The morning began with an intimate lunch and press conference for the journalists, which allowed them to learn more about the 9th Saint-Gobain Gypsum International Trophy and the projects presented this year. Walls & Ceilings was in attendance for this event held in Berlin June 6-8.

Prior to the evening gala dinner, guests had the opportunity to view the 87 competing projects from 33 countries during a Best of German afternoon of food and refreshments. Here, each contractor received a participation award from Claude Imauven, Senior Vice President Saint-Gobain, in recognition of the high level of craftsmanship needed in order to reach the International level of the competition.

After a warm welcome from the event host, Werner Hansmann, Managing Director of Rigips Germany, Claude-Alain Tardy, President of the Saint-Gobain Gypsum Activity, gave a short welcome speech highlighting the importance of innovation and sustainability in our activity and our focus on fast growing markets. This was a truly global event, with participants from across 34 countries.

Four hundred and forty guests, including contractors, architects, journalists and Saint-Gobain employees enjoyed the short movie skits and a laser show before the awards.

During the course of the ceremony 12 awards from six categories were presented along with a short introduction from the Gypsum Activity International Marketing Director Alastair Bell.

 * Plaster Category

 * Plasterboard Category

 * Commercial Category

 * Innovation & Sustainability Category

 * Residential Category

 * Segment Solutions Category

The award ceremony culminated with the presentation of the Grand Prix and President’s Prize. The Grand Prix, presented by Claude Imauven represents the overall competition winner. The President’s Prize, presented by Claude-Alain Tardy, is a unique discretionary award presented to a contractor whose project reflects the Saint-Gobain Gypsum Activity’s overall strategy. This year the award was given to a contractor from a fast growing market.

The 87 projects, especially the 14 winners, showcase how our high performance plasterboard systems and plasters, combined with skilled workmanship provide solutions for high quality, safe, comfortable, modular and sustainable interiors across a wide variety of applications.


Project: Ghelamco Arena, Gent (Belgium)

Contractor: Genisol

Represented by: François Goubau

KAA Gent’s new football stadium hosts football and corresponding facilities, offices and commercial activities. Polish architect ‘Mac’ Stopa (Massive Design) designed the concept for the 200,000 m² interior with various entrances, a lobby, ticketing areas, bars, restaurants (incl. 1* Michelin) and VIP lounges. The handsome design plays off of the geometric shapes of a football and the club’s blue color. The goal was to create an environment that intensifies the experience of football fans. When you enter through the VIP entrance you are guided past organically shaped Gyproc ceiling islands and reflective GypArt columns. The use of our materials shows that a designer look can go hand in hand with functionality. This ‘soccer temple’ deservedly won the interior prize in Contract Design Magazine’s sport category award in New York.

Judge’s Comment: “An incredible achievement of high workmanship and cooperation brought this project to the premier league of building projects…”


Project: Al Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi 

Contractor: Joint-Venture: Al Massa & International Décor

Represented by: Alaa Assad and Amir Siddiqui

Mafraq Hospital, first established in 1983, has undergone a $870 million major expansion that will see The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) triple the number of treatment rooms to 690 beds - sufficient to cover the city's demand until post-2018. The site now spans an area of 306,803m² with a built up area of 246,118m² across four patient towers of 10-12 stories. The facility will house two Royal suites and 32 VVIP suites. The original hospital, which is among the oldest in Abu Dhabi, will benefit from the new energy-efficient building addition through waste water recycling, fibre-optical interior sun lighting and solar panels—not to mention the regeneration of the site.

Judge’s Comment: “A great example of a project where the contractor and specification team worked closely to achieve an impressive end result.”


Project: Synagogue of Mulhouse (France)

Contractor: Werey Plâtres and Staff

Represented by: Etienne and Christian Werey

The project deals with the restoration of the synagogue of Mulhouse. Built in the middle of the 19th century (1846 to 1849), this historical building is located in the heart of Mulhouse. It is a classified “historical monument.” On the 11th of April 2010, a short-circuit in the electric system of the organ caused a disastrous fire. Major parts of the interior of the synagogue were destroyed, notably the cornices of the ceiling, and the pilasters and coves of the walls. The aim of this project was to identically rebuild the synagogue as it was before the fire.

Judge’s Comment: “Working to a very tight deadline this renovation project involved the complete restoration of intricate plasterwork following a devastating fire.”


