Since 2003 the Foundation advances the discourse on sustainable construction through its international Awards competitions, academic Forums and publications. This video introduces the main activities of the organization. Promoting best practice, pioneering fresh solutions, and inspiring both established and the “Next Generation” of architects, engineers, planners, developers and contractors to adopt sustainable parameters for all their building projects are just a few of its ambitious objective.
The LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction gives many projects the boost to achieve realization and is part of countless success stories being written by aspiring and established professionals. A prize in the competition opens new doors for many of the winners, like the Spanish architect Carlos Piles: thanks to two prizes from the LafargeHolcim Foundation, he has made an exciting step in his career – to LafargeHolcim!
The LafargeHolcim Awards is the world's most significant competition in sustainable design. This short video explains who is invited, what projects are eligible and how these are submitted.
Nirmal Kishani and Holcim Indonesia hosted two events (January 19 and 20, 2017 to promote the 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards and to launch the translated version of Greening Asia: Emerging Principles of Sustainable Architecture.
Alejandro Aravena points out that when he was looking for specialists who would share knowledge, tools and strategies at "his" Biennale 2016, almost one third of the selected experts were in some way connected to the LafargeHolcim Foundation.
The expert panel examined the interplay between sustainability and security and how architecture should respond to the challenges. With the 300-person venue at the 15th International International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia filled to capacity, moderator Rolf Soiron inspired the panelists Alejandro Aravena, Jonathan Ledgard, Milinda Pathiraja and Robert Mardini to discuss practical solutions, rather than hold a strictly formal debate.
Alejandro Aravena, Partner Architect at Elemental, provides an overview on the firm’s sustainable post-tsunami reconstruction master plan for the city of Constitución, Chile. Now five years after implementation began, most elements of the project have been implemented to improve the quality of the city. The approach was able to negotiate private benefit with common good.
University of São Paulo PhD student Eduardo Pizarro sees the potential of small pockets within the favela of Paraisópolis to deliver much-needed infrastructure and community spaces. As winner of the LafargeHolcim Forum Student Poster Competition 2016, his project “Turning Voids into Infrastructure” lives up to the “target issues” of sustainable construction and designs micro interventions that uses the potential of these small spaces between and within buildings for the residents of São Paulo’s second-largest favela.
The small interventions adapted to local conditions include planted gardens, shading, and community spaces that allow natural ventilation, day lighting and shared urban pathways. Building façades both improve environmental quality for residents, but also stimulate urban users from the outside of the building.
The LafargeHolcim Awards is the most significant global competition in sustainable design, and offers both students and professionals an unlimited opportunity to present their ideas and receive international recognition. The 5th LafargeHolcim Awards competition is open for submissions until March 21, 2017 at:
General Manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, Edward Schwarz, interviewed by Lamis Elhadidy on CBC (Capital Broadcasting Center) satellite TV station based in Cairo. He explains why LafargeHolcim created the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, and the LafargeHolcim Awards – the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The American University (AUC) in Cairo is an affiliated university of the Foundation, and will host the regional Awards jury in 2016. The LafargeHolcim Awards competition is open for registration until March 21, 2017 at www.lafargeholcim-awards.org
In its efforts to encourage inventive new solutions, the LafargeHolcim Foundation places special focus on the next generation. Students from leading technical universities are part of the LafargeHolcim Forum, an international symposium that advances concepts of sustainable construction. In addition, the LafargeHolcim Awards place a special focus on 18-30 year old students and young professionals – because fresh ideas will shape tomorrow’s world.
Curator of the 15th International Architecture Biennale, Alejandro Aravena, supports using “a mix of high-tech innovation and low-tech local materials” to reduce carbon emissions related to construction. In a video released by the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, Aravena points to the Droneport shell prototype at the Venice exhibition as an outstanding example of the pivotal change needed from architecture and industry. The project combines state-of-the art technology and traditional materials to create a self-supporting structure using compressed-earth bricks.
Alejandro Aravena, Partner Architect at Elemental, provides an overview on the firm’s sustainable post-tsunami reconstruction master plan for the city of Constitución, Chile. Now five years after implementation began, most elements of the project have been implemented to improve the quality of the city. The approach was able to negotiate private benefit with common good.
