Frank la Riviere Architects Portfolio Blog

WAN Civic Buildings Award 2011 for Nebuta-no-ie Warasse (Nebuta House)

Winner of the WAN Civic Buildings Award, completed category: Nebuta House (Nebuta-no-ie Warasse), Aomori City, Japan

Nebuta House (Nebuta-no-ie Warasse), a museum and centre for creative culture in Japan wins the completed category of this year’s WAN Civic Buildings Award.

The WAN Civic Buildings Award, completed category has this year been awarded to molo, d&dt Arch and Frank la Rivière Architects Inc. for Nebuta House (Nebuta-no-ie Warasse). Nebuta House is a museum and centre for creative culture in the Northern Japanese city of Aomori and is inspired by the craftsmanship and spirit of the Nebuta Festival.

The Civic Buildings Award celebrates and promotes the best in international architecture for public use, attracting entries from all over the world. Fittingly the panel of judges was a highly experienced group who understand the complexities and opportunities in this sector. The jury included Lady Patricia Ann Hopkins – Co Founder of Hopkins Architects, Miles Delap – Partner at Gardiner & Theobald, Keith Williams – Founder of Keith Williams Architects, Morten Schmidt – Co-Founder of schmidt hammer lassen and Ralph Johnson – Design Principal at Perkins & Will.

An exciting shortlist included Sunset Chapel in Acapulco, Mexico. This chapel is the first religious commission for Bunker Arquitectura and is a chapel which appears as a magnificent rock that blends with its surrounding nature. Sunset Chapel was considered such a strong entry that it was awarded ‘Highly Commended’. Another very strong contender was Norihiko Dan
and Associates for their impressive tourism bureau on Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County, Taiwan. It was from this exceptional shortlist Nebuta House (Nebuta-no-ie Warasse) in Northern Japan was crowned the deserved winner.

Judges’ comments

A number of incredibly strong entries had the judges struggling to come to a shortlist. On reaching this shortlist they agreed that the civic submissions on the final list all offer hope and spirited design that encapsulate the very meaning of the term ‘public space’.

This notion of civic function was intrinsic to the jury’s decision process, with the majority of projects catching the eye of our jurors for their balance of strong architectural design and commitment to civic function. Keith Williams, Founding Partner of Keith Williams Architects was particularly taken with Larraz Arquitectos’ Shelter Home for the Homeless in Pamplona, which easily made the shortlist, commenting: “Many homeless people are untied over a social embarrassment about where they are, so a place like this where you are not under display would be quite a good thing.”
A number of schemes were praised for their easy integration into the surrounding landscape; JDS’s Holmenkollen Ski Jump was singled out for this purpose, alongside Bunker Arquitectura’s Sunset Chapel, both prominent figures in their communities yet sympathetic to the surrounding flora and fauna.

Selecting the winner in the completed category was harder still, but Nebuta House (Nebuta-no-ie Warasse), Aomori City, Japan was the most highly admired amongst the judges. Miles Delap, Partner at Gardiner & Theobald was particularly taken with the building: “It has the complexity that’s important in a civic building. It blends very nicely the community uses, the community art form which is obviously really interesting. The community art form is visually exciting and the building doesn’t compete with that but it has a really beautiful and lovely façade and depth to it that you don’t often see.”

Morten Schmidt, Co-Founder, schmidt hammer lassen, added that it was “a very modern building and very poetic”. He continued that “the project brings social energy and art and blends them together. A historical and traditional art form brought into a modern frame but done in a very elegant way”

Ralph Johnson, Principal and Design Director at Perkins+Will, Chicago also commented that Nebuta was “an interstitial space that transforms a black box function to create connections back to the city, with a façade of undulating individual shaped steel ribbons symbolizing the myth and tradition of this local festival.” Ending with saying that Nebuta is a “strong form which reinforces a specific regional-cultural tradition and becomes a year round civic amenity”

WAN website:

WAF Shortlist announced Nebuta-no-ie Warasse (previously Nebuta House)

Shortlist 2011
Completed Buildings » Culture
Guangzhou Opera House Zaha Hadid Architects
Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment Architectural Designing Institute China

HARPA Reykjavik Concert and Congress Centre Henning Larsen Architects
Batteriid Architects Iceland

Hoki Museum Nikken Sekkei Ltd. Japan

Holburne Museum of Art Eric Parry Architects United Kingdom

MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome Odile Decq Benoît Cornette Architects and Urban Planners Italy

