Zurich, Switzerland - May 8, 2009 - The second cycle of the Holcim Awards competition has reached its pinnacle: the top sustainable construction projects out of thousands of submissions from all continents have been selected. The four winning entries are a river remediation scheme in Morocco, a greenfield university campus in Vietnam, a rural planning strategy in China, and a shelter for day laborers in the USA. Recognition is for projects that improve lives, reduce environmental footprints, and lead the way to a more sustainable future
Almost 5,000 sustainable construction projects and visions from 121 countries entered the five regional Holcim Awards competitions in 2008. Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in each region automatically qualified for the Global Holcim Awards competition in 2009. The global jury was headed by Charles Correa (architect, India) and included Peter Head (structural engineer, UK), Enrique Norten (architect, Mexico/USA), Saskia Sassen (sociologist, USA), Hans-Rudolf Schalcher (civil engineer, Switzerland), and Rolf Soiron (economist, Switzerland).
Gold for River remediation and urban development scheme in Fez, Morocco
A project centered upon restoration of the river through the UNESCO World Heritage listed Medina of Fez was awarded the top prize of USD 300,000 and the Global Holcim Awards Gold. A youthful and international project team led by architect Aziza Chaouni (Morocco) and urban planner Takako Tajima (USA) is remediating the heavily-polluted river Fez to revitalize the ancient heart of the city. The approach includes a series of interventions to renovate traditional tanneries, create public spaces and pedestrian zones, and restore wetlands as well as biodiversity.
Silver for Low-impact greenfield university campus in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The Global Holcim Awards Silver with USD 200,000 in prize money was awarded to a new campus for the University of Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, designed by architect Kazuhiro Kojima (Japan). Further contributors to the project were Daisuke Sanuki (Japan) and Trong Nghia Vo (Vietnam). The project avoids massive land reclamation on an island in the Mekong Delta and aims for harmony with all elements of the surrounding ecosystem: flooding rice fields, mangroves, winds and seasonal changes.
Bronze for Sustainable planning for a rural community in Beijing, China
A rural planning design for a suburban village in Beijing, China received the Global Holcim Awards Bronze and USD 100,000 for effectively combining heritage preservation, traditional knowledge, local materials, modern technology, and professional project management. The comprehensive urban planning strategy led by Yue Zhang (China) and Feng Ni (China) improves logistics, public utilities and services while meeting stringent ecological and energy-saving targets for new buildings.
“Innovation” prize for Self-contained day labor station in San Francisco, USA
The Global Holcim Awards “Innovation” prize including USD 50,000 went to a project that establishes informal stations where day laborers can meet and wait for casual work. Designed by Liz Ogbu (USA) and John Peterson (USA) of San Francisco-based nonprofit Public Architecture, the flexible structures offer shelter, benches, washrooms, a kitchen and an education/training space. Green and recycled materials are used to minimize the environmental footprint and economic cost of each facility.
The third Holcim Awards competition cycle will open for entries July 1, 2010.
The Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction competition seek innovative, future-oriented and tangible construction projects to promote sustainable responses to the technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting building and construction on a local, regional and global level. The competition is run by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation, offers USD 2 million in prize money per three-year cycle, and is sponsored by Holcim Ltd and its Group companies in more than 70 countries.
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