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.
This project to house the urban poor proposes a modular system of dwelling units for marginalized neighborhoods in the rapidly-growing city of Dhaka. The dwellings can easily adapt to the changing needs of their inhabitants and either grow or reduce. Moreover, the units can be dismantled when slum dwellers are evicted and reassembled in a new location. Made of bamboo and recycled materials, the dwelling’s modular components and panels are sufficiently light to be easily transported.
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.
Aggregates are ubiquitous in the concrete production industry, yet are rarely deployed in an unbound form. This materials research project examines aggregate architectures made from designed injection-molded granulates which self-solidify. This pilot project for a ground-breaking construction method uses the potential of loose, designed granulates that can interlock and consequently require no additional binding agent; fully recyclable and adaptable to almost any site constraints.
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.
Cooling as a process is one of the biggest energy consumers in the building sector globally. Air-shade addresses this problem by proposing a shading system that is sensitive to solar exposure and powered by air – with no need of any external energy source. It can vary in scale, size, material, and form: the proposed device is therefore applicable to a broad variety of buildings, constructions, façades, roofs, windows, etc.
Two publications are dedicated to shining a light on the outcome of the regional Holcim Awards 2014; each from a very different perspective: While…
Edwin Heathcote is architecture and design critic of Financial Times, and is the author of books on architecture and …
Antoine Vernholes and Edwin Heathcote comment on their analysis of the Holcim Awards 2014 prize winning entries: “I was …