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A sanitation project for a Rio de Janeiro favela turns linear flows into cycles, makes processes visible and is scalable says Eva Pfannes of Ooze Architects in the Netherlands. The Awards Bronze winning project for blue-green infrastructure treats wastewater while teaching water stewardship.
A neighbourhood center in the Paraisópolis favela of São Paulo is designed around long-term financial viability says engineer Jonathan Franklin. The sustainable business model utilises revenue from retail outlets in the mixed-use civic hub to ensure the ongoing viability of the hub’s cultural programs such as ballet.
A community-driven project for an underprivileged Mexico City suburb delivers zero-energy water catchment infrastructure and solar energy says architecture professor Loreta Castro Reguera. The design from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México for sustainable infrastructure won the Awards Gold for Latin America. It intermingles flood basins and public amenities – and had community involvement from the drawing board up.
By using the air rights above car parks, ZEDpods can create affordable and relocatable housing that addresses land scarcity, fuel poverty, and commuting issues says architect Bill Dunster. The design by ZEDfactory won the Awards Bronze for Europe and is an ingenious facet of solving London’s housing shortage.
Mix-City asserts that industry should be part of the urban tissue by including public functions that hover above the concrete production facility and support noise and dust control says architect Ken De Cooman. The design by BC architects and studies was an Awards Gold ex aequo winner for Europe. It integrates an existing concrete mixing facility into an industrial neighborhood where industry, workspaces, and public functions are interwoven.
The first independent theatre in Bucharest showcases sustainable construction by recreating a haven for Bohemian life missing from the city since the 1940s say architects Chris Simion-Mercurian and Tiberiu Mercurian of Asociata Culturala Grivita 53. Their Acknowledgement prize-winning project transforms a dilapidated plot in central Bucharest into a cultural venue.
The vertical stacking of the building open to the new district makes a neighbourhood recreation centre in Bordeaux a shining example of urban sustainable design notes Paul Maitre-Devallon of NP2F architects. The Acknowledgement prize-winner co-locates an array of sporting facilities stacked in one volume, but in open air and thereby uses sport as a social condenser.
The Logistics Framework is sustainable because it accepts logistics as part of the function of the city and provides an intelligent industrial building that will adapt and integrate into the urban fabric of Brussels says architect Jan Terwecoren of TETRA architecten. The design for an adaptable garbage collection facility in Brussels was an Awards Gold ex aequo winner for Europe and makes a plea for the re-integration of logistics infrastructures in urban settings.
By re-thinking the promotion of social and cultural heritage, re-thinking the workspace for collaboration and change over time, and responding to economic constraints, the Roman settlement excavation center at Augusta Raurica in Switzerland leads sustainable design according to Jeannette Kuo of Karamuk Kuo Architects. The Acknowledgement prize-winning archaeological center for Roman ruins finds a flexible structural system to meet diverse uses and adapt as they change over time.
A site-sensitive approach to both the human element and ecosystem is key to the sustainable approach at the Galician-Roman archaeological sites of Pontevedra says Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea of AGi architects. His landscape park of simple means and layered interpretations for a series of archaeological sites in north-western Spain won an Acknowledgement prize for Europe.
The sustainable design of Kennedy & Violich Architecture's greenhouse for Wellesley College delivers heating and cooling using only renewable resources and won North America's Bronze Award. Sheila Kennedy explains that achieving this for the demanding needs of a greenhouse demonstrates net-zero climate control can be achieved for any type of architecture.
Materials, lifecycle, building performance and socio-economic factors are central to the holistic sustainability of North America's Silver Award winner says Oliver Lang of LWPAC + Intelligent City. The mid-rise, mixed-use housing of "Stacked" in Vancouver, Canada uses a modular panel system that can adapt to create a variety of unit layouts and architectural forms to accommodate evolving needs.
A reception at the Jakarta Design Centre was held for the winners of the LafargeHolcim Awards competition from Indonesia. Indonesia has an enviable record when it comes to the LafargeHolcim Awards – and the current cycle has been no exception with an Awards Silver, Acknowledgement prize and Next Generation prize all heading to this country of more than 13,000 islands and 261 million people.
Architects Florian Heinzelmann and Daliana Suryawinata from SHAU won the Silver Award in Asia Pacific and view the use of material and passive climate strategies as key to the project's sustainability. Set within a park in Bandung, this “Microlibrary” is part of a larger project to raise literacy via a network of libraries across Indonesia.
Winning prizes in the LafargeHolcim Awards competition confirmed the importance Robust Architecture Workshop's focus on delivering environmental performance and stakeholder engagement. Principal Milinda Pathiraja explained the positive impact of the LafargeHolcim Awards on both the prize-winning Community Library project in Ambepussa, and the work of the architectural practice in general.
An organic farm and vocational center on the outskirts of the Jakarta metropolitan region looks to the land to improve its success rate. Kamil Muhammad of pppooolll emphasises how working with the climate, local farmers, and bamboo grown in the area of many years contributes to his Acknowledgement prize-winning project from Asia Pacific.
A surrealistic pavilion that turns a local waste product into a durable contribution to community will be the focus for making a new history. The Acknowledgement prize-winner for Asia Pacific by Boonserm Premthada of Bangkok Project Studio sets a new agenda for a precinct dominated by coal-powered electricity generation.
A water-treatment and reservoir facility wrapped with social infrastructure won an Acknowledgement prize in Asia Pacific for Miho Mazereeuw, Larisa Ovalles and team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Urban Risk Lab, USA. The sustainability of the project is centered on thinking through the water collection process and enabling ongoing management of the project to be handed over to a local women's collective.
The Baitasi urban regeneration in Beijing revives an historic neighborhood by deploying minimal means for maximum effect. Cong Nie of Tsinghua University explains how the Acknowledgement prize winner for Asia Pacific preserves an ancient architectural style while incorporating modern urban function.
The three E's of Emotion, Environment and Efficiency frame the sustainability context of the Gold Award winner for Asia Pacific says Avneesh Tiwari of atArchitecture in Mumbai. "White Rabbit: Home for marginalized children" in Thane, India creates a building with a playful and generous vertical form on a tight urban site.
Home for marginalized children, Thane, India – This home for 30 children replaces an existing facility which tends to flood and lacks ventilation. The proposal reacts to the constrained site by leaving a void for ventilation at the back of the site, drawing air upward and providing indirect light. That this is mainly a space for children is reflected in the playful design sensitive to their scale and perception.
Ban Chang Town Hall, Rayong, Thailand – The project began with a decision by the local community to invest in constructing a community hub instead of financing their annual festival – durable rather than temporary investment. The open-air structure is intended to be functionally vague to host varied activities. The use of fly ash is common as a partial substitute for cement. In this location, near a large coal power plant though, it takes on additional meaning as the conversion of industrial waste into structure.
BRAC University campus, Dhaka, Bangladesh – This project achieves the impossible on polluted swampland in Dhaka: it adds both built and open space to the city. Working with the client, an NGO-run university by BRAC (Building Resources Across Communities), the project team proposes a building that floats above the pond. The whole ground level of the project is opened to the public. Above, sustainable thinking permeates the design of the university building.
Organic agriculture in Parung, West Java, Indonesia – An Indonesia-based non-profit, non-governmental organization Urban Poor Consortium (UPC) acquired a parcel of land at the edge of an existing village 40km south of Jakarta to protect local farmers from imminent eviction. Plans were recently made, with the support of local stakeholders, to transform the existing farmland into a training center for young farmers interested in promoting organic agriculture.
Learning Center in Bandung, Indonesia – Set within a park, this “micro library” aims to raise literacy by offering attractive spaces for reading. The proposal is part of a larger project to construct a network of libraries across the country. Basic construction methods are easily achievable in the local context. By putting together simple components in a creative way, the project achieves complexity with minimal means.
Baitasi urban regeneration, Beijing, China – Initiated by a state-owned enterprise, the project offers a set of strategies for the regeneration of the Baitasi historic neighborhood in the west downtown district of Beijing. The proposed scheme empowers local stakeholders and vulnerable on-site residents to upgrade infrastructure and public services, while encouraging them to improve their housing and workshop units themselves.
The LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition is awarded to a winning project from a previous competition cycle, that has been realized and stood the test of time as a particularly successful example of sustainable building. In Asia Pacific, this accolade went to Robust Architecture Workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka, represented by Milinda Pathiraja. Their design for a community library, built with the support of former army personnel, shows that “turning swords into ploughshares” can be realized even today.
Multifunctional public space in Thecho, Nepal – This project replaces an existing dilapidated guesthouse with a new multifunctional building. The new structure keeps a historic Paati – a type of covered public space. Wrapped around the Paati is a plinth design with a water tank at the center, providing safe water to the community. When needed, the seismically sound structure can also be used as emergency shelter.
The LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition in North America went to Gloria Lee and Nathan Swift of SwiftLeeOffice in Pasadena, CA, USA. The two architects designed a new school building prototype for the Los Angeles Unified School District to replace several inadequate temporary structures.
Urban watershed framework plan, Conway, AR, USA - This project reconstructs the wetland corridors lost to a previous generation of urban expansion. The new zones of green connectivity act as flood management and water filtration zones.
All-timber high-rise load-bearing structure, Portland, OR, USA - The design of “Ingrained Framework” proposes a 12-level building using wood as the principal construction material. Intended for realization in the city of Portland, Oregon, the design recognizes timber as an important local resource, acknowledging the region’s longstanding tradition in wood construction.
UCLA Warner Graduate Art Studio renovation and addition, Culver City, CA, USA - The project’s basic objectives are twofold: to rehabilitate existing urban and architectural elements – through adaptive reuse and complementary additions; and to frame a discourse on the role of mundane construction as the generator of space and form.
Modular edible insect farm, New York City, USA - This pavilion is a demonstration of an urban farming system that minimizes the ecological footprint of protein- rich food production. Animal meat production is extremely resource intensive. This project proposes an alternative that emits just 1 % of the greenhouse gas emissions and requires 0.001 % of the land to produce the same amount of protein annually when compared to beef production.
Net-zero greenhouse for Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, USA - This project reimagines the greenhouse as a locally-sourced, low-energy building linking Wellesley College to the local community. It is conceived as an educational link between the institution and the community. This project reimagines the greenhouse – typically an energy and water-intensive program – as a net zero energy building.
Sanitation system in informal communities: This project localizes water treatment, cleaning wastewater where it is produced. Rainwater harvesting, septic tanks, and wetlands are introduced in informal settlements to manage the wastewater now flowing through the neighborhood as open sewage.
Modular midrise housing, Vancouver, Canada - To provide affordable housing, the proposal introduces a midrise, mixed use building type. The project is part of a longer study by the authors to improve the economic and spatial models for affordable housing.
Bottom-up neighborhood planning, Detroit, USA - The design proposal for a neighborhood in Detroit repositions infrastructure as a civic project, under the name of The Seebaldt Pilot (TSP). Building on longterm community engagement, the large group of collaborators proposes a pilot project for local energy and food production, water and waste management, and community empowerment.
City building strategy, Curridabat, Costa Rica the plan for an eastern suburb of San José envisions the city in coexistence with its flora and fauna.
Relocatable modular surgical hospital, Masaya, Nicaragua: a prototype for temporary rural surgical hospitals. Because of the sensitivity of the equipment and supplies, it proposes a hybrid approach of prefabrication and local construction.
Minimal-impact research institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: On the site of a former quarry, the project extends the headquarters of Brazil’s premier mathematics institution, National Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics (IMPA). Housing for researchers, a library, and classrooms are set into thin, elevated bars that extend from the edge of the city into the forest canopy.