The Holcim Foundation has announced its 20-strong slate of global winners as part of the 2023 Holcim Awards, an annual showcase of "contextual and practicable approaches to sustainable construction" that was established in 2004 by the Zurich-based organization.
The winning projects represent a total of $1 million USD worth of prize money and were awarded over their abilities to advance the building trade’s efforts at sustainable development in various aspects and across different scales. Judges chose from a field of more than 500 submissions to select winners, with five Gold prize winners being selected for making outstanding contributions in their individual regions.
Laura Viscovich, the Executive Director of the Holcim Foundation, said: "In a world where sustainability has multiple interpretations, the Holcim Foundation is proud to shine a light on projects that demonstrate best-in-class solutions for creating uplifting places that meet human development goals while restoring and regenerating natural systems. We encourage all our Holcim Awards winners to use this global recognition as a platform to help speed up the realization of sustainable construction in their regions."
Further lauded for their "innovative and impactful sustainable design and construction methods," the 2023 International Holcim Awards winners are:
Holcim Awards 2023 Gold ($100,000 each)
ASIA PACIFIC: Fujian Tulou, Zhangzhou, Fujian, China by DnA_Design and Architecture
Jury comment: "The project defines a conservation approach through adaptive reuse and proposes a prototypical framework for giving new value to traditional tulou structure."
EUROPE: El 17. Composition of Knowledge House, Madrid, Spain by Husos, Elii and Ultrazul
Jury comment: "A rehabilitation of an industrial building into a vibrant community hub using a comprehensive 360° codesign process that emphasizes material circularity and increases urban biodiversity."
LATIN AMERICA: Utopía Estrella Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Mexico by CANO | VERA Arquitectura
Jury comment: "An urban remediation project that aims to transform a site including a former landfill to create facilities 2/4 for sport, culture, social engagement, and ecological education for the 230,000 inhabitants of Iztapalapa."
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: Surf Ghana Collective, Busua, Ghana by Juergen Strohmayer and Glenn DeRoché
Jury comment: "A responsible tourism co-operative that repurposes an existing building to create a dynamic community space which enhances economic opportunities and empowers youth in Busua."
NORTH AMERICA: 1925 Victoria Park Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada by Well Grounded Real Estate, Serotiny Group and CREE Buildings
Jury comment: "A high-tech and low-cost modular housing solution that reimagines sustainable apartment living through the design of the first 12-floor near-zero, mixed use rental development in Ontario."
Holcim Awards Silver ($60,000 each)
ASIA PACIFIC: Ger Plug-In 3.0 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia by District Development Unit, Energy Efficient Design Build, and Ger Hub
Jury comment: "A housing prototype upgrades Ger (traditional felt tent) dwellings to provide affordable and energy efficient housing with integrated infrastructure that improves air quality, health, and wellbeing."
EUROPE: Urban Nature Project, Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom by Feilden Fowles, J&L Gibbons and the Natural History Museum
Jury comment: "The landscape program transforms the two hectare Gardens of London to increase biodiversity, accessibility, scientific research, and best practice outdoor nature-learning while responding to the urgent need to re-engage people with the natural world and urban wildlife."
LATIN AMERICA: San José De Nueva Venecia School, Sitio Nuevo, Colombia by FP Arquitectura
Jury comment: "A refurbishment project that expands and renovates a village school for flexible community use, and provides innovative biological waste-water treatment for enhanced ecosystem health."
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: Stream Co-Habitat, Tuzla, Turkey by Openact Architecture
Jury comment: "An ecosystem regeneration and urban re-engagement program that aims to develop a design scheme based on the waterlines shaping Tuzla’s natural landscape and lifestyle while reconnecting it to its historical and cultural roots."
NORTH AMERICA: Maritime Innovation Center, Seattle, WA, USA by The Miller Hull Partnership
Jury comment: "A deep energy retrofit for a “blue tech” economy hub that reuses much of the century-old heavy timber structure and delivers 105% of the building’s annual energy needs by ground source heat exchange."
Holcim Awards Bronze ($30,000 each)
ASIA PACIFIC: NUS Yusof Ishak House, Singapore by the National University of Singapore (NUS)
Jury comment: "Adaptive reuse and retrofit of a 1970s university administration building that aims to be the first of its kind on campus to achieve the target of net-zero energy in its operational phase."
EUROPE: Haus 2+, Berlin, Germany by Office ParkScheerbarth
Jury comment: "A mixed-used building extension for a cooperatively organized cultural complex that expands the architectural language of prefabricated timber structures beyond their typical angularity while maximizing energy efficiency."
LATIN AMERICA: Saving Portete – Sustainable Island, Esmeraldas, Ecuador by Rama Estudio
Jury comment: "A resilience project for a coastal community following an earthquake in 2016 that creates a sustainable island with affordable and decent housing as well as community infrastructure that responds to local needs."
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: Kfar Houneh Ecolodge, Kfar Houneh, Lebanon by Akl Architects
Jury comment: "An
environmental remediation project located on the outskirts of Kfar Houneh village that promotes
responsible tourism and historic preservation and incorporates an ecolodge built with eco-friendly
materials and techniques, utilizing locally-sourced natural materials."
NORTH AMERICA: Kaiser Borsari Hall, Bellingham, WA, USA by Perkins&Will
Jury comment: "A university building with on-site energy generation and storage that achieves a 63% reduction in embodied carbon and a 100% reduction in operational carbon, designed according to International Living Future Institute 'smart building' standards."
Holcim Awards Acknowledgement ($10,000 each)
ASIA PACIFIC: Post-Covid Factory, Đồng Nai, Vietnam by Le Quang-Architect(s)
Jury comment: "An industrial refurbishment project that delivers a better indoor and outdoor work environment through a more dense yet permeable massing that features breathable surfaces, integrated natural landscape, efficient energy use of equipment and ventilation systems."
EUROPE: High-Rise H1 Zwhatt Site, Regensdorf, Switzerland by Boltshauser Architekten
Jury comment: "A tower of flexible modular apartments for 2,000 residents that concentrates density to reserve land for wellstructured outdoor space, and generates around half of the electrical energy required for the apartments via integrated and rooftop photovoltaics."
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: Ezbet Eshaq’s Eco Classroom, Ezbet Eshaq, Egypt by BENAA Foundation for Sustainable Development
Jury comment: "A learning space constructed with the help of the local community in the agricultural village of Ezbet Eshaq that uses recycled materials including 9,000 reused plastic bottles filled with sand, locally sourced compressed earth blocks, bamboo, and natural clay."
NORTH AMERICA: Muscowpetung Powwow Arbour, Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation, SK, Canada by Oxbow Architecture and Richard Kroeker
Jury comment: "A traditionally constructed cultural space for an indigenous community that supports economic objectives by engaging local sources of labor in the building process using construction approaches that are strategically aligned with local resources and skills."
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