Thoughtful and forward looking

Holcim Awards Next Generation prize winners

  • 1 / 21

    Accumulating Shelter in Spain

    The park.

  • 2 / 21

    Thermal Processor in Switzerland

    Thermal Processor in Switzerland

  • 3 / 21

    Transforming Collectivity in Belgium

    Site analysis + Proposal of transformation.

  • 4 / 21

    Tessellated Cleansing from the United Kingdom

    Tessellated Cleansing from the United Kingdom

  • 5 / 21

    Unmaking Architecture – New York

    With this model the entire library can be matched onto an adjustable shape, allowing for a holistic optimization where all elements simultaneously arranged. Heavy Concrete elements are transported into place by barge, and lifted by crane into new temporary assemblies. Material is no longer discarded, but rather put into new holding patterns that can maintain valuable material through generations.

  • 6 / 21

    Off the Wall – Canada

    Different colors, weight, and textures.

  • 7 / 21

    Performative Landscapes in Florida

    Performative Landscapes in Florida

  • 8 / 21

    Pure Inhale – Connecticut

    AMPs wall testing for air quality and microbiome. Image Collaboration: Yale CEA.

  • 9 / 21

    Buoyant Housing in Brazil

    Northeast facade view.

  • 10 / 21

    Fluid Buffer in Argentina

    Fluid Buffer in Argentina

  • 11 / 21

    Improving Market in Mexico

    The proposal addresses the paradigmatic scenario that the building intervention represents stating a message of accessibility and inclusiveness. The building becomes an open and dynamic facility. Austere materials are used to improve the building performance and the user experience.

  • 12 / 21

    Protective Canopy in Colombia

    Steel cables that rest on the slope of the mountain from end to end, are hung forming a catenary by a light of 130 meters. A single cover that protects the exotic and natural collections chosen for being the most representative ecosystems of the Colombian regions. The native collection of the mountain slope, continues and pierces the building by means of strips of trees.

  • 13 / 21

    Connective Infrastructure in Uganda

    Connective Infrastructure in Uganda

  • 14 / 21

    Living Memorial in Jordan

    Living Memorial in Jordan

  • 15 / 21

    Plastic Extractor in Sierra Leone

    Plastic Extractor in Sierra Leone

  • 16 / 21

    Earthen Education in Iraq

    Earthen Education in Iraq

  • 17 / 21

    Recovered Foreshore in India

    Recovered Foreshore in India

  • 18 / 21

    Towers of Strength in India

    Towers of Strength in India

  • 19 / 21

    Mangrove Recovery in Thailand

    Section perspective of clam embryo shelter and the trail design for trapping sediment.

  • 20 / 21

    Buoyant Amenity in Indonesia

    Hyacinth is controlled in the box. The people the facility to do their daily life in the river.

  • 21 / 21

    Cultivated Envelope in India

    Cultivated Envelope in India

The sixth Holcim Awards competition cycle is coming to a close: 21 projects by students and young practitioners around the globe have been awarded. They show that members of the next generation are concerned with the sustainable future of construction on many levels – and that they are prepared to go completely new ways to achieve it.

Last updated: June 21, 2021 Zurich, Switzerland

The sixth Holcim Awards competition cycle is coming to a close: 21 projects by students and young practitioners around the globe have been awarded. They show that members of the next generation are concerned with the sustainable future of construction on many levels – and that they are prepared to go completely new ways to achieve it.

The Holcim Awards are the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The competition is held by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction in five world regions and in two categories: The Main category is for projects that are ready for implementation, whereas the Next Generation category seeks visionary concepts and is open to participants up to 30 years of age. “The competition is a catalyst to amplify the best ideas by giving a stage to the brightest minds in sustainable design and construction,” says Jan Jenisch, CEO of Holcim. “With their fresh ideas, the next generation keeps us at the forefront of sustainable and innovative building solutions.” The winners in the Next Generation category have now been announced – for the first time online instead of at regional ceremonies.

LHA_Winners_AP_NG_SVZUQ__Seite_4_Bild_0010.jpegActing small, thinking big

Around half of the 4,742 submissions in the current competition were entered in the Next Generation category. Just over half of these passed the pre-evaluation and were appraised by the five juries of independent experts. Serving as jury heads were Jeannette Kuo (Europe), Reed Kroloff (North America), Loreta Castro Reguera (Latin America), Mariam Kamara (Middle East Africa), and Nirmal Kishnani (Asia Pacific). The renowned architects were enthusiastic about the high quality of the projects, generally describing the submissions as “thoughtful and forward looking”, “hopeful”, and “a window into the youth of today.” “The next generation often addressed the issues in question as punctual interventions,” summarizes Marilyne Andersen (Switzerland), who as head of the Academic Committee of the Holcim Foundation served on all regional juries: “This sort of localized action could make a difference right there but also in a larger context. The next generation is thinking big and acting on a small scale.”

LHA_Winners_NAM_NG_1stprize_001.jpegMaterials and how they are used

The diversity of the projects judged was vast, spanning from detailed technical ideas to urban masterplans. Certain issues stood out as being of particular concern to the next generation, issues for which many outstanding ideas were presented. One of these is the question of materials: With what should we build in the future so as not to overburden the environment? Where should these materials come from? And, above all, what should we do with what has already been built on a grand scale all over the world? Pablo Goldin Marcovich from Mexico, prizewinner in Latin America, presents a project that aims to repurpose and sustainably upgrade a building in Mexico City that is slated for demolition. Daniel Marshall from the USA, first prize winner in North America, developed a tool to facilitate the reuse of demolition material in new construction. And the Canadians Daniel Gonzalez and Noor Shaikh, also prizewinners in North America, show how a new building material can be made from agricultural byproducts.

