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Honor for environmental and community-based projects

The twelve winning projects of the Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East focus mainly on enhancing social and environmental resilience, as well as the economy of construction. The winning submissions show how multi-disciplinary responses to the challenges facing design and building are being developed. A green building in Turkey, an urban forest rehabilitation in Lebanon, and a low-cost housing plan in Ethiopia received the top prizes.

An international jury led by Howayda Al-Harithy (Lebanon) selected the winners using the “target issues” for sustainable construction that include the “triple bottom line” of environmental, social and economic performance, and also recognize the need for architectural excellence and a high degree of transferability. Twelve projects in Africa Middle East to be implemented in nine countries were recognized with a total of USD 330,000 prize money.

Green building and enterprise hub in Turkey wins Gold

A14AMgoTR-09.jpgAn ecological park for sustainable research and technology planned for Ortadoğu Sanayi ve Ticaret Merkezi, an industrial zone located in Ankara won the top prize. Creating an attractive communal space for its users with minimum interference to the natural context, the building and landscape design by architects Onat and Zeynep Öktem of ONZ Architects in Turkey incorporates various sustainable features such as natural lighting, geothermal heat pumps, green roofs, passive ventilation and water efficiency/irrigation systems.

At the prize-giving ceremony in Beirut, Howayda Al-Harithy congratulated the Holcim Awards Gold winners for promoting economic growth through innovation in environmental technologies. “The building is conceived as a test bed for sustainable research that explores new techniques in the region pertaining to the use of renewable resources – while establishing a careful balance between the natural and fabricated realm”, she said.

Urban forest rehabilitation in Lebanon takes Silver

A rehabilitation plan for a pine forest park in Beirut, Lebanon by Raëd Abillama of Raëd Abillama Architects from Lebanon won Silver. The urban plan develops the facilities and services needed in the existing park – a project commissioned by the municipality of Beirut with the help of Region Ile de France in 1992, for which a team of French and Lebanese architects (Jacques Sgard, France Trébucq, Ivy Papadakis, Jean-Claude Hardy, Pierre Neema and Frederic Francis) proposed a new layout – to open it to the public, and promoting it for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while also maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats. Environmental standards and urban needs will be integrated in a seamless way, enhancing the sense of belonging to the wider community.

Bronze for low-cost urban housing plan in Ethiopia

A project conducted in parallel by the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction & City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa and Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany received Bronze. The project to explore and implement construction techniques that tangibly upgrade housing stock in the city was led by Dirk Donath. Within this process-oriented project, close to 90% of the building components including prefabricated concrete elements and lightweight eucalyptus frames are produced by local micro and small-scale enterprises. The approach creates the opportunity for skilled employment and capacity building, and also allows homeowners to complete the construction themselves, installing building components and finishes according to their needs.

Five Acknowledgement prizes for outstanding public infrastructure

Shatha Safi of Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation, Palestine and Yara Sharif of NG Architects and Palestine Regeneration Team, United Kingdom received one of the five equally-ranked Acknowledgement prizes for a women’s center and playground in Palestine that creates social and physical infrastructure for cooking, education and gardening as a conduit to empowering women in the community. Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works, Nigeria was acknowledged for Chicoco Radio, a floating media platform that will be built to strengthen local communities for the residents of the waterfront slums of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. A community farming and market hub in Rwanda by Pamela Larocca of Urban Future organization, Italy was recognized for a cooperative that includes a collective hill-farming program, community buildings, and a market that boosts economic capacity and food self-sufficiency.

Further Acknowledgement prizes also went to a socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade for the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association’s headquarters in Ethiopia by Ken De Cooman and Wes Degreef of BC architects, Belgium and Adeyabeba Hailemariam of ABBA architects, Ethiopia; and also to a health center and school in refugee camp in Mauritania by Attila Szabadics of ArchSus Group, Hungary that provides improved living conditions in easily-erectable tent structures fitted with phase change material accumulators that provide air-conditioning across hot days and cold nights without additional energy requirements.

Four “Next Generation” prizes for students and young professionals

A14AMng1ZA-02.jpgThe Holcim Awards competition also seeks bold ideas for tomorrow in the “Next Generation” category for participants up to 30 years of age. The “Next Generation” 1st prize went to South African architect Jurie Swart for a Water research center at Fika Patso Dam, South Africa. The design proposition frames a discourse on possible forms of relationships between the built and natural environments, with a focus on bio-mimicry.

Chamss Oulkadi from BOM architecture, Morocco/France won the 2nd prize for an earthquake memorial and archaeological museum in Agadir, Morocco that merges tradition with a contemporary understanding of architecture. The 3rd prize was presented to Heidi van Eeden from South Africa for a regenerative urban catalyst and textile production concept in the city that blends a textile manufacturing facility, agricultural fields, and a sewage treatment plant into an interrelated system. Students Marylynn Antaki, Christina Attiyeh, Mira Boumatar, Romy El Sayah and Yara Rahme from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon received the 4th prize for an urban energy recovery and development concept for the city.

