Holcim Awards Webinar #3

April 2, 2024

Industrial Architecture

For Efficiency and Well-Being

Finding the right balance

The perennial question affecting the industrial typology is how to offer humane workspaces, whilst keeping workflows efficient. As the Fifth Industrial Revolution (Industry 5.0) emerges, with increasing risks – climate and economic – finding the right balance between well-being and profit is becoming all the more critical.

Two winners at Holcim Awards 2023 – North America Silver winner, Maritime Innovation Centre, (Seattle, WA, USA) and Asia Pacific Acknowledgement Prize winner, Post-Covid Factory (Đồng Nai, Vietnam) – each present a unique approach, tailored to context, that illustrate a new paradigm for industrial architecture.

We discover from these projects that the two goals are not at odds. Healthy, comfortable spaces can also reduce operational costs. The building (and, by extension, the employer) is seen, over time, as a workplace of choice.

Working on the workplace in the USA and Vietnam

The Maritime Innovation Centre rehabilitates a century-old building – a prominent landmark of Seattle’s historic commercial fishing community – into a ‘Living Building’ that is energy-positive and people-centric. Designed along with the local community, the center will serve as an incubator to bolster the region’s ‘blue-tech’ economy that promotes innovative and sustainable practices in the sector. 

The Post-Covid Factory in Đồng Nai offers remarkably improved factory conditions in Vietnam, where problems were revealed during the pandemic. The building is compact and low-cost in part because it relies on passive comfort strategies, deemed better for health. Here, community farms are deployed as well-being enhancers and a nod to the site’s agricultural past.

In the conversation steered by sustainable design expert and Ecogradia’s editor-in-chief, Nirmal Kishnani, the two projects’ team members – Chris Hellstern and Quang Le – will reveal how exactly these twin goals – well-being and cost – were set in motion.

Webinar Replay

Speakers & Moderator