Galvanizers Association).

Construction Industry Award

Separate to our judged categories, we held a Construction Industry -voted for- award. We invited construction industry professionals to vote for their favourite project amongst our 2020 shortlisted entries. The project that received the most votes was Friarton Fish by Sarah-Louise Wilson. Click here to read about Friarton Fish.

GAGA Shortlisted Entries

Our 2020 GAGA shortlist included a wide variety of projects ranging from intricate sculptures to major infrastructure projects. Click here to view all GAGA 2020 shortlisted entries or read more about the construction awards.