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Award Winners Tackle Resource Issues

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

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A concept addressing water scarcity in Las Vegas and a compostable structure set for New York City were among the top winners of a design competition showcasing the latest in resource efficiency and innovation.

Thirteen winners of the 2014 Holcim Awards for North America were announced Sept. 18. All winners will share a $330,000 purse, according to the Holcim Foundation.

Holcim Foundation
All images courtesy of Holcim Foundation

The winning architecture teams received honors at an award cermony held last month in Toronto.

The awards feature innovative, future-oriented and tangible construction projects that promote sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues affecting building and construction, the Swiss-based foundation said in announcing the winners.

Brief descriptions of the top three projects, provided by the Holcim Foundation, are provided below. Additional information on these and the other winners listed can be obtained by clicking the project name.

Water Supply Answer

This year’s gold award went to a water supply and flood mitigation project in Las Vegas designed by The Water Pore Partnership designers Amy Mielke and Caitlin Taylor.

The Water Pore Partnership

A water supply and flood mitigation project in Las Vegas designed by The Water Pore Partnership won the 2014 Gold Holcim Award.

Poreform is a water absorptive surface and subterranean basin that captures rain runoff and adds over 20 billion gallons to the water supply capacity of Las Vegas, according to the designers.

“Capable of rapid saturation and slow release, the flood-control pores of this ‘urban skin’ are inlets to a new infrastructure that reframes water as a valuable resource rather than a liability,” according to the announcement.

Urban Flood Protection

The silver prize was awarded to Bjarke Ingels and Kai-Uwe Bergmann, of BIG, for a concept designed to mitigate the impact of future storms, like Hurricane Sandy, in New York City.

The Rebuilding by Design project addresses the city’s vulnerability to coastal flooding by using a raised berm and sequence of public spaces along the water’s edge.

Holcim Winner_BIG

Rebuilding by Design features a concept to mitigate the impact of future storms, like Hurricane Sandy, in New York City.

The project includes an eight-mile long infrastructural barrier.

Biotechnology Captured

A zero-carbon, compostable, circular tower structure formed using reflective bricks, designed by David Benjamin of The Living architecture lab, won the bronze award.

The Hy-Fi project, designed for and commissioned by MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program for construction in New York City, uses "recent advances in biotechnology combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering," the announcement said.

Holcim Winner_Hy Fi
The Living architecture lab

The bronze award was bestowed on a circular tower structure formed using bricks made of compostable materials.

Specifically, the project explores the potential of using organic bricks, made of a combination of corn stalks and fungal organisms.

Additional Winners

Acknowledgment prizes were awarded to following projects/teams.

Six “Next Generation” prizes, recognizing bold ideas, were also awarded to the following.

The Holcim Foundation is supported by Holcim Ltd and its group companies in nearly 70 countries and is independent of its commercial interests.

Holcim is a global supplier of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as ready-mix concrete and asphalt services.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Awards and honors; Building materials; Color + Design; Construction; Design; Green building; Green design; North America; Sustainability

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