Holcim Foundation Awards

The Holcim Foundation has announced the winners of its international Holcim Awards for 2023, underscoring the breadth of diverse and innovative real-world approaches to transforming the built environment. From the bustling streets of Madrid to heritage conservation efforts in China, the winning projects – awarded prize money totaling USD 1 million – exemplify the growing global effort to provide holistic design and construction responses that advance multiple aspects of sustainable development.

The competition had 2,380 registrations of interest from 114 countries and 500 submissions that met the entry criteria. Out of these, five projects were awarded a Gold prize for their outstanding contribution to local sustainable development within their region. These projects, hailing from Canada, China, Ghana, Mexico, and Spain, are beacons of contextually-relevant design which thoughtfully balance the need for inclusive, human-centric spaces and environmental stewardship. The winning projects champion advances in approaches ranging from adaptive reuse and material circularity to participatory design and cooperative business models. They also address critical challenges including energy management, community empowerment and issues of land use and restoration.

Laura Viscovich, Executive Director of the Holcim Foundation, highlighted the common ambition of all the winning projects to enhance community health, wellbeing, and prosperity. She praised the winners for designs which embody the Foundation’s goals for sustainable construction, stating, “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.”

The Holcim Awards 2023 Gold winners, applauded for their innovative and impactful sustainable design and construction methods, are:

Holcim Awards 2023 Gold (USD 100,000 each)

  • ASIA PACIFIC: Fujian Tulou, Zhangzhou, Fujian, China by DnA_Design and Architecture. The project defines a conservation approach through adaptive reuse and proposes a prototypical framework for giving new value to traditional tulou structures.
  • EUROPE: El 17. Composition of Knowledge House, Madrid, Spain by Husos, Elii, and Ultrazul. A rehabilitation of an industrial building into a vibrant community hub using a comprehensive 360° co-design process that emphasizes material circularity and increases urban biodiversity.
  • LATIN AMERICA: Utopía Estrella Iztapalapa, Mexico City, Mexico by CANO | VERA Arquitectura. An urban remediation project that aims to transform a site including a former landfill to create facilities for sport, culture, social engagement and ecological education for 230,000 inhabitants of Iztapalapa.
  • MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA: Surf Ghana Collective, Busua, Ghana by Juergen Strohmayer and Glenn DeRoché. 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. A high-tech and low-cost modular housing solution that re-imagines sustainable apartment living through the design of the first 12-floor near-zero, mixed use rental development in Ontario.

    The Holcim Awards, with its mission of recognizing and promoting projects from around the world that are accelerating sustainable construction, has a rigorous selection process driven by independent regional juries. The juries assess each submission using a holistic approach to sustainability which focuses on environmental, social, and economic impacts, contextual relevance, and transferability potential.

    For comments from the regional juries and more details on all winning projects in the five regions covered by the competition:
    Holcim Foundation Awards

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