Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment 2021 announced

The jury from left to right: Alfred Felder, Ian Ritchie, Dorte Mandrup, Francine Houben, Tobias Nolte and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. Copyright: Zumtobel Group

(PRESS RELEASE) DORNBIRN, Austria, 14-Dec-2021 — /EuropaWire/ — Zumtobel Group (VIE: ZAG), an Austrian company active in the development, production and sales of lighting technologies, has announced the 2021 winners of its inaugural international architecture prize. The “Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment” prizes were presented to the projects of Lacol, an architecture cooperative from Barcelona, Spain, the Black Women Build Initiative, Baltimore, USA, and the Circular Construction Lab of Cornell University, Ithaca, USA. The awarded projects address the core of the Zumtobel Group Award, which has been presented for the sixth time since 2007 and was again curated by the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin, with their current topics of collective housing, a bottom-up initiative on the independent creation of homes and a data-based innovation for circularity. The international architecture prize supports future-oriented developments to improve the quality of life and sustainability in the built environment with these awards, which come with prize money totalling 120,000 euros. The prizes in the Buildings and Urban Developments & Initiatives categories come with prize money of 50,000 euros each. The Special Prize for Innovation will receive 20,000 euros.

“The Zumtobel Group Award with its main emphasis for innovation in humanity and sustainability in the built environment is more relevant than ever. Again we had so many valuable contributions and I want to thank them all not only for their participation within the Award but also their contribution to make our world a better one. Sadly we cannot pick each one of them. So my sincere congratulations go to the three winners and the eleven nominations our jury selected this time.” — Isabel Zumtobel, Head of Arts & Culture Zumtobel Group and Patron of its Award

The jurors in 2021
The jury consisted of experts from a variety of disciplines and a geographical spread. The notable jurors were (in alphabetical order): Alfred Felder, CEO Zumtobel Group; Francine Houben from Mecanoo, the Netherlands; Dorte Mandrup from Dorte Mandrup A/S, Denmark; Tobias Nolte from Certain Measures, Germany/USA; Ian Ritchie, ritchie*studio in London, and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen from Snøhetta Architects in Oslo as Chairman of the jury.

“For the moment we are seeing that there is a clear tendency of stronger environmental concepts, there is a clear tendency of looking at holistic projects in a different way. In architecture a lot of rewards are relevant, but the Zumtobel Group Award is the only one focussing on environmental issues, and only on this, whether it’s innovation, whether it’s urban, whether it’s the building category. By doing that, they are taking a clear stand in relationship to where they see their contribution into the future go forward. The Zumtobel Group is setting a certain standard, not only for the world out there, but also for themselves, and it is extremely important now to see the continuation of these things happening into the future.” — Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Snøhetta Architects and Chairman of the juSnøhetta Architects and Chairman of the jury

From the public invitation to participate, a total of 220 projects from 42 countries were registered. At its meeting in November, the jury selected the final winners and nominees from the entries. The categories and the Special Prize are represented by the three brands of the Zumtobel Group.

Awarded in the Buildings category
The prize in the Buildings category – represented by the Zumtobel brand – has been awarded to the architecture cooperative Lacol for its project La Borda Housing Cooperative in Barcelona, Spain. The six-storey timber structure – at the time of construction the country’s tallest wooden structure and itself a praiseworthy example of architectural achievement and environmental sustainability – offers collective housing and was created in 2012 from a neighbourhood initiative looking to find a solution to the lack of access to living space.

“La Borda is an extraordinary project because it clearly demonstrates a series of non-physical values that are needed in our urban societies. Combining environmental, social and economic thinking sets a new standard for future urban housing and one that encourages both communal and personal well-being. Among all great projects, La Borda stood out, simply because of its efforts, trying to move the world and the housing industry collectively forward.” — Jury, Zumtobel Group Award

La Borda in Barcelona, award holder in the Buildings category, by Lacol SCCL. Copyright: Copyright: Institut Municipal de l’Habitatge i Rehabilitació de Barcelona

Awarded in the Urban Developments & Initiatives category
In the Urban Developments & Initiatives category – represented by the Thorn brand –, the award goes to the Initiative Black Women Build in Baltimore, USA, for its project Whole Block Outcomes: Rehabilitating Baltimore. The initiative works for black women and together with them on rehabilitating dilapidated buildings in Upton and Druid Heights (UDH), two neglected communities with a high poverty rate in West Baltimore. The programme focuses on supporting women’s social and economic freedom.

“What makes this project so important is that it really supports the people themselves and gives them perspective, as it is not a top-down project. We really hope it will make a big change in Baltimore, giving the Black women there power and confidence. We are very proud that we selected this project because initiatives like this are not only important to solve local problems, but also as a global sign for what the future might look like.” — Jury, Zumtobel Group Award

Awarded in the Urban Developments & Initiatives category: Black Women Build and their initiative Whole Block Outcomes: Rehabilitating Baltimore.

Special Prize for Innovation
The Special Prize for Innovation – represented by the technology subsidiary Tridonic – is awarded for the first time this year and goes to the Circular Construction Lab of Cornell University, Ithaca, USA and its research partners for the development of the RhinoCircular software tool. The CAD plugin, which is based on expert knowledge, can be used to determine the circularity of materials at a very early design stage, evaluating the environmental impact of building design in terms of embodied carbon and circularity.

