Unbelievable! We received 243 proposals from 59 countries. I am particularly happy about the fascinating variety of ideas. I want all of you to congratulate yourselves – you made my wishes come true. We all know that the challenge was tough but you made it. This can only prove that when you believe in yourself, nothing is impossible.

The first prize of The Unbelievable Challenge

Nothing is impossible

by Alexandru Oprita & Laurentiu Constantin, Romania

10-week internship at SnØhetta and a €1000 cash prize.

The strongest element in the design is responding to the challenge of ideas. The idea can be used in various situations. The strength of this proposal is being able to exhibit an idea of surprise and magical character within the building itself. The magic happens at night-time on the building’s façade and there’s a link to the investor – Mr Santa Claus. It could both integrate the building into its surroundings and highlight whatever aspects of the building or its functions are desired. It is feasible and innovative but not futuristic. It is also well thought-through, from land use all the way to detailing.

The design provides understandable solutions for energy efficiency and attempts to introduce a lot of good thinking on how to utilise this within the building. It also demonstrates a good understanding of the local situation. The proposal tries to embrace and enhance the function of the building as a hub for new technology in addition to the logistics centre – it connects well with Oulu as a city.

View concept boards and full description (PDF, 5.6 MB)

Other winners

At the Speed of Dreams

by Giorgia Musacchio, Italy

€1000 cash prize

The proposal is highly feasible. It is simple and elegant but still emphasises the idea. It communicates the function of logistics and embraces movement and speed in a very simple but elegant way. The plan has a simple layout with a strong direction, emphasising the idea of movement and Santa’s trail in the sky. It also has a nice exposure towards the highway and the city of Oulu, functioning as a landmark. The building would look good in its location both day and night. It is a good example of showing that one can do a lot with the everyday architectural materials and solutions commonly used in logistics centres. It is also well worked out as a whole.

View concept boards and full description (PDF, 12.1 MB)

(Ice)Climbing

by Urszula Chomiak & Pawel Potemkowski, Poland

€1000 cash prize

This design is an almost realistic way of revitalising the area by adding a fun function connected to it. In this proposal, the added recreational function is realised with very little effort but still offers a fully functional year-round climbing training facility. In addition, the proposal as a whole is consistent, has a clear concept and is technically feasible. Energy efficiency is taken into account with a minimal amount of exterior facades and solar panels on the roof. The idea presents a unique solution for logistics centres.

View concept boards and full description (PDF, 4.4 MB)

SantaPole

by Evelina Vasiliauskaite, Lithuania

€1000 cash prize

The strength of this design is its clear architectural concept and the purity of its overall design. The whole experience is nicely built from the visitors’ point of view from the very beginning. It minimises space allocated to parking and loading services and maximises the area for other purposes. The idea is artistic, magical and mysterious, yet poetic. It is usable and problems are well thought-through rather than being avoided. The small archetype building is a focal point within the empty surroundings – and another world opens below. Even energy efficiency has become a part of the skilful usage of materials: solar panels are used to create a contrast between the structure of natural materials, wood and stone.

View concept boards and full description (PDF, 4.6 MB)

S.M.L.XL Logistic

by Nuttapol Techopitch & Satavee Kijsanayotin, Thailand

€1000 cash prize

This idea seeks to solve different scales of logistics operations. It is very well thought-through and presents a clear and thorough explanation of the concept. It exhibits a good site plan with varying spaces, resulting in a positive public experience. The building can be entered from all directions and it is democratic towards its surroundings. It offers a solution to stacking volumes and contains a unique character with an artistic approach.

View concept boards and full description (PDF, 4.1 MB)

Santa Claus’ Planetary Garden

by El Hadi Jazairy & Chen Lu & Kelly Koh

Honorary mention

This idea had the strongest message of all the projects and it featured a very beautiful presentation. In it, the logistics centre is turned into a garden where you collect seeds and plants from all over the world. Once a year, Santa will travel the world and offer plants to children in the hope of creating awareness about the threat of human development to our ecosystems. This proposal clearly responds to a need beyond the requirements of a building. It raises the big question of whether the distribution of goods should be at the centre of Christmas and it encourages us to think about the “material orientation” of our everyday lives and reminds us what Christmas is actually all about. This could be an opportunity to look into the future and consider how we see consumption and face our environmental and ecological problems.

The jury thought that the text and its message was so strong that it deserved to be honoured in this context. The concept is original and beautiful.

View concept boards and full description (PDF, 3.1 MB)

Words from the jury

The jury was genuinely surprised at both the sheer number of proposals and the amount and quality of thinking that had been invested in the competition by the entrants. The competition as a whole made it clearly apparent that the building type in question can be improved drastically in terms of efficiency, architectural quality and sustainability.

Almost all proposals presented an idea that would have been feasible under some circumstances. The best ones were thought through on all levels, starting from sustainable land use to detailed technical solutions.

The true value of the competition results lies in the variety of ideas. By combining these ideas in real-life projects, it would be possible to take a big leap forward in the way large ware-house-like buildings contribute to society and deliver value to their owners.

View the full evaluation (pdf, 12.6 MB)

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