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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. 3 Projects Win 2015 Global Holcim Awards for Sustainability

3 Projects Win 2015 Global Holcim Awards for Sustainability

3 Projects Win 2015 Global Holcim Awards for Sustainability
3 Projects Win 2015 Global Holcim Awards for Sustainability , Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Emerging from over 6,000 entries, three winners of the fourth Global Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction have been selected. The international competition, occurring every three years, recognizes designs that provide sustainable solutions to local issues faced by communities throughout the world. This year's winning projects addressed sites in Colombia, Sri Lanka, and the United States and will receive monetary prizes ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.

The winning entries were selected from last year's top-prize recipients in the five regional Holcim Awards competitions, a total of 15 proposals (see our previous coverage here). An international jury of industry leaders, led by Mohsen Mostafavi (Dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design), determined the winners of the 2015 Global Holcim Awards.

See the winners after the break.

BRONZE: BIG U contains a protective ribbon: 21 km (13 mi) of flood protection tailored to each neighborhood and the community it serves. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation BRONZE: View of BIG U from The Battery in the financial district. Berms are strategically located to protect the infrastructure below and create a protective upland landscape. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation SILVER: The common lobby with its panoramic window. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation BRONZE: The undulating berm in East River Park will rise 15 feet to provide flood protection and connect coast and community. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation + 19

GOLD for turning a water reservoir into public space - "Articulated Site" / Mario Camargo and Luis Tombé (Colectivo720) with Juan Calle and Horacia Valencia (EPM Group)

GOLD: Understanding the topography and the existing elements of the site to create landscape space and also using local vegetation to improve the environmental quality by creating birding and wildlife trails. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
GOLD: Understanding the topography and the existing elements of the site to create landscape space and also using local vegetation to improve the environmental quality by creating birding and wildlife trails. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

A hybrid of urban design, architecture, and the landscape, this project uses the existing infrastructure of Medellín, Colombia as the basis for a public park and community space. Woven within a collection of water tanks, the project offers an outdoor auditorium and numerous venues for community programs that showcase the significance of water for urban life.

GOLD: Reuse of the existing water reservoir as public space for encounters. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
GOLD: Reuse of the existing water reservoir as public space for encounters. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Mostafavi praised the project for its goal of improving city life. “The jury applauds the careful integration of the ensemble into the physical and social fabric of Medellín – in a scheme that is a model for best practice that could be emulated by other cities in Latin America and around the globe."

GOLD: Outdoor auditorium: The architectural form adapts to the pre-existing elements to ensure minimal impact, and results in an affordable and sustainable building. The sustainable environmental design strategies tend to maximize passive solar design, natural lighting and ventilation, and food waste control, among others. Additionally, the corporate premises ensure operation of the water distribution network, as well as consideration of future projects that the promoter plans on site. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation GOLD: Rooftop view and design process: Level, reuse, articulate, integrate and illuminate. The project established continuity using public space as the articulating piece and transitional axis between the city and the architectural object. The topography and the pre-existing elements are understood and transformed into landscape space that contains the program. Furthermore, local vegetation is used to improve environmental quality by creating bird-watching and wildlife trails. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation GOLD: Water, light and the city landscape accentuate identity with place, and enhance an urban landmark. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation GOLD: Rooftop plan: Building merging with public space. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation + 19

SILVER for building post-war skills through a community library - "Post-War Collective" / Milinda Pathiraja and Ganga Ratnayake (Robust Architecture Workshop)

SILVER: The common lobby with its panoramic window. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
SILVER: The common lobby with its panoramic window. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Located in rural Ambepussa, Sri Lanka, this design examines the integration of former soldiers back into post-war society. The library was constructed by young men who were taught the necessary building techniques, and is made of rammed-earth walls and recycled materials.

SILVER: Social Capital: The army's human resource is assimilated for social building through carefully planned on-site training initiatives. This reduces immediate labor costs and produces a skilled workforce. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
SILVER: Social Capital: The army's human resource is assimilated for social building through carefully planned on-site training initiatives. This reduces immediate labor costs and produces a skilled workforce. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Mostafavi applauded the project's focus on transforming a now mission-less army into a driven workforce serving society through physical means, such as an educational program to teach specific construction methods. “There is significant value in the basic message of the scheme – and the construction of a library that builds both the physical and social fabric of a community."

SILVER: Views across inside/outside: Building as a journey. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation SILVER: 3D view of the proposed library: The single-story building mass spans nonchalantly across the landscape, touching the earth as lightly as possible. The building informally wraps around an internal courtyard that is also an extension of the external landscape. The placement of the building on site retains all existing trees, while its linear footprint allows optimized natural ventilation and brings in sunlight to all internal rooms; rammed earth walls provide thermal mass. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation SILVER: Plan of the ground floor layout: Towards a serene flow of space across landscape. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation SILVER: The reading room: A series of formal and informal platforms for reading are organized in and around the library. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation + 19

BRONZE for the "Dryline" protection and additional public amenities / BIG and One Architecture

BRONZE: View of BIG U from The Battery in the financial district. Berms are strategically located to protect the infrastructure below and create a protective upland landscape. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
BRONZE: View of BIG U from The Battery in the financial district. Berms are strategically located to protect the infrastructure below and create a protective upland landscape. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Addressing New York City's risk of coastal flooding, the design proposes an integrated system to protect against such hazards. The project consists of defensive strategies, namely elevated berms, that serve as both infrastructural barricades and a string of public spaces to support the area's commercial, cultural, and recreational needs.

BRONZE: The undulating berm in East River Park will rise 15 feet to provide flood protection and connect coast and community. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation
BRONZE: The undulating berm in East River Park will rise 15 feet to provide flood protection and connect coast and community. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation

Mostafavi commended the proposal's innovative use of a problem as a possibility. “The project makes a political statement by means of an architectural and urban proposition – where tangible solutions to the effects of climate change can be created, where New York City is a prototype from which similar strategies in susceptible regions around the globe could be pursued.”

BRONZE: BIG U contains a protective ribbon: 21 km (13 mi) of flood protection tailored to each neighborhood and the community it serves. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation BRONZE: Reprogramming: Dark spaces below highways are turned into urban community areas. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation BRONZE: Abandoned underpass becomes public space, activated by a continuous band of flood defense/amenities. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation BRONZE: BIG, in collaboration with the City of New York, proposes a protective ribbon in Southern Manhattan using a series of raised berms and other measures to create public spaces along the water’s edge, forming a large-scale integrated flood protection system. Image Courtesy of Holcim Foundation + 19

For more information on the 2015 Global Holcim Awards or for full project descriptions, visit holcimfoundation.org

Cite: Holly Giermann. "3 Projects Win 2015 Global Holcim Awards for Sustainability " 21 Apr 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/622105/3-projects-win-2015-global-holcim-awards-for-sustainability/> ISSN 0719-8884