Logo ESDA 2019


AWARDS OF MERIT are given to national winners and the AWARD OF EXCELLENCE awards the European winner among these Awards of Merit.

The Steel Design Awards 2019 were given during a special ceremony held on 14th October 2019 in Brussels.

This year, the Jury has decided that the Award of Excellence will be shared by two very different projects. One is an important and beautiful contribution to the public life of a European capital, the other is small, playful, and precise. Both are of outstanding quality in architecture, structure and construction, and worthy winners of the 2019 ECCS Steel Design Award of Excellence.  

Award of Excellence 2019:

Oodi Central Library - FINLAND

Project owner

City of Helsinki

Steel Contractor

YIT Rakennus oy


ALA architects

Structural engineering firm

Ramboll Finland

The Oodi Central Library is the new Central Library of Helsinki. It appears as a concert hall for books, providing elegant landscapes for reading, recording music, modern fabrication, a café and a film theater.

As in earlier projects by the Architects, the design offers a bold, symphonic gesture which becomes a governing force in the functioning of the building. In this case, the move is a hoisting and angling of the wooden front, opening it up and inviting the public to look in and enter. The building itself works as a 108-meter span bridge, carried by two 1000 tonnes arches and a supporting load bearing steel structure, to create an open, column free inside view. Clad in timber and glass, the structural system is hidden, but it is a necessary precondition and recognizable to initiates of building technique.

Oodi Central Library will remain a jewel of the Finish capital, and an outstanding example of steel construction.

Award of Excellence 2019:

PAN Treetop Houses - NORWAY

Project owner

Christine Mowinchel, Kristian Rostad

Steel Contractor

Armec as


Espen Surnevik

Structural engineering firm

Finn-Erik Nilsen


PAN Treetop Houses is a playful, imaginative project, contrasting a strict, modern micro-house dwelling with the deep, surrounding woodland. The stilted huts are inspired by forest fire lookout towers, A-framed lodges, and a Moomins’ house, and perhaps, more eerily, they channel Baba Yaga’s chicken leg cabin as well. The lightness of the loadbearing structure would not be possible in another material.

The huts are linked to the free-standing spiral staircase by a light bridge, offering an entrance high above ground, but no real outside space to occupy. As such you can imagine running away to the forest, and then again from the forest, and into a microcosm of urbanity. PAN Treetop Houses are beguiling examples of architecture’s combination of irrational, societal desires, and rational, technical execution.

The 40 m2 cabins are minimal and professionally executed. They are created with consistently high-quality engineering, architectural work, and steelwork, and exquisite detailing. The cabins are an example of how interesting architecture can create interest in a destination, by their appearance, and by the new way they frame and inhabit their environment.

PAN Treetop Houses is a unique project with character, and an outstanding example of steel construction.

Awards of Merit 2019

The European Steel Design Awards of Merit and Excellence have been selected among the finalists, which were chosen from the initial nominees, out of 28 projects submitted in total.

The finalists for the 2019 European Steel Design Awards are (by country alphabetical order):

Austria: The New ÖAMTC Headquarters, Vienna
Czech Republic: Replacement bridge over the Dam Hracholusky
Denmark: K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen
Finland: Oodi Central Library, Helsinki
France: Simonne-Mathieu Tennis Court, Roland Garros
Germany: Adidas Arena, Herzogenaurach
Norway: PAN Treetop Houses, Gjesasen
Portugal: Hippodrome de Longchamp, Paris
Sweden: Kristallen, Kiruna
Switzerland: Jet d’eau Movable Footbridge, Geneva
The Netherlands: Station E-line, Den Haag
Turkey: Sveti Stephan Bulgarian Church Restoration, Istanbul

Student Awards 2019

For the European Steel Design Awards, students are also encouraged to submit projects they prepared for their studies. In Brussels, 4 students got a special STUDENT AWARD and the opportunity to introduce their projects to the public.

Valerio Calavetta (KIT Karlsruhe - Germany), for his Living in the Wildpark Stadium project.

G. S. Van Bolderen (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Delft University of Technology - The Netherlands), for his Exploration of Stability of 3D-Printed Steel Members project.

Jonathan Storheil Værnes (The Oslo School of Architecure and Design - Norway), for his Steel House project.

Thea Platou (The Oslo School of Architecure and Design - Norway), for her Re Store Fieldwork project.