Norbord-sponsored architecture award presented in RIBA ceremony

Published:  25 September, 2015

The winner of the inaugural RIBA Journal Microarchitecture Award, which sought to reward the design of an “ideal mini-building” to be constructed predominantly using Norbord SterlingOSB panel, has been named at a ceremony held at the Institute’s London headquarters.

The award winner, Davide Roth, was crowned for his design, I-shed, which he describes as a ‘series of stone blocks’. It was designed for rural areas and incorporates SterlingOSB into its structure, reinforcing timber profiles and providing a minimalistic interior wall surface.

Andy von Bradsky, chairman of PRP Architects and a member of the judging panel, said: “It is an extremely intelligent design that walks into the future. Its highly original design had all the ingredients we were looking for.”

Launched In April 2015, the award, sponsored by Norbord, encouraged entrants to study the way that French architect Le Corbusier’s Cabanon was created - and emulate it using Norbord's SterlingOSB panel product; to design an external living shelter from a kit of parts mainly made from SterlingOSB.

Entrants were asked to demonstrate SterlingOSB's versatility, strength and sustainability credentials.

Le Corbusier designed and built the Cabanon, which provided the inspiration for the awards, in 1952 as a tiny vacation home at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin on the Côte d'Azur, retreating there every summer for more than ten years. He claimed to have sketched it out in 45 minutes.

Measuring only 3.6m2, it shows Le Corbusier's adaptability in design, creative use of space and aesthetic simplicity, according to Hugh Pearman, editor of the RIBA journal.

“This was the primitive hut made civilised by Le Corbusier,” Mr von Bradsky said.

“The designs we received extended from the homely to the extreme, people thinking of very specific purposes instead of just the aesthetic.”

Karl Morris, managing director of Norbord's European operations, said: “SterlingOSB is widely used in the construction industry. However, its aesthetics are often hidden in the building's framework. We're excited about the innovative designs that this competition has generated.”

“Norbord has been delighted with the success of this RIBA competition and would like to thank everyone who has been involved; not least the architectural community. It has been a great way to celebrate the 30-year birthday of our Sterling OSB product.

“It's been 30 years since Norbord first pressed SterlingOSB at the factory in Inverness yet, despite having been around for three decades, it's never lost its edge when it comes to strength and innovation.

“For this reason, 2015 has been a year of reinforcing the message; why it just has to be SterlingOSB for a whole host of general jobs and construction tasks.

“Strong, durable and incredibly versatile, SterlingOSB really does give plywood a run for its money - in fact, it goes a long way on a tight budget too, proving to be a cost-effective option for general trade tasks through to large-scale construction projects.”

Image: (l-r) Davide Roth, Karl Morris

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