Just one more floor to go - After more than 2 years of construction, the Ágora Bogotá is advancing well with only the top floor missing. The project is foreseen to be finalized in May 2017. The Ágora Bogotá is part of the major urban regeneration strategy of Corferias, the fair and exhibition complex of Bogotá.
Marilyne Andersen, Doyenne de la Faculté de l’environnement naturel, architectural et construit, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale (EPFL), Lausanne, Suisse explique les motifs de participer au LafargeHolcim Awards pour les projets de construction durable.
300 experts from 40 countries gathered in Detroit for the 5th international LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction exploring Infrastructure Space in workshops, panel discussions and keynote speeches. A good opportunity to ask the professionals a question related to the role of the building materials industry. Find wide-ranging answers in this video.
The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction supported the construction of a prototype Droneport shell at the 15th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. The structure consists of 18,000 Durabrics made of compressed earth and cement which were customized by the LafargeHolcim Research Centre in Lyon. Learn more about how the Droneport together with Durabrics can improve the quality of life in statements by architect Lord Norman Foster, structural engineer John Ochsendorf, BRG project leader Hannes Hofmann as well as LafargeHolcim CEO Eric Olsen, and Carlos Espina, head of the LafargeHolcim Research Centre.
Beautiful impressions of the finalized Global Silver Award 2015 winning project "Post-War Collective: Community library and social recuperation" in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka.
Architect Milinda Pathiraja of Robust Architecture Workshop comments on the aims of the project: it was our goal to create a flexible and adaptable prototype of a building system which can be used by unskilled workers across the country.
© Holcim Lanka
“Incidental Space is a combination of a physical model and also a very refined technology”, says architect Christian Kerez . The irregular, knobbly form of Incidental Space at the Swiss Pavilion of the 15 th International Architecture Biennale in Venice is made from only two centimeters thick panels of sprayed fiber cement developed by Holcim Switzerland, a member of LafargeHolcim. Watch statements of Christian Kerez and Kaspar Wenger, Chairman of Holcim Switzerland (only available in German).
At an event organized by Archizoom, Lord Norman Foster explained the amount of research which went into the Droneport project. A prototype of the structure is exhibited at the 15th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. The project is a collaboration between the Norman Foster Foundation, five technical universities, the engineering firm ODB, and the LafargeHolcim Research Center in Lyon.
Norman Foster’s vision of a Droneport network combines the dynamic futurism of drone technology with low-tech buildings using local materials and 800-year-old building techniques. The network aims to interconnect communities in developing countries that lack appropriate road or rail networks, enabling urgent medical supplies and cargo to be delivered quickly and cost-effectively. The LafargeHolcim Foundation became involved in the project to refine LafargeHolcim’s low-carbon compressed earth Durabric that met the structural requirements using local materials and labor.
The LafargeHolcim Awards is an international competition that recognizes innovative projects and future-oriented concepts on regional and global levels. A total of USD 2 million in prize money is awarded in each three-year cycle.
The competition seeks projects that go beyond balancing environmental performance, social responsibility, and economic growth. Projects should, in addition, exemplify architectural excellence, a high degree of transferability, and thereby extend notions of sustainable construction and design throughout all stages of a project’s lifecycle.
Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) delivered a keynote speech on the "Infrastructures of Inequality" at the 5th International LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction. Using research from the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Urban Age programme and examples from contemporary practice, the lecture explores the physical and political impacts of infrastructure on urban life.
Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Carlos Lopes, focused his keynote speech at the LafargeHolcim Forum 2016 on Africa’s Infrastructure Appetite. Africa is experiencing a demographic boom, with an expanding middle class and fast urbanization driving most of its growth but is lagging behind every other world region on infrastructure indicators. The potential to do much more is being seriously assessed by economic actors. Contextualizing the current market conditions and properly understanding risk will be an important contribution for the future.
In his welcome address at the LafargeHolcim Forum 2016, Robert Fishman, Interim Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, explained the significance of the city of Detroit to the Forum topic “Infrastructure Space”.
Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Government of the Netherlands, Henk Ovink, delivered a keynote address at the LafargeHolcim Forum 2016 on "Infrastructure Space". In his speech he focused on water being the number one global risk and at the heart of an uncertain future. To face these uncertainties – but also the opportunities to mitigate risks – we need the transformative capacity of collaboration.
In her keynote address at the LafargeHolcim Forum 2016 in "Infrastructure Space", Keller Easterling, Associate Professor of Architecture at the Yale University in New Haven, focused on "Extrastatecraft". She argues that infrastructure space is something like an operating system for shaping the city, a surrounding matrix of repeatable rules, relationships, and spatial products.
In his welcome address at the Forum 2016 on "Infrastructure Space", Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim and Chairman of the Steering Committee on the LafargeHolcim Foundation, stresses the importance of harnessing all relevant expertise to examine the full lifecycle of infrastructure.
A five minute overview of the initiatives of the LafargeHolcim Foundation leading up to the international Forum in Detroit.
The project creates a forward-thinking vision for the Daniels Faculty, one of the leading schools of architecture, landscape and design in North America. Watch a 10-minute video placing the project in the context of the work of the university.
The Acknowledgement prize-winning Chrysanthemum Building in Boston’s oldest residential district of North End broke ground in September 2014 and excavation was completed in December 2014. Building works using wooden framing commenced in mid-2015. This short drone video courtesy of architect Frano Violich illustrates progress on construction. The use of locally harvested renewable wood will sequester 32 metric tons of carbon and also minimize construction disruption.
The Global Holcim Awards 2015 winners are projects that focus on turning a decommissioned water reservoir into a park in Medellín, Colombia; rebuilding social fabric through a community library in Ambepussa following Sri Lanka’s civil war; and creating public zones and flood-protection for the island of Manhattan, New York, USA.
A team of researchers and students at the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design (ICD) used 30,000 spiky modular components to create what it described as the “first architectural structure to be publicly realized with a designed granular system”.
The 5-minute film visualizes Stuttgart 21 (S21) and the new high-speed line between Wendlingen and Ulm. Created by Bahnprojekt Stuttgart-Ulm. The project won the Global Holcim Awards Gold 2005 and places the railway station underground to recover land and to create a new urban area, combining structural and landscape aspects.
The founder of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group explains how the design work of his office is driven by information. The Dryline project to implement creative urban infrastructure that protects Manhattan from floods was created from the specific knowledge of external specialists, as well as the local community. “Our role is to take these inputs and synthesis a design solution that is informed by this wealth of knowledge,” explains BIG founder Bjarke Ingels at the Global Awards Bronze 2015 prize ceremony in New York.
“The Dryline” project to protect Manhattan from future flooding by implementing creative urban infrastructure in close coordination with the community and public institutions was honoured with the Global Award Bronze 2015 for sustainable construction. The design team is led by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark/USA). For BIG founder Bjarke Ingels this prize is significant and not just another trophy for his office, he explained at the hand-over ceremony in New York.
A project that addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding with a protective ribbon in Southern Manhattan won the global Bronze prize of the LafargeHolcim Awards 2015, the most significant international competition for sustainable design and construction.
A construction training and community engagement project in rural Sri Lanka won the Silver prize in the most significant international competition for sustainable design and construction.
El premio internacional más importante para el diseño sostenible fue otorgado a un equipo de jóvenes arquitectos de Colectivo720, de Cali (Colombia) por su proyecto de transformación urbana en Medellín.
In three Awards competition cycles, there have been more than 150 prize winners representing diverse and inspiring sustainable construction projects from around the globe. Most of the projects were still in planning at the time they received their prizes – but many of these ground-breaking ideas have now become reality.
Pascal Casanova represented LafargeHolcim as sponsor of the international Awards competition at the hand-over event in Medellín, Colombia. What were his thoughts when he handed over the Global Gold Award to the winning team?
El Global Award de Oro otorgado a la UVA Orfelinato en Medellín es también un fuerte reconocimiento para el plan maestro del proyecto que fuera iniciado y desarrollado por EPM. La Fundación EPM es la entidad que patrocina y ejecuta el proyecto. El CEO de EPM, Juan Calle se siente orgulloso del premio recibido, en representación de todos los empleados de EPM.
