POLO Architects wins 2019 Jo Crepain award for Innovative Architectural Office ≥ 10 employees
The NAV Jo Crepain Award winners of 2019 have just been announced. B-ILD from Brussels can proudly bear the title of most Promising Architecture Startup. DMOA walked off with the award for Innovative Architectural Office with less than 10 employees. For the offices of more than 10 employees, it was POLO Architects who prevailed. The Career award was given to STRAMIEN.
“If the Jo Crepain Award laureates are an accurate representation of our industry, we can rest assured", says the jury chairperson Kati Lamens. "Rarely have we discovered so many inspiring examples of well-managed architectural offices with refreshing ideas."
from the jury report:
Can a veteran office with the highest number of employees be the most innovative candidate as well? This office, which deliberately changed its name in 2015 from 'Poponcini & Lootens' to POLO Architects, proves that it is possible. In a short period of time, the office grew from 60 to 100 employees and, as a matter of pride, they never laid off any team members, not even during times of economic crisis. Over the last couple of years, the internal organisation was thoroughly transformed. In order to uphold its dynamic character in a much bigger team, POLO Architects created units of 10 to 12 employees functioning as individual architecture offices, with regular interaction and cross-fertilisation as a result. Through cell division, the office can easily manage further growth. The core of the structure is made up by POLO LABS, which is responsible for feasibility studies, competitions, design-based research and connections with academia. The organisational structure has proven very efficient. Combined with the work carried out by both gentlemen in the field of education and within the professional body and a clear vision of the future of the profession as a spatial strategist, this makes POLO Architects the rightful winner of this category.
The other nominees in the category Innovative Architectural Office ≥ 10 employees were OYO Architects from Ghent and B-architecten from Antwerp.