Holcim Awards submissions for projects in Africa Middle East were evaluated by an independent jury hosted by the American University of Beirut and included Howayda Al-Harithy (head of jury, Lebanon), Marc Angélil (Switzerland), Javier de Benito (Switzerland), Aziza Chaouni (Morocco), Fasil Giorghis (Ethiopia), Daniel Irurah (South Africa), Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso), Hansjürg Leibundgut (Switzerland), and Amer Moustafa (United Arab Emirates).

Further information on the competition and each winning project including high resolution images for download is available at:

The Holcim Awards ceremony in Beirut for the competition region Africa Middle East was the fourth in a series of five events following Moscow for Europe, Toronto for North America, and Medellín for Latin America. The concluding event will be held in Jakarta for Asia Pacific in November. The projects that receive Holcim Awards Gold, Silver and Bronze in each region automatically qualify for the Global Holcim Awards 2015.

The Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction competition seeks innovative, future-oriented and tangible construction projects to promote sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting building and construction on a local, regional and global level. The competition has been run by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation since 2004 and offers USD 2 million in prize money per three-year cycle.

The Holcim Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd and its Group companies in around 70 countries and is independent of its commercial interests. Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services.

Holcim Awards 2014 prize-winning projects, Africa Middle East

Main category

Holcim Awards Gold 2014 – USD 100,000
Eco-Techno Park: Green building showcase and enterprise hub, Ankara, Turkey
Authors: Onat Öktem and Zeynep Öktem, ONZ Architects, Ankara, Turkey

Holcim Awards Silver 2014 – USD 50,000
Evergreen City: Urban pine forest rehabilitation, Beirut, Lebanon
Main author: Raëd Abillama, Raëd Abillama Architects, Metn, Lebanon
Further authors: Sawsan Bou Fakhreddine, Associaton for Forests Development & Conservation, Jdeideh, Lebanon; Youssef Abillama, Maintenance Management Group, Antelias, Lebanon

Holcim Awards Bronze 2014 – USD 30,000
Incremental Construction: Low-cost modular housing scheme, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Main author: Dirk Donath, Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany
Further authors: Brook Haileselassie, Asgedom Berhe, Helawie Sewnet and Sarah Yusuf, Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building, Construction & City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Peter Dissel, Afro-European Engineers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jakob Mettler, Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany

Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prizes 2014 – each USD 18,500

Adaptive Re-Use: Women’s center and playground, Beit Iksa, Palestine
Main authors: Shatha Safi, Riwaq (Center for Architectural Conservation), Ramallah, Palestine and Yara Sharif, NG Architects and Palestine Regeneration Team (PART), London, UK
Further authors: Aye Al Tahhan, Khaldun Bshara, Tareq Dar Naser and Yousef Dar Taha, Riwaq (Center for Architectural Conservation), Ramallah, Palestine; Miriam Ozanne and Murray Fraser, Palestine Regeneration Team (PART), London, UK; Nasser Golzari, NG Architects and Palestine Regeneration Team (PART), London, UK

Chicoco Radio: Community building designed for urban flooding, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Main author: Kunlé Adeyemi, NLÉ Works, Lagos, Nigeria
Further authors: Marco Cestarolli, Berend Strijland and Olina Terzi, NLÉ Works, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Farooq Adenugba and Martin Oreoluwa, NLÉ Works, Lagos, Nigeria; Albert Taylor and David Watson, AKT II Engineers, London, UK; Larin Williams, Pinconsult Engineers, Lagos, Nigeria; Michael Uwemedimo and Priyanka Bista, CMAP, Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Fubara Tokuibiye and Marcus George, Okrika Waterfront Community, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Co-op Capacity Building: Community farming and market hub, Kigali, Rwanda
Main author: Pamela Larocca, Urban Future organization, Milan, Italy
Further author: Costanza La Mantia, Bantu Studio, Johannesburg, South Africa

Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Authors: Ken De Cooman and Wes Degreef, BC architects, Brussels, Belgium; Adeyabeba Tadesse Hailemariam, ABBA architects, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

White Canvas: Health center and school in refugee camp, Bassikounou, Mauritania
Main author: Attila Szabadics, ArchSus Group, Pécs, Hungary
Further author: Mónica Rácz, ArchSus Group, Pécs, Hungary

“Next Generation” prizes

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 1st prize 2014 – USD 25,000
Bio-Mimicry: Water research center, Fika Patso Dam, South Africa
Author: Jurie Swart, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 2nd prize 2014 – USD 15,000
Destroyed City Told: Earthquake memorial and archaeological museum, Agadir, Morocco
Main author: Chamss Doha Oulkadi, BOM architecture, Agadir, Morocco / Paris, France
Further authors: Laurent Sanz, Paris, France; Mohamed Belhouari, Casablanca, Morocco / Paris, France

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 3rd prize 2014 – USD 10,000
Machinarium: Regenerative urban catalyst and textile production, Pretoria, South Africa
Author: Heidi van Eeden, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Holcim Awards “Next Generation” 4th prize 2014 – USD 7,500
Waste to Energy: Urban energy recovery and development concept, Beirut, Lebanon
Authors: Marylynn Antaki, Christina Attiyeh, Mira Boumatar, Romy El Sayah and Yara Rahme, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

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Last Updated: October 16, 2014
Beirut, Lebanon
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