Después de Stuttgart en Alemania, Fez en Marruecos y Gando en Burkina Faso, la ciudad colombiana de Medellín ha sido la cuarta ciudad distinguida con el Global Award de Oro desde el año 2003 por el mejor proyecto de construcción sostenible. El Alcalde de Medellín, Aníbal Gaviria se manifiesta emocionado por esta distinción otorgada a su ciudad.
Jury members, Mohsen Mostafavi (head of jury) and Meisa Batayneh Maani discuss elements of the large-scale flood protection system which addresses the vulnerability of New York City to coastal flooding. “The Dryline: Urban flood protection infrastructure” by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen/New York) won the Global Holcim Awards Bronze 2015.
Alejandro Aravena, jurado global de los Holcim Awards considera que el proyecto "Unidades de Vida Articulada: Parque público en reservas de agua" en Colombia, se destaca por ir más allá de la reutilización de enfoques exitosos de la arquitectura y el diseño urbano. Al abordar nuevos campos y nuevas áreas de especialización, el proyecto del Colectivo 720 y EPM enfatiza en el valor del agua y el espacio público como forma de seguir innovando y construyendo más allá de lo logrado en sostenibilidad.
Jury members, Mohsen Mostafavi (head of jury) and Yolanda Kakabadse describe the benefits of relatively simple construction methods that have produced an exceptional design. “Post War Collective: Community library and social recuperation” in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka by Robust Architecture Workshop in Colombo won the Global Holcim Awards Silver 2015.
Jury members, Mohsen Mostafavi (head of jury), Alejandro Aravena and Marc Angélil comment on a project for a public park in Medellín, Colombia that combines architectural ideas and urban development across multiple scales. “Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park” by Colectivo720 in Cali and EPM Group in Medellín was winner of the Global Holcim Awards Gold 2015.
Head of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2015 Mohsen Mostafavi remarks that the Gold-winning “Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park” in Colombia stands out for combining architectural ideas and urban development across multiple scales. The project by Colectivo720 transforms Medellín’s water storage infrastructure to supplement public space, and provides exciting possibilities for the future in terms of how we consider and conceive of public space.
Members of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2015 comment on what they consider to be the most significant impact of the USD 2 million Holcim Awards (in order of appearance): Alejandro Aravena, Elemental, Chile; Mohsen Mostafavi, GSD Harvard University, USA; Yolanda Kakabadse, WFF International, Ecuador; Maria Atkinson, Green Building Council of Australia; Matthias Schuler, Transsolar Energietechnik , Germany; and Meisa Batayneh Maani, maisam architects and engineers, Jordan.
Head of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2015, Mohsen Mostafavi, highlighted the creation of distinctive public space and new forms of resilience for New York City as key aspects of the Bronze-winning “The Dryline: Urban flood protection infrastructure”. The project team led by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark/USA) creates a large-scale flood protection system for lower Manhattan on the technical level, while also enhancing communities and bringing new opportunities for public participation.
Global Holcim Awards jury member Meisa Batayneh Maani notes the daring and visionary nature of the Bronze-winning project “The Dryline: Urban flood protection infrastructure” in New York City. She praised the team led by BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark/USA) for envisaging a “halo” of light and life that will protect the island of Manhattan from floods by embracing the opportunities that resilient infrastructure presents.
Global Holcim Awards jury member Yolanda Kakabadse commended the Silver-winner, Post War Collective (Sri Lanka), for redeploying resources after the country’s crisis. She noted how Robust Architecture Workshop created a project where discharged soldiers who had been facing instability can utilize an opportunity to construct a different future that creates high social value.
Global Holcim Awards jury member Alejandro Aravena considers the Gold-winning “Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park” in Colombia to be remarkable for going beyond the re-use of successful approaches to architecture and urban design. By addressing new fields and new areas of expertise, the project by Colectivo720 and EPM Group emphasizes the value of water and public space in a way that keeps on innovating, and builds upon previous achievements.
Head of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2015 Mohsen Mostafavi was impressed with how relatively simple construction methods used by the Silver-winning “Post War Collective: Community library and social recuperation” (Sri Lanka) have produced an exceptional design. The project by Robust Architecture Workshop deals beautifully with the relationship between architecture and topography.
