October 6, 2023

Architecture awards

2023 PIPA Prizes in Residential Architecture: Homes that evoke emotions

The latest edition of the Porcelanosa International Project Awards focused on how relevant residential architecture is to creating unforgettable moments, with the PIPA 2023 awards going to the Kakoli Manor and Noorderlicht Lofts projects.

When it comes to evoking feelings of safety and protection, there’s no place like home. It is one of the most intimate spaces in our everyday lives; a hub of socialising with loved ones that sets the stage for sharing endless unforgettable moments.

The transformative power of architecture and interior design cannot be denied when creating unique environments that invite us to make unforgettable memories. This is the perspective taken in our examination of the projects awarded at the PIPA 2023 awards ceremony in the Single-Family Residential and Multi-Unit Residential categories.

Kakoli Manor: Concrete and nature in perfect harmony

Located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Kakoli Manor won over the PIPA 2023 jury in the Single-Family Residential category. This three-storey building, designed by F2A+PARTNERS, stands out for its solid external structure built in exposed concrete. Having said that, its true beauty can only be appreciated when you venture inside.

The masterful use of natural concrete throughout the building was one of the reasons behind their acknowledgement. Together with the exterior concrete, an impressive motif features on an interior wall, extolling the virtues of the material.

Kakoli Manor

In contrast, the ultra-thin Nox Corten tiles by Porcelanosa create a sleek, minimalist aesthetic. In the living room, kitchen and lift lobbies, the metallic look of the rusty corten steel is paired with exposed concrete.


The soft colour palette of the bathrooms creates a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Meanwhile, the double-height spaces, corridors and tropical patios create a bright and airy ambience. The layout of the home offers residents the opportunity to mentally detach themselves from the city, all year round.

The jury, made up of Nadia Borrás, Interior Design Director at Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos; Philippe Blanchin, Creative Director at ELLE Decoration UK; Nunzio Desantis, CEO and Designer of Nunzio Marc DeSantis; and Tony Abi Gebrayel, Partner at Mz Architects; highlighted how the building lives harmoniously with nature, working with the surrounding elements.

In short, Kakoli Manor extols the beauty of exposed concrete in its purest state, with a complex design integrated perfectly into the urban setting.


Noorderlicht Lofts: A former school converted into sustainable housing

Located in Rotterdam’s Oude Noorden district (Netherlands), the Noorderlicht Lofts project won the Multi-Unit Residential category at the 2023 PIPA Awards. The development entailed the thoughtful conversion of a former school into twelve luxury apartments, overseen by architecture studio Sjoerd Kuindersma and Gwen Hoopman Interiors.

The jury praised the way they retained numerous original features. The impressive stained glass windows, original staircase and high ceilings show a respect for the dignity of the past. The eco-friendly and sustainable focus of the project was another virtue. All the apartments are designed with a minimum energy rating of A+, translating into significant energy savings.

Noorderlicht Lofts

The apartments at Noorderlicht Lofts are characterised by the abundant natural light flooding through the windows and tall doors; gardens and a beautiful rooftop terrace. Plus, the kitchen’s colour scheme is in keeping with the era in which the building was constructed. This represents yet another way of reinforcing the building’s connection with its past.


The use of terrazzo flooring lends the project durability paired with minimal maintenance. This makes the material ideal for more traditional buildings. In contrast, the bespoke steel doors lend character to the second floor bathrooms.

Located in a diverse and vibrant neighbourhood, Noorderlicht Lots offers fast access to the city centre. A range of local activities can be found in the lively district, as well as a host of restaurants.

Noorderlicht Lots has managed to strike the balance between tradition and modernity, harmoniously blending historical elements with contemporary solutions.  In short, this is a project promoting a sustainable, responsible lifestyle in a picturesque setting.

Casa Nau

Honourable mention: Casa Nau


The members of the jury granted an honourable mention in the Single-Family Residential category to the residential project Casa Nau, from Muka Arquitectura.

Rejecting conventional architecture, the curved structure of the Cuidad Real dwelling breaks with preconceived schemes. Specifically, the PIPA 2023 honourable mention referred to the “impeccable work of the architectural structure”.

PIPA 2023: Spaces designed to evoke emotions

PIPA 2023 shows that the design of spaces has an impact on how we experience memorable moments. In this vein, the winning projects highlight the power architecture and interior design have to evoke emotions and create experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *