The two gold Awards winning projects in Brussels were in the center of the media briefing following the prize hand-over ceremony of the 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards for Europe. Rolf Soiron, founding Chairman of the LafargeHolcim Foundation, emphasized the responsibility of industry to drive sustainability. Edward Schwarz introduced the activities of the Foundation, which was created as initiative of LafargeHolcim back in 2003 to promote and reward sustainability in construction.
Ken de Cooman and Jan Terwecoren represented the Gold Award winning teams from Brussels and presented their projects that both enable industrial activities to remain in the heart of the city, rather than be relocated to the periphery: Both the new building of a logistics hub for garbage collection trucks, as well as the integration of an existing concrete mixing facility contribute to upgrading the urban context of the Canal Area of Brussels by creating public corridors and spaces. Both projects create and improve workplaces of people and minimize the impact of industrial activities by reducing noise and dust emissions, and at the same time improve logistics and flows of traffic – an array of positive impacts of industry to the city.
Rolf Soiron praised all winning teams and their projects and said that sustainable development needs to be driven, but not dominated by industry: “We cannot leave this up to NGOs and activists,” he said. The LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction offers a platform for architects, engineers, urbanists, academics, professionals, authorities as well as representatives of the industry to exchange best practices and conduct dialog so the world builds better.
Two additional wining projects were also presented to the media representatives from all over Europe at the briefing in Marseille. They both identify new opportunities for creating housing space: the Next Generation 1st prize winner Malgorzata Mader proposes the conversion of a factory in Lodz, Poland into an “Ecommunity”; Bronze Award winner Bill Dunster finds new real estate by using the “air space” over parking lots to build living units in the United Kingdom.
The LafargeHolcim Awards is the world’s most significant competition in sustainable design. The next series of regional winners (from Latin America) will be announced on October 4, 2017.