Musashino Art University Museum & Library Sou Fujimoto Architects Japan

Museum of Liverpool 3XN United Kingdom

Museum of Memory and Tolerance Arditti+RDT/arquitectos Mexico

Nebuta House molo d&dt Arch Frank la Rivière Architects Inc Japan

NO99 Straw Theatre Salto AB OÜ Estonia

OMS Stage 5468796 Architecture Inc. Canada

Raif Dinckok Yalova Cultural Center EAA-Emre Arolat Architects Turkey


Soumaya Museum FREE / Fernando Romero Mexico

Sperone Westwater Foster + Partners United States of America

Windmill Hill Stephen Marshall Architects LLP United Kingdom
Shortlist 2011
Completed Buildings » Display
Gippsland Water Factory Vortex Centre DesignInc Australia

Naturum Vattenriket White arkitekter AB Sweden

Nebuta House molo d&dt Arch Frank la Rivière Architects Inc Japan

Norwegian Wild Reindeer Center Pavilion Snøhetta Norway

Pavilion, Lille Museum of Modern Art 2hD Architects/ Nottingham Trent University France

Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion Marlon Blackwell Architect United States of America

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre Architecture Workshop New Zealand

Windmill Hill Stephen Marshall Architects LLP United Kingdom


Nebuta-no-ie Warasse awarded THE INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AWARDS 2011The World’s Most Prestigious Global Awards for New
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interiors, and Urban Planning
The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design
The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies
AND Metropolitan Arts Press, Ltd.

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, Ltd. have organized The International Architecture Awards as away in which to honor the best, new significant buildings and landscape and planning projects designed and/or built around the world by the most important architects, landscape architects and urban planners practicing nationally and internationally.

The International Architecture Awards give an important global overview of the current aesthetic direction of today’s commercial, corporate, institutional, and residential work to the real estate, banking, business, and corporate community, as well as to the press and general public worldwide.

The program is one of the Museum’s most important public education outreach initiatives produced throughout the year—to the Museum’s international audience.

The International Architecture Awards are dedicated to the recognition of excellence in architecture and urbanism from a global point-of-view.

The program pays tribute to new developments in design and underscores the directions and understanding of current cutting-edge processes consistent with today’s design thinking.

This year’s program honors new (2009-2012) corporate, institutional, commercial, residential architecture, interiors, and urban planning, designed for both built and unbuilt projects alike.

This years Jury:
Warsaw, Poland
May 2011

Jerzy Grochulski
President, SARP

Andrzej Bulanda
Bulanda Mucha Architekci Sp. z.o.o.

Grzegorz Stiansny
Grzegorz Stiansny Architeki

Jacek Syropolski
Kurylowicz & Associates

MIPIM AR Future Projects Award 2010 for Nebuta-no-ie Warasse

Retail & Leisure Category Winner – Nebuta-no-ie Warasse, Aomori City, Japan, designed by molo Japan kk & d/dt Arch Inc and Frank la Rivière Architects Inc for City of Aomori. The Nebuta House is designed to exhibit Nebuta art (huge paper creatures, warriors and demons) during the annual August festival. A screen of twelve meter tall steel ribbons encloses an outdoor walkway, intended as a threshold between the mythical world inside and the contemporary city outside. The judges felt that Nebuta House was a joyful and elegant response to the whole idea of display, with the restraint of the frozen wrap of the architecture a perfect foil to the exuberance of the Nebuta figures inside.
The Awards will be presented during a special celebratory dinner held in Cannes on 17 March 2010 during the MIPIM market, an event that has become one of the hot ticket evenings of the MIPIM week. There will also be a permanent exhibition of all entrants on display on the London Stand, and all winning and commended schemes will be published in the official catalogue which is distributed to all registered MIPIM delegates.

Paul Finch, Editor emeritus, The Architectural Review; Chair-designate,
Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
Roger Zogolovitch, Managing director, Solid Space; architect and developer
Peter Stewart, PSPCA, Architecture and planning consultant
Dr Sutherland Lyall, Architectural historian and former Buildings editor, The
Architects’ Journal

Received Interior Planning Award 2006 for Y-House

On September 20th 2006 Frank la Riviere received the Interior Planning Award for [Y-House].
Frank la Riviere, Architect / 山代悟+ビルディングランドスケープ(設計協力) 設計、監理を行った集合住宅[Y-House]がインテリアプランニング賞2006優秀賞を受賞いたしました。