Project: Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London (UK)

Contractor: Locker & Riley

Represented by: Simon Willcox

Since 1653 there have been four theatres on the current site of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. The current theatre dates from 1812 and the Rotunda and Saloon are examples are early 19th century architecture. To help celebrate the theatre’s 350 year anniversary the Royal Staircases, Grand Saloon and Rotunda were restored. The fine enrichments and details were very fragile and these were removed to form casts of leaves and cornice with Fine Casting Plaster and then reinstated and blended in with the new castings. The Georgian construction was updated to allow integration with modern mechanical and electrical installation, air conditioning and lighting, with the need for flexibility using plaster in a traditional manor as well as innovative ways to blend new with old. In keeping with the beautiful design aesthetics of the building, exemplar detailing throughout the impressive interior include beautifully finished ceilings, pillars and archways.

Judge’s comment: “The complete refurbishment of this theatre including arched walls and an impressive domed ceiling will give theatre goes in London pleasure for many years…”


Project: German Theatre, Munich (Germany)

Contractor: TM Ausbau GmbH

Represented by: Thomas Bischoff

The “German Theatre” was built in the 19th century as a luxury entertainment location. During World War II the theatre was bombed and then rebuilt in the 50’s. In 2008, due to fire security problems and outdated building equipment, a huge renovation project was started. The master piece of this project consists of a three dimensional perforated ceiling, which required excellent illumination of the auditorium as well as a perfect acoustic performance.

Judge’s comment: “This renovation project involved not just restoring the building but enhancing it with modern performance and aesthetics.”


Project: Erasmus Medisch Onderwijscentrum, Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Contractor: Van Vonderen Interior Contractors

Represented by: Mr. Van den Hoven and Mr. Vos

Erasmus Medisch Onderwijscentrum is an academic medical education facility connected to the largest hospital in the Netherlands. The education facility was demolished and a new facility was connected to the existing structure. The contractor and Van Vonderen only had the architect’s vision to work off of and therefore a very close corporation was necessary. The central study square is located in the heart of the facility and all corridors lead here. The high acoustics and indoor air quality demands along with aesthetic demands that required several intricate details with curved, angled, and falling details were required.

Judge’s comment: “A high performing facility which provides enhanced comfort and air quality coupled with stunning aesthetics.”


Project: Cradlestone Mall, Johannesburg (South Africa)

Contractor: Abbeycon (PTY) LTD

Represented by: Carlos Pinho and Rossouw Germishuyse

Inspired by humanity’s ancient origins, Gauteng’s new Cradlestone Mall is a monument to a bright and bold tomorrow. On the edge of the Cradle of Humankind, one of eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in South Africa, Cradlestone Mall has been built to serve the needs of the growing residential and business population to the northwest of Johannesburg. The architect used the layering of strata as a unique design theme and inspiration for the mall, from the coloring of the exteriors right through to the jagged, jutting shapes that give the mall its dynamic angular expression. All the materials used in the installation had to reflect the design inspiration while achieving the high level of acoustic and aesthetic appeal. The main feature of the project is the ceiling above the food court and entertainment area. The installation of the ceiling was designed to contour the jagged shape of the “Armadillo–style” roof, which has been framed by three-dimensional bulkheads.

Judge’s Comment: “The unique armadillo shaped roofline coupled with a flawless finish exposed to extreme light and a high level of acoustic performance makes this the winner in the commercial sector.“


Project: El Faro Shopping Mall, Extremadura (Spain)

Contractor: Joint-Venture: ACADINSA & OPERSIS

Represented by: Joaquín J.González and Tono Gallart

El Faro, at over 66,000 m², is the largest shopping, leisure and restaurant centre in Extremadura, and has 2,500 parking spaces and over 100 retail units. The design was BREEAM certified and rated “very good,” thus demonstrating its firm commitment to energy efficiency and the well-being of its users. Use of water, energy and materials is economized and it offers users a high comfort level. The architecture studio’s concept for the shopping mall was to create a cool relaxing environment to contrast with the dryness of the surrounding area by using plants, water and natural light.

Judge’s Comment: “A retail mall with high performance coupled with bespoke aesthetic pieces made out of six layers of plasterboard, a true artisan approach was needed to complete this project is just 12 weeks.”


Project: Casino 2000, Mondorf-les-Bains (France)

Contractor: Eschlimann

Represented by: Olivier Ruch & José Ruch

The Casino 2000 of Mondorf-les-Bains is located in the spa town Mondorf-les-Bain, close to the French border, in Luxembourg. The entrance hall and cloak rooms of the casino were extended. The total size of the building is 3000 m², from which 700 m² were worked upon. To enhance the entrance hall, the architect has designed a 600 m² undulated ceiling, with waves that all have a unique shape. Furthermore, this ceiling integrates original lightening effects, and a hydronic radiant heating and cooling system!

