Holcim Awards 2014 Winners for Africa Middle East Announced

Holcim Awards Gold 2014 –Eco-Techno Park: Green building showcase and enterprise hub, Ankara, Turkey

The twelve winning projects of the Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East focus mainly on enhancing social and environmental resilience, as well as the economy of construction. The winning submissions show how multi-disciplinary responses to the challenges facing design and building are being developed. A green building in Turkey, an urban forest rehabilitation in Lebanon, and a low-cost housing plan in Ethiopia received the top prizes.

An international jury led by Howayda Al-Harithy (Lebanon) selected the winners using the “target issues” for sustainable construction that include the “triple bottom line” of environmental, social and economic performance, and also recognize the need for architectural excellence and a high degree of transferability. Twelve projects in Africa Middle East to be implemented in nine countries were recognized with a total of USD 330,000 prize money.

Green building and enterprise hub in Turkey wins Gold

An ecological park for sustainable research and technology planned for Ortadoğu Sanayi ve Ticaret Merkezi, an industrial zone located in Ankara won the top prize. Creating an attractive communal space for its users with minimum interference to the natural context, the building and landscape design by architects Onat and Zeynep Öktem of ONZ Architects in Turkey incorporates various sustainable features such as natural lighting, geothermal heat pumps, green roofs, passive ventilation and water  efficiency/irrigation systems.

At the prize-giving ceremony in Beirut, Howayda Al-Harithy congratulated the Holcim Awards Gold winners for promoting economic growth through innovation in environmental technologies. “The building is conceived as a test bed for sustainable research that explores new techniques in the region pertaining to the use of renewable resources – while establishing a careful balance between the natural and fabricated realm”, she said.

Urban forest rehabilitation in Lebanon takes Silver

A rehabilitation plan for a pine forest park in Beirut, Lebanon by Raëd Abillama of Raëd Abillama Architects from Lebanon won Silver. The urban plan develops the facilities and services needed in the park to open it to the public, and promoting it for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while also maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats. Environmental standards and urban needs will be integrated in a seamless way, enhancing the sense of belonging to the wider community.

Bronze for low-cost urban housing plan in Ethiopia

A project conducted in parallel by the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction & City Development (EiABC), Addis Ababa and Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany received Bronze. The project to explore and implement construction techniques that tangibly upgrade housing stock in the city was led by Dirk Donath. Within this process-oriented project, close to 90% of the building components including prefabricated concrete elements and lightweight eucalyptus frames are produced by local micro and small-scale enterprises. The approach creates the opportunity for skilled employment and capacity building, and also allows homeowners to complete the construction themselves, installing building components and finishes according to their needs.

Five Acknowledgement prizes for outstanding public infrastructure

Shatha Safi of Riwaq Center for Architectural Conservation, Palestine and Yara Sharif of NG Architects and Palestine Regeneration Team, United Kingdom received one of the five equally-ranked Acknowledgement prizes for a women’s center and playground in Palestine that creates social and physical infrastructure for cooking, education and gardening as a conduit to empowering women in the community. Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works, Nigeria was acknowledged for Chicoco Radio, a floating media platform that will be built to strengthen local communities for the residents of the waterfront slums of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. A community farming and market hub in Rwanda by Pamela Larocca of Urban Future organization, Italy was recognized for a cooperative that includes a collective hill-farming program, community buildings, and a market that boosts economic capacity and food self-sufficiency.

Further Acknowledgement prizes also went to a socially-integrated office building with sustainable façade for the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association’s headquarters in Ethiopia by Ken De Cooman and Wes Degreef of BC architects, Belgium and Adeyabeba Hailemariam of ABBA architects, Ethiopia; and also to a health center and school in refugee camp in Mauritania by Attila Szabadics of ArchSus Group, Hungary that provides improved living conditions in easily-erectable tent structures fitted with phase change material accumulators that provide air-conditioning across hot days and cold nights without additional energy requirements.

Four “Next Generation” prizes for students and young professionals

The Holcim Awards competition also seeks bold ideas for tomorrow in the “Next Generation” category for participants up to 30 years of age. The “Next Generation” 1 st prize went to South African architect Jurie Swart for a Water research center at Fika Patso Dam, South Africa. The design proposition frames a discourse on possible forms of relationships between the built and natural environments, with a focus on bio-mimicry.

Chamss Oulkadi from BOM architecture, Morocco/France won the 2 nd prize for an earthquake memorial and archaeological museum in Agadir, Morocco that merges tradition with a contemporary understanding of architecture. The 3 rd prize was presented to Heidi van Eeden from South Africa for a regenerative urban catalyst and textile production concept in the city that blends a textile manufacturing facility, agricultural fields, and a sewage treatment plant into an interrelated system. Students Marylynn Antaki, Christina Attiyeh, Mira Boumatar, Romy El Sayah and Yara Rahme from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon received the 4 th prize for an urban energy recovery and development concept for the city.

Holcim Awards submissions for projects in Africa Middle East were evaluated by an independent jury hosted by the American University of Beirut and included Howayda Al-Harithy (head of jury, Lebanon), Marc Angélil (Switzerland), Javier de Benito (Switzerland), Aziza Chaouni (Morocco), Fasil Giorghis (Ethiopia), Daniel Irurah (South Africa), Francis Kéré (Burkina Faso), Hansjürg Leibundgut (Switzerland), and Amer Moustafa (United Arab Emirates). http://www.holcimawards.org/jury-ame

The Holcim Awards ceremony in Beirut for the competition region Africa Middle East was the fourth in a series of five events following Moscow for Europe, Toronto for North America, and Medellín for Latin America. The concluding event will be held in Jakarta for Asia Pacific in November. The projects that receive Holcim Awards Gold, Silver and Bronze in each region automatically qualify for the Global Holcim Awards 2015.

The Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction competition seeks 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 has been run by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation since 2004 and offers USD 2 million in prize money per three-year cycle.

The Holcim Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd and its Group companies in around 70 countries and is independent of its commercial interests. Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services.

Beirut, Lebanon – October 17, 2014