Member of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2015 Marc Angélil admires the Gold-winning “Articulated Site: Water reservoirs as public park” in Colombia for bridging different disciplines including engineering, landscape design, urban design, material science, water supply and architecture. As a rare example of a “socio-technical” project, it transforms a closed water storage facility into an open civic space that is part of the social fabric of the city.
Revitalizing Bangkok’s urban canal system for transportation could improve the quality of life in the city. A video showcases the project by D I Designs that was recognized with a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize. Learn more about the historic role of canals in the city, how the canal system could be integrated with other mass transport systems, and how the project addresses the “target issues” for sustainable construction.
The Holcim Awards Silver 2014 winning project for North America addresses the vulnerability of New York City to coastal flooding and proposes a protective ribbon around lower Manhattan. Designed by a consortium led Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), a project film to document the vision co-developed with the people of New York City was launched at an exhibition of BIG’s work at the National Building Museum.
The John H Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design project involves the renovation and expansion to the University of Toronto’s facility at One Spadina Crescent. Construction work on the project led by architects Nader Tehrani and Katherine Faulkner of NADAAA: the first phase includes renovation of the south-facing Gothic Revival building plus the construction of a 9,300 square meter new building that will house a new library, art gallery, and design studios for the architecture school.
Antoine Vernholes and Edwin Heathcote comment on their analysis of the Holcim Awards 2014 prize winning entries: “I was glad to see that architects and landscape designers look beyond the design and straight into society and the economics of the way the world works,” Heathcote explains. A special issue of leading contemporary architecture magazine ‘A’A’ L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui features Selected Projects from the winners of the 4th International Holcim Awards competition for sustainable construction projects and visions.
การประกวดออกแบบนานาชาติ Holcim Awards 2014
Blending “eternity” (unchanging) and “continuity” (changing) elements provide this Acknowledgement project with its main strength in terms of sustainable construction, according to Tomohiko Amemiya of UNITYDESIGN in Tokyo. “Megacity Skeleton: Stakeholder participation for urban up-grading” in Jakarta, Indonesia is a 2-step micro intervention upgrade of informal settlements in megacities that avoids slum-clearance by authorities.
Santi Sombatwichatorn of DI Designs views the strength of his project is to encourage inhabitants of Bangkok to use a wider range of transport options. “Resurrected Canals: Urban water transport system” in Bangkok, Thailand revives ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways to supplement existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit.
“Between Walls: Community medical center and school” in Tatiba Baraibura, Jharkhand, India won an Acknowledgement prize for its low cost structure that combines local materials and traditional craftsmanship with modern technology. Madhusudhan Rao Chalasani of MADE views the strength of his project in utilizing locally-available resources in a coherent way.
Watch a summary of statements by the authors of the Holcim Awards prize winning projects in Asia Pacific: What contribution does my project make to sustainable construction?
Project client Christopher Gish from the Seeds of Change Foundation (USA) considers the engagement with children on the issues of sustainability as the most significant impact of the Holcim Awards Silver winning project by Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith of MOS Architects (USA). “Children’s Ziggurat: Locally-adapted orphanage and library” in Kathmandu, Nepal addresses the needs of an under-served rural population.
How real building projects can transfer knowledge and build skills is the key to Milinda Pathiraja’s Holcim Awards Bronze winning project. “Post-War Collective: Community library and social recuperation” in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka aims to reintegrate former soldiers into post-civil war society. Young men from underprivileged backgrounds are trained in building techniques through their involvement in the construction of public buildings – such as this Community Library.
Maj Plemenitas of LINKscale (United Kingdom) sees the immense impact of the project’s minimal input as its greatest strength. “In-Situ Network: Palm tree branches for coastal protection” at Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati uses palm tree branches as a simple measure to respond to the imminent threat of coastal erosion due to rising waters and habitat destruction. Inserted into the sand, the spoon-shaped branches constitute an ideal barrier, causing sea currents to slow down and deposit sand material into the concave inner surface of the leaf branch.
