A vertical, labyrinth playground wins the Emerging Architecture Award

Billed as the world's most popular and prestigious prize for up-and-coming architects, this year’s winner designed a concrete playground for kids and adults.

The Architectural Review have selected 10 Cal Tower, a 3 dimensional vertical maze, as the 2015 AR Emerging Architecture Awards winner. The award is credited as the most popular and prestigious in the world and it seeks to recognise emerging contemporary architectural practices and architects “on their trajectory to wider recognition and success”.

Now in its 17th year, the awards celebrate excellence in completed work across a very broad spectrum of project types: buildings, interiors, landscaping, refurbishment, urban projects, temporary installations, furniture and product designs are all eligible.

10 Cal Tower, erected in Thailand, stands at eight and a half meters. The structure derived its name, 10 Cal, from the average number of calories it takes to crisscross through its twisting staircases. Designed by Supermachine Studio, a Bangkok-based architectural firm on the up-and-up, the playground is intended to bring together children and adults.

Supermachine began the design process by considering how people will live in the near future. The practice reinterpreted the role of a playground by defining it as a meeting place among adults and children, families, friends and sweethearts rather than a traditional play space.

The Architectural Review describes Supermachine Studio as “a young, fun and energetic team of architects”. Pitupong Chaowakul heads the firm alongside his multi-talented team, which includes Sujinda Khawkam, Kasidis Peuktes and Mint Mintly.

“What was very clear is that it wasn’t a sculpture – it was actually programmatically aware of using elements of architecture and conceptual and philosophical ideas about architecture,” says David Adjaye.

The AR Emerging Architecture Awards took place on Tuesday 24 November at The Barbican in London. Images courtesy of Wison Tungthunya.