Jury chairman Winy Maas has announced three projects by Arup, Studio Tamassociati and Elemental as winners of the 2014 Zumtobel Group Awards. With a goal to promote innovations for sustainability and humanity in the built environment, the awards represent three categories: Applied Innovations, Buildings and Urban Developments & Initiatives. This year’s winners were selected from 15 nominees, shortlisted from a competitive pool of 356 submissions.
The winning projects are marked by their innovative and ground-breaking character: “The voting to find the number one project was very close in all three categories, because in each case we were able to choose from among a large number of heterogeneous projects of high quality," Described Maas. "One key criterion for the jury this year was the innovation factor, both in a technical sense and with a view to planning and participation processes as well as ecological and social challenges.”
See the winning projects, after the break.
The jury has awarded first prize to the SolarLeaf façade co-developed by Arup Deutschland GmbH for the Applied Innovations category. The SolarLeaf façade is a building-integrated system that absorbs CO2 emissions and produces biomass and heat. The generation of these renewable energy resources is based on the biochemical process of photosynthesis and the cultivation of microalgae in flat-panel photo bioreactors which require no additional space and are largely immune to the weather conditions.
The façade system was developed by Arup Deutschland in collaboration with SSC Strategic Science Consult GmbH and Colt International GmbH, with subsidies from the federal research initiative ZukunftBau. The system was first installed in a four-story residential building that was designed by SPLITTERWERK architects for the 2013 International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg. More about the project, here.
“In the future we need to develop buildings which don’t just offer shelter and minimize energy consumption but also try to deliver answers to how we provide the urban environment with energy, water and better air quality,” explained the Jury. “The SolarLeaf façade is an outstanding example here in that it generates energy without taking up additional space. This project is especially valuable because for the first time we have an application that actually works in an existing building.”
BUILDINGS: Port Sudan Paediatric Centre / Studio Tamassociati, Italy
Studio Tamassociati of Venice was awarded first prize in the Buildings category for the Port Sudan Paediatric Centre, which was commissioned by the Italian NGO “Emergency.” Located in the strategically important city of Port Sudan, the clinic is one of the few facilities to provide free care for children in the region. In the prevailing extreme conditions – the hot desert climate and the political instability of the country – simplicity was the overriding design principle. Relying on the use of new and old technologies, the architects developed a system for cooling, air treatment, recycling, reallocation of local materials, landscape design and energy saving. The need to purify waste water from the centre presented an opportunity to build public gardens, which are the only public spaces around. These gardens represent an important part of the healing process for patients.
“In this project you can see right away that it responds to a social agenda. It makes a valuable contribution to the medical and social care of the local people and its holistic design process is very much in the spirit of the Zumtobel Group Award. The outcome is an ambitious design that is focused primarily on its practical purpose, without neglecting architectural, sustainability and aesthetic considerations,” stated the Jury.
URBAN DEVELOPMENTS & INITIATIVES: PRES Constitución / Elemental, Chile
Elemental has been awarded first prize in the Urban Developments & Initiatives category for its masterplan for the sustainable reconstruction of the city of Constitución in Chile. In 2010, Constitución was destroyed by an earthquake followed by a tsunami with waves up to 12 metres high. Elemental was given just 100 days to come up with a master plan for the reconstruction of the city, which would also provide protection against future natural disasters – not only tsunamis but also seasonal flooding. In their concept, Elemental delivered a natural solution: planting a forest that would protect the city from future floods. In addition to the empirical evidence from the most recent tsunami, the architects relied on mathematical models and laboratory trials.
Implementing their master plan proved very challenging both politically and socially, because it required the city to expropriate private land along the riverbank. Elemental’s successful approach was to rely on participatory design to define the citizens’ needs and engage them in the planning process. Today, four years after the earthquake, the individual projects from the master plan are being implemented. More about Constitución's Ville Verde Housing, here.
“In Constitución the population has managed to apply the necessary innovation to ensure its protection against future flooding. By adopting a bottom-up approach, in a very constructive way a joint decision has been reached regarding what the city should look like in the future. This exemplary concept is not restricted to Constitución, but could also apply in many geographies around the world that have been destroyed by natural disasters,” said the jury.
News and project descriptions via the Zumtobel Group.