Manuel Tardits of Mikan in Yokohama views the key point of his team’s Acknowledgement prize-winning project is the careful balance between traditional construction techniques and state-of-the-art materials. “High-Tech Low-Tech: Sustainable research center featuring traditional woodworking methods” in Kyoto, Japan is equipped with the most advanced technological features, the structure offers a prime example of sustainable development in modern construction, and concurrently, time-honored Japanese woodworking methods were deployed, allowing the building to be erected rapidly.
Jariyawadee Lekawatana from Architectkidd sees how the project considered the bird as the client to be the strongest element of the Holcim Awards Gold winner from Asia Pacific. “Protective Wing: Bird sanctuary” in Chiang Mai, Thailand serves as both an educational facility and a bird rehabilitation center including a small hotel and bird viewing tower, in a site that simulates the natural habitat.
Meriem Chabani from École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris Malaquais in France considers the most outstanding aspect of her team’s project is that it allows for constant growth and develops through time. “Re-Made Fabric: Garment district intervention” in Chittagong, Bangladesh won the “Next Generation” 5th prize and seeks to enable a shift from mass production industries to micro and small enterprises, with workshops distributed throughout cities rather than isolated factory compounds on the periphery of metropolitan centers.
Nusrat Mim from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology considers the strengths of her “Next Generation” 2nd prize-winning project focus on providing the local community with adaptable housing, a sense of belonging and cost-effective solutions. “Adaptable Portable: Modular housing for urban poor” in Dhaka, Bangladesh proposes a modular system of dwelling units for marginalized neighborhoods in this rapidly-growing city.
Eugene Tan from the National University of Singapore won the “Next Generation” 4th prize for his “Formal-Informal DNA: Urban network upgrading” in Indonesia. He views the key strength of his project comes from its relationship to site and synergistic response to the “triple bottom line” where a marginalized settlement in Tangerang, Banten identifies strategies for a gradual upgrading of physical and social space.
Zhe Peng from the Graduate School of Design (GSD) at Harvard University says his “Next Generation” 1st prize-winning project tries to incorporate modern living and preservation of historical and natural environments. “Panda-Watching: Historic village reconstruction” in Xueshan, China proposes a post-earthquake reconstruction of a historic village known as the hometown of the panda in China.
Antonius Richard Rusli from Universitas Katolik Parahyangan views the fundamental transformation through participatory design as the key element of his project that brings spirit of the neighborhood (Kampung) and desirability back to an inaccessible slum along the river. His project, “Social Design: Urban neighborhood remediation” in in Bandung, Indonesia, improves deteriorating physical and social conditions of the Bukit Jarian Kampong by introducing a sanitation hub as public space in the center of the slum and also restoring the polluted river, and won the “Next Generation” 3rd prize.
Each year, thousands of birds are smuggled in and out of Thailand for their exotic colors and bird calls, to be sold on the world’s growing black market. Rescued birds usually die in confinement because they are retained in cages for up to five years as evidence during prosecution of smugglers. The Bird Sanctuary in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand serves as both an educational facility and a bird rehabilitation center including a small hotel and bird viewing tower, in a site that simulates the natural habitat.
The Lali Gurans orphanage and library in Kathmandu addresses the needs of an under-served rural population. In a context lacking basic infrastructure, the new facility utilizes low-technology renewable energy and material resources, thus significantly reducing operating costs. Using local construction techniques and materials, the design invests in indigenous workmanship. Vertical gardens and permaculture provide thermal insulation as well as food for cooking. Aiming to overcome the image of “the orphanage” as institution, the project addresses the needs of the nearby communities by offering a library accessible to the public and a seismically stable refuge area during earthquakes.
The project in the rural town of Ambepussa near Colombo, aims to reintegrate former soldiers into post-civil war Sri Lankan society. Coming from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds, young men are trained in building techniques through their involvement in the construction of public buildings – as for example in the realization of the Community Library in Ambepussa. Respecting existing trees, the slender building sits lightly in the landscape and wraps around an inner courtyard, taking full advantage of cross ventilation and daylight use. Rammed-earth walls and recycled materials reduce the building’s ecological footprint.