Judge’s Comment: “This was a highly complex project which required not only a high level of skill but a great deal of courage and conviction to bring this 1st to world concept in to reality.“


Project: "My Green Kentucky Home," Kentucky (USA)

Contractor: GCCM Construction Services LLC

Represented by: Sy W. Safi

“My Green Kentucky Home” aims to lead the industry by being the first LEED Platinum, Net Zero Energy, and Net Zero Water home in the state. In addition, contractor Sy Safi with GCCM Construction Services formed a team with the homeowners, architect, engineer, green consultant, and subcontractors to transform the residential construction process, taking a commercial industry-like approach from design to completion via design charrette, team decision discussions, installation training, and home tours. GCCM chose Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed to help construct “My Green Kentucky Home” because of the alignment in Sustainable Habitat philosophy and goals. This 21st century home was designed and built to be an example and inspiration for all to create awareness of our world’s greatest challenges in sustainability of health, environment and climate change.

Judge’s Comment: “A good example of how using the right mix of products in the right spaces can bring a truly sustainable home. A leading example of how a sustainable home should be created.”


Project: Marsan Residence, Valladolid (Spain)

Contractor: Audiotec Ingeniería Acústica

Represented by: Ana Espinel and Marco Lora

The Coca Building (Marsan residence) is a high-specification residential building in the centre of the city of Valladolid. Not only has attention been paid to the quality of its finishes, but it is also the first building in Castilla-León to receive the Q+ Sound Quality certificate. This was issued after the work performed in the design and construction phases passed the control and monitoring audits. Gaining this distinction was made possible by using SICAE. This is the comprehensive rating system for sound certification in buildings which the Audiotec Acoustic Technology Centre validates and implements.

Judge’s Comment: “A strong collaboration between the parties resulted in a residential project with improved sound and thermal quality while providing Optimization of space."


Project: Brunsfield Residence @ U-Thant, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Contractor: Practical Jaya Construction Sdn Bhd

Represented by: Lee Khek Boon

Brunsfield Residence @ U-Thant is a well-designed and sustainable exclusive eco-lifestyle residence in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Each unit boasts an area of 3,000 ft² to 6,000 ft², depending on the various unit types. With the rising demand for material that achieves thermal and acoustic comfort, impact and moisture resistance as well as superior finish appearance, Brunsfield Residence @ U-Thant entrusted Gyproc systems and products to meet their requirement.

Judge’s Comment: “An eco-lifestyle building is leading the way through the use of lightweight systems which allowed for greater floor space due to thinner than conventional masonry walls, coupled with high performance with thermal and acoustic comfort, impact and moisture resistance as well as superior finish appearance.”


Project: Institut d’études politiques, Lyon (France)

Contractor: D’Angelo & Agus

Represented by: Alain d’Angelo & Jonny d’Angelo

The “Institut d’Etudes Politiques” de Lyon is one of the leading French universities for political sciences. The aim of this project was to transform a bearing chamber into an auditorium of 650 m² and 240 seats. The architect had the very original idea to dry line all the walls of the auditorium with Rigitone, a completely seamless and monolithic system, which is normally dedicated to ceiling applications. It was an ambitious project, as it had to address important acoustic requirements in terms of sound absorption, and it was a real architectural challenge.

Judge’s Comment: “A Renovation and conversion project which allowed for the sector needs to be met through strong collaboration and consideration for the users of the building.”


Project: Glenstal Abbey, Limerick (Ireland)

Contractor: Paul O’Loughlin Carpentry

Represented by: Paul O’Loughlin

Construction began on the extension to the existing Glenstal Abbey School in January 2013 consisting of a new 2,541sq.m. 3-story classroom extension, with a total of 18 Classrooms, three Science Laboratories, Administrative Offices and general refurbishment to the existing school which is a protected structure. The new building was constructed using a reinforced concrete and steel frame and is Irelands first Activ’Air school. Glenstal Abbey School is a fee-paying seven-day boarding secondary school for boys, located on the grounds of Glenstal Abbey, in Murroe, County Limerick. It is run by monks of the Benedictine order with a student body of 300.

Judge’s Comment: “This combined renovation and extension to a very old building allowing for the adoption of the needs of the educational sector made this project a strong choice for the judges.”

The Gypsum International Trophy is a unique gypsum industry event and one of the largest international competitions of its kind. Created in 1998 to recognize and reward the craftsmanship of drywall and plastering contractors, the trophy aims to promote excellence and innovation in the use of sustainable and lightweight plasterboard systems and plasters.

The International Trophy campaign is organized by Saint-Gobain subsidiaries over a two year period, starting with regional and national events, and culminating in an international competition. This year, the International event was held in Berlin. Eighty-seven projects were entered and judged in six categories: plasterboard, residential, commercial, segment solutions and plaster. There are 14 awards given each year, one Grand Prix, given to the overall winner, one President’s Prize, six category winners and six category runner-ups.

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