Holcim Awards Webinar #5

May 28, 2024

Architectural Acupuncture

Small Projects, Big Impact

Ripples that go beyond

In Africa and the Middle East, sustainability is often framed as a question of “use, tradition, and relationship to the environment,” says Lesley Lokko OBE, Chair of the Holcim Awards 2023 jury for the region. This is different from how it might be discussed in resource-rich countries of the developed North.

In resource-constrained places, small can be powerful. The trick is to create ripples that go beyond a project’s site and shell. A building – acting as a pinprick of acupuncture – transforms its neighbourhood: socially, economically, and ecologically.

Exemplifying the acupuncture approach in Ghana and Lebanon

Surf Ghana Collective (Awards 2023 Gold for Middle East & Africa) focuses on the community, particularly youth, in the surfing hotspot of Busua in western Ghana. It reuses an existing building with strategic yet economical interventions to craft a new kind of gathering space – one that fosters collaboration, independence, and entrepreneurship.

Kfar Houneh Ecolodge (Awards 2023 Bronze for Middle East & Africa) is situated on the outskirts of its eponymous village in Lebanon, where it will promote tourism. Built with low-impact materials and efficient systems, the project preserves and integrates old ruins in the area, making them part of a tourist trail. Here, the wider condition is the biodiversity and ecosystem of the region, which the Ecolodge seeks to protect and showcase.

Webinar Replay

Speakers & Moderator