Five equally-ranked Acknowledgement prizes were presented for region Asia Pacific. Madhusudhan Rao Chalasani of MADE, India received a prize for a community medical center and school in Tatiba Baraibura, Jharkhand, India that combines local materials and traditional craftsmanship with modern technology to create a simple yet sophisticated building. Benoît Jacquet of École française d'Extrême-Orient and Manuel Tardits of Mikan, Japan were acknowledged for a sustainable research center in Kyoto, Japan that uses advanced technological features as well as time-honored Japanese woodworking methods to allow rapid construction.
A further Acknowledgement prize went to a plan incorporating stakeholder participation for urban upgrading in Jakarta, Indonesia by Tomohiko Amemiya of UNITYDESIGN in Japan and a team from Universitas Indonesia that uses a two-step micro intervention to upgrade informal settlements in megacities. Two further recipients of Acknowledgement prizes were a response by Maj Plemenitas of LINKscale in the UK to the imminent threat of coastal erosion due to rising waters by using palm tree branches for the coastal protection of Tarawa Atoll, Kiribati; and an urban water transport system in Bangkok, Thailand by Santi Sombatwichatorn of D I Designs, Thailand that proposes to revive the ancient canals of the city to create a modern network of waterways and supplement the existing Metropolitan Rapid Transit systems.
Alejandro Aravena presented three of his projects from Chile that illustrate the power of design at a TED event in Rio de Janeiro. A community housing project in the center of Iquique, the Innovation Center UC Anacleto Angelini in Santiago, and the Holcim Awards Silver 2011 winning urban reconstruction project in Constitución show the importance of design. By bringing the community into the process to understand the problems – the design process ensures that the “right questions” are the focus.
This film by Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) was created in the context of the 4th International Holcim Forum. It features keynote speakers and workshop leaders of the event: David Chipperfield (UK), Prasad Shetty (India), Pierre Bélanger (USA), Alfredo Brillembourg (Brazil), Sanjay Prakash (India), Mohsen Mostafavi (USA), Geeta Mehta (USA), Michael Sorkin (USA), Alejandro Aravena (Chile) and Jose Castillo (Mexico) and examines the critical issues impacting on sustainable development in the megacity of Mumbai, and what can be learnt from the economically and socially vibrant villages of informal neighborhoods that make up the city.
Project author Gilles Delalex presented the building concept [in French] for his LafargeHolcim Awards Silver winning Public Condenser: Low-cost flexible university building at a Pecha Kucha night dedicated to the University of Paris-Saclay campus from November 2014.
The Holcim Awards Silver 2011 winning project from Latin America by Alejandro Aravena of Elemental has recently received a further award for innovation within urban developments from the Zumtobel Group. The video presents “Sustainable post-tsunami reconstruction master plan” for Constitución and its successful approach to participatory urban planning.
Yara Sharif and Nasser Golzari from NG Architects and Palestine Regeneration Team (PART) in London focus their project on self-sufficiency, local knowledge and social impact. Responsiveness emerging from local knowledge and technical enhancements is at the core of their approach to sustainable construction. “Adaptive Re-Use: Women’s center and playground” in Beit Iksa, Palestine won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize for adapting two abandoned buildings for reuse as working spaces with an eco-kitchen, followed by the rehabilitation of surrounding spaces.
Onat Öktem from ONZ Architects in Turkey sees the balance of natural and human-made elements, and retaining green space in an industrial precinct as the key elements of his Holcim Awards Gold winning project. “Eco-Techno Park: Green building showcase and enterprise hub” in Ankara, Turkey creates an attractive communal space for its users with minimum interference to the natural context while incorporating various sustainable features such as natural lighting, geothermal heat pumps, green roofs, passive ventilation and water efficiency/irrigation systems.
Architect Raëd Abillama views the sensitive integration of the existing state of the forest into a user-friendly urban park as the most outstanding element of his Holcim Awards Silver winning project. “Evergreen City: Urban pine forest rehabilitation” in Beirut, Lebanon develops the facilities and services needed in the park to open it to the public, and its promotion for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while also maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats.
