The project engages directly with the theme of aging populations. Special attention is given to accommodating the needs of elderly inhabitants with high quality dwellings. The work is merited for its sensitivity to social dynamics and transformations in lifestyles brought about by increasing urbanization and densification. Also commended is the effort to maintain links between generations, an effort that manifests an ambitious ethical vision.
Part of a larger scheme to revive the historic center of Beit Iksa, a small Palestinian village of 1,600 people near Jerusalem, the project offers a response to the village’s isolation and limited resources. In a first step, two abandoned buildings will be adapted for reuse as working spaces with an eco-kitchen for the local women’s association, followed by the rehabilitation of surrounding spaces. The new facilities will include interactive educational playgrounds for children, winter and summer seating areas, and a protected bird habitat. It is an effort to bring life back to this abandoned site by combining design, planning, restoration, landscaping, and infrastructure, thus improving local living conditions and biodiversity, while adding to the aesthetic quality of Beit Iksa.
The Vertical Agriculture at the Old Pretoria West Power Station project transforms a soon to be decommissioned coal bunker of a power station into a vertical hydroponic garden, thereby inverting the attributes of a former polluting facility into a purifying element that continues to be a mechanism for supply of the city’s needs. Grey- and rain-water is used to grow food in close proximity to the urban consumer.
After the devastating earthquake of 2005, which destroyed close to half a million rural houses, training centers for the reconstruction of earthquake resistant private dwellings were created. This project entry couples advanced engineering knowledge with the reliability of traditional materials and skills. Pilot projects strengthen self-reliance in the local population to undertake re-building.
This materials development project succeeded in processing agricultural waste into low-cost construction panels bonded with tannin-based adhesive. Plant-based agricultural wastes from the cultivation of rice, maize and cassava crops provide natural fibers that are a sustainable resource for the production of building materials to achieve a reduction in construction costs, reducing dependence on imported, higher-cost alternatives.
The concept behind this entry turns abandoned urban areas over to agricultural use. Production can even be taken into the interior of buildings using different techniques (e.g. hydroponics). The city-based program offers research opportunities into new plantation methods, leisure areas and street markets – a novel approach to lifecycle thinking.
Urban housing renovation through the creation of an “air suit”, which acts as a new facade skin improving economic and ecological performance. This project is prototype in a 40 year old building with many typical feature of reinforced concrete housing of its generation – with a solution that could readily be transferred.
The innovative proposal for the reuse of an abandoned slaughterhouse in Italy is merited for the effort to bring new life to a historical setting. Noteworthy is the idea of site recycling, a measure that promises to generate new activities and connections within the city. Considerable effort has been made to respond to communal needs while remaining sensitive to the existing context.
The twelve winning projects of the Holcim Awards 2014 Africa Middle East focus mainly on enhancing social and environmental resilience, as well as…
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