“Out of all the great projects that were submitted, the jury argued that this one is the most scalable and also applies to multiple industries. It is not limited to design and construction but could also be applied to product development. This software enables you to work with your sketch and your initial design in a more sustainable way, providing the possibility of addressing the challenge of climate change. RhinoCircular really has all the potential to have a lot of impact.” — Jury, Zumtobel Group Award

The Special Prize for Innovation was awarded for the software tool RhinoCircular by Circular Construction Lab. Copyright: Circular Construction Lab

The establishment of the Zumtobel Group Award as a recognised international competition is, among other things, the merit of Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell of the Aedes Architecture Forum, who have accompanied the architecture prize since its launch in 2007 and have played a major role in shaping its development.

“The fascinating spectrum of submissions impressively reflects the potential of planners, architects, bottom-up initiatives and academic research. They all make a significant contribution to improving socio-ecological-economic balance and social resilience. All awarded projects prove that only bold action helps. They ignite sparks of hope and optimism in these challenging times. We congratulate the award recipients and nominees and would like to thank all the authors from around the world for submitting their inspiring projects. A collective ‘wealth of experience’ that shows that the orientation of the Zumtobel Award, which was defined 15 years ago with a special focus on social sustainability, provides an important impetus for holistic, social and technological solution strategies.” — Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell, Aedes Architecture Forum, Berlin

Congratulations to the final nominees
Amid all the outstanding submissions, the following projects receive a final nomination by the jury. (Listed in the order of submission: project, studio)

The following five projects in the Buildings category were nominated by the jury for their distinguished architectural approach and their commitment to sustainability and humanity: Anandaloy, Studio Anna Heringer, Laufen, Germany | Maya Somaiya Library, Sameep Padora & Associates, Mumbai, India | Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre, iredale pedersen hook architects with Advanced Timber Concepts Studio, Perth, Australia | Tambacounda Maternity and Paediatric Hospital, Manuel Herz Architects, Basel, Switzerland, and Cyclone Shelter, URBANA, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

In Urban Developments & Initiatives the jury congratulates the following four projects for their stand-out initiatives in an urban context: Thammasat Urban Rooftop Farm, Landprocess, Bangkok, Thailand | City of 1000 Tanks, OOZE architects & urbanists, Rotterdam, Netherlands | Sweet City, Municipalidad de Curridabat, Costa Rica, and PlanBude Hamburg, PlanBude, Hamburg, Germany.

For the Special Prize for Innovation, the jury nominated the following two forward-looking approaches: People’s Pavilion, Overtreders W with bureau SLA, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Adaptex, Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, Priedemann Facade-Lab, Germany.

Media contacts
Zumtobel Group Press Team
+43 (0)5572 509 575

AEDES Architekturforum Berlin
Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss | Hans-Jürgen Commerell
Tel. +49 (30) 282-70 15

The Zumtobel Group Award 2021 at a glance:
Call for submissions
From 25 November 2020 to 15 May 2021 via a public online tool

Award website: z.lighting/zumtobel-group-award

The Zumtobel Group with its brands Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel

Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell, Aedes Architecture Forum, Berlin www.aedes-arc.de

Award categories
Buildings EUR 50,000
Urban Developments & Initiatives EUR 50,000
Special Prize for Innovation EUR 20,000

Zumtobel Group Award
The ‘Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment’ promotes pioneering concepts and
developments for more quality of life and sustainability in the built environment and its design. Awarded first in 2007, the Zumtobel Group
addresses with the international architecture award core issues of our age, such as how best to deal with our finite resources, opportunities
for repurposing existing buildings, sustainable development concepts for urban and rural space, utilisation of new materials and innovative
processes, and the central question of humane living conditions. The Zumtobel Group Award belongs to the most respected awards in the
world of architecture and has had a total of sixteen projects awarded first place to date.

About the Aedes Architecture Forum
The Aedes Architecture Forum is a world-renown independent institution and exhibition space for the international communication of contemporary architecture and urban design. Established in 1980 as the first private architecture gallery in Europe, the Aedes Architecture Forum has gained a large international partnership network, which feeds to an outstanding cultural platform for the global and public discourse of the built environment. Founded by Kristin Feireiss and Helga Retzer († 1984), Aedes is co-directed by Hans-Jürgen Commerell since 1994. As one of its kind Aedes served as a prototypical model for many architecture-museums and similar institutions established later. www.aedes-arc.de

About the Zumtobel Group
The Zumtobel Group aims to create wellbeing and improve people’s quality of life through light – as a group, and through all its individual
brands, Thorn, Tridonic and Zumtobel. As a leading supplier of innovative lighting solutions, the Group offers its customers around the world a comprehensive portfolio, where the focus is invariably on people and their needs. The company’s know-how about the effects of light on people, acquired over decades, forms the basis for sustainable and future-oriented lighting solutions that are increasingly energyand resource-efficient while providing the best possible quality of light. The Group is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (ATX Prime) and currently holds a workforce of around 5,800 employees. In the 2020/21 financial year, the company posted revenues of EUR 1,044.5 million. The Zumtobel Group is based in Dornbirn in the Vorarlberg region of Austria. For further information, please visit z.lighting/group

SOURCE: Zumtobel Group


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