Dirk Donath from Bauhaus University, Germany says the success of his Holcim Awards Bronze winning project comes from trying to act and be treated not as an architect – but to play the role of a mediator to share capacities of the community. “Incremental Construction: Low-cost modular housing scheme” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia responds to the housing challenge of rapid urbanization, and develops a purposefully incomplete structure that is both affordable and rapid to assemble.
Shatha Safi from Riwaq – center for architectural conservation in Palestine considers people, material and knowledge to be the key sustainability factors of her project. “Adaptive Re-Use: Women’s center and playground” in Beit Iksa, Palestine won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize for reviving the historic center of a village of 1,600 people, responding to isolation and limited resources.
Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works sees “Chicoco Radio: Community building designed for urban flooding” as empowering the community to have a voice, and solving the issues of today without compromising the challenges of tomorrow. The project won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize for strengthening local communities for the residents of the waterfront slums of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.
Pamela Larocca of Urban Future organization / kaudesign studio, Italy won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize for “Co-op Capacity Building: Community farming and market hub” in Kigali, Rwanda. She views the key to sustainability to be improving the lives of people while maintaining the opportunities for others.
Ken De Cooman of BC architects, Belgium sees the most sustainable element of his Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize winning project as the use of local trachyte stone material that is linked with local identity and craftsmanship – but linked to a global program of the nation’s Chamber of Commerce headquarters. “Weaving Publicness: Socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia aims to contribute to the spatial improvement of the urban environment, and to create an architectural dialog engaged in a global context with a strong local identity.
Mónica Rácz from ArchSus Group, Hungary won a Holcim Awards Acknowledgement prize for “White Canvas: Health center and school in refugee camp” in Bassikounou, Mauritania. The project uses only the energy from nature and diurnal temperature variations to improve 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. Read more: http://www.lafargeholcim-foundation.org/Projects/white-canvas
“Bio-Mimicry: Water research center” at Fika Patso Dam, South Africa won the Next Generation 1st prize. Author Jurie Swart considers the main sustainable characteristic of the project is that the architecture is activated by water level fluctuations, opening and closing the building with seasonal change.
Chamss Doha Oulkadi from BOM architecture, France won the Next Generation 2nd prize and views the focus on social sustainability that links the community to the architecture of the project as its key strength. “Destroyed City Told: Earthquake memorial and archaeological museum” in Agadir, Morocco incorporates a memorial on the site and an archaeological museum retracing the history of the city.
The Next Generation 3rd prize-winning project of Heidi van Eeden from the University of Pretoria, South Africa questions architecture in the 21st century: how we make space, how we use waste, and how we can build sustainable cities in a rapidly-changing environment. “Machinarium: Regenerative urban catalyst and textile production” in Pretoria, South Africa explores synergies between a textile manufacturing facility, agricultural fields, and a sewage treatment plant to create mutually-interrelated systems and subsystems, all working together in a sustainable environment – exploring new architectural typologies which may transform the future of cities.
The Next Generation 4th prize winning project redefines the purpose of waste in the city according to author Christina Attiyeh of American University of Beirut (AUB). “Waste to Energy: Urban energy recovery and development concept” in Beirut, Lebanon offers a set of sustainable solutions for reactivating the area, transforming waste into energy, and reinstating local artisanship. The project combines a waste-to-energy plant with public facilities and is aimed at raising public awareness regarding an unsustainable condition.
Watch a summary of statements by the authors of the Holcim Awards prize winning projects in Africa Middle East: What contribution does my project make to sustainable construction?
An 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.
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 park 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.
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.
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.
Fabricio Mora, de la Universidad Latina (Heredia) explica que el objetivo de su proyecto es generar espacio en un edificio público para la educación, el entretenimiento, el acceso a la información e instalaciones para el desarrollo de actividades sociales. “Plaza Mediateca: Biblioteca y mediateca” en San José, Costa Rica ganó el 4º premio en la categoría “Next Generation” y explora el rol de la arquitectura en la reducción de la desigualdad social a través de la construcción de una biblioteca para libros y nuevos medios en barrios postergados.
LafargeHolcim Awards Global Gold winner Francis Kéré continues to create work that lives up to the “target issues” of sustainable construction and captures international imagination. His Serpentine Pavilion has opened in London, with a…
The LafargeHolcim Awards jury for region North America met at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to …