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