Zurich: The Holcim Foundation “encourages innovative approaches to sustainable construction” by awarding $2 millions (USD) every three years to projects that encourage ecological responsibility, solve environmental problems and encourage a sense of community. In conjunction, the foundation highlights companies and individuals who have made breakthroughs in sustainable materials and technologies.
First prize was awarded to the school project in Gando, Burkina Faso created by Diébède Kéré of German Kéré Architecture. The north-western African country faces hot temperatures in both a tropical, rainy summer and a gusty, Saharan winter. As such, the school includes subterranean tubes which provide constant cooling, as well as vegetation and reinforced walls and roofs. The school is an important contribution to the community because it provides jobs, guaranteed long term education and reforestation. The head judge Enrique Norton declares it “creates an outstanding environment from a social viewpoint and also in constructive terms.”
Second prize was awarded to the Paraisopolis project in Sao Paulo, Brazil, led by Brillembourg and Klumpner of Urban Think Tank. The Paraisopolis favela is one of the largest informal communities in the world. The landscape is quickly eroding and UTT’s project is responding to this challenge by creating a “terraced public space with areas for urban agriculture, a water management system, a public amphitheatre, and sports facilities” with a complete transport system. Its layout also protects it from mudslides.
Third prize was awarded was awarded to Realities United’s plans for the Spree River in Berlin. A portion of the river is under-used and will be transformed into a 745 meter long swimming pool (the equivalent of 17 Olympic-sized pools).This “Flussbad” project includes plans for “sub-surface sand bed filters to purify the water” and render the river safe and sustainable.
Amongst the innovations highlighted were a German collaboration which makes concrete apartments from recycled foamed glass and Gramazio and Kohler’s creation of molds from digitally-fabricated wax.
View the complete reports (sources in english):
Press Release on Holcimfoundation.org March 29, 2012
Winners of the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction
Published on Core77.com by Perrin Drumm - April 9, 2012