LHA_Winners_MEA_NG_CWRUV_Seite_4_Bild005.jpegInformal but not unseen

Another focus of a particularly large number of interesting projects was informal settlements. Already at the beginning of their careers, young professionals are recognizing how important it is to integrate these communities into the broader urban context instead of marginalizing them. In the Middle East Africa competition region, Priscilla Namwanje from Uganda won first prize with a multi-scale design project for a neighborhood in Kampala to foster social interaction and economic vitality. Lorenzo Fernandes from India, a winner in the Asia Pacific region, proposes spectacular multiuse mid-rise buildings for an informal settlement in Mumbai – a way to make the best use of existing space without destroying an established community.

Bold thoughts

Many of the projects demonstrate the courage to cast aside established concepts and rethink them. For example, Yufei He from Switzerland proposes using waste heat from data centers to heat and cool buildings in Zurich with his prizewinning project in the Europe region. Tala Shelbayh from Jordan, winner in the Middle East Africa region, presents a reinterpretation of cemeteries in Amman. And Noor Marji from Jordan, with her successful project in the same region, shows how traditional Iraqi building methods can be reinterpreted in a sustainable way to support the preservation of cultural heritage.

LHA_Winners_LATAM_NG_1stprize_001.jpegGlobal engagement

Global challenges are not limited by national boundaries. That is why students and young practitioners are working beyond the borders of their countries and regions. Annik Keoseyan from Mexico developed a new approach to community housing for socially empowered living for Belgium's capital Brussels. She was awarded a prize for this in the Europe competition region. Evgenii Varlygin, a Russian student in Germany, addresses the problem of plastic waste in Sierra Leone – and was awarded a prize for this in the Middle East Africa region. And the US architect Soledad Patiño won first prize in the Asia Pacific region with her concept for upgrading waterfront districts of Mumbai, India.

Main category Awards winners to be announced in November

The announcement of the Next Generation prizes marked the start of the presentation of the Holcim Awards 2021. The winning projects and authors in the Main category will be honored at a hybrid event at the international Venice Biennale of Architecture in mid-November 2021. This occasion will be more than just a festive ceremony, it will also include sessions of in-depth analysis of some key aspects of sustainable construction. “There will be a long weekend when we come together to talk about the different dimensions of sustainability,” says Hashim Sarkis, head of the Global Holcim Awards Jury 2021 and curator of the current Biennale of Architecture in Venice. At this occasion the 33 Main category winning projects and their authors will be presented. These were the finalists for the global Holcim Awards Gold, Silver, and Bronze 2021 which will be disclosed and celebrated at the same time.

Online presentations of the Next Generation winners, including detailed descriptions of the projects from each world region, complete jury reports, and numerous photos and videos, are available at The English-French trade journal “L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui” has devoted a special issue to the Next Generation winners of the Holcim Awards:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction was created in 2003 by Holcim as an independent legal entity to raise awareness of the important role that architecture, engineering, urban planning, and the building industry have in achieving a more sustainable future. Holcim is the global leader in building solutions across more than 70 markets. The Group is reinventing how the world builds to make it greener, smarter, and healthier for all.

Holcim Awards

Next Generation prize winners – Europe

Ex aequo (USD 15,000)
Accumulating Shelter in Spain – Dune reconstructive bayside infrastructure
A project where the forces of nature are harnessed by creative landscape design and iconic architecture to regenerate the northern coastline of Cádiz.
Winner: Javier Estebala Alández, architect, Madrid, Spain

Ex aequo (USD 15,000)
Thermal Processor in Switzerland – Waste energy recovery for residential use
A project to convert the waste heat from a data center in Zurich into “free” energy for heating and cooling.
Winner: Yufei He, architect and scientific assistant, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Ex aequo (USD 15,000)
Transforming Collectivity in Belgium – Community housing for socially empowered living
A social housing concept for Brussels where transformation, sharing and support are the premises for more sustainable and socially empowered living.
Winner: Annik Keoseyan, architect and urban designer, Mexico City, Mexico

Ex aequo (USD 15,000)
Tessellated Cleansing from the United Kingdom – Bioremediation tiles for water purification
A ribbed tile uses microalgal bioremediation to clean polluted water and empower local communities in developing countries.
Winner: Shneel Malik, architect & biodesign researcher, Bio-Integrated Design Lab, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, United Kingdom

Next Generation prize winners – North America

1st prize (USD 25,000)
Unmaking Architecture, New York – Management tool for reusing salvaged materials
An artificial-intelligence-based tool to optimize the reuse of demolition rubble.
Winner: Daniel Marshall, Teaching Fellow (2019/2020), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

2nd prize (USD 20,000)
Off the Wall, Canada – Making building components from food-processing byproducts
A smart production system uses byproducts from agriculture and aquaculture to make elegant building components.
Winners: Daniel Francisco Gonzalez, student, and Noor Shaikh, consultant, IXIM Bioproducts Inc., Waterloo and Toronto, Canada

3rd prize (USD 15,000)
Performative Landscapes in Florida – Contextual reconversion of an industrial site
A design for converting an impacted site on Tampa Bay into a productive and attractive landscape.
Winner: Samuel Clovis, architect, Los Angeles, USA

4th prize (USD 10,000)
Pure Inhale, Connecticut – Plant-based design module research
A research-based project deploys vegetation to tackle environmental, health, and social challenges in urban areas.
Winner: Phoebe Mankiewicz, Ph.D. student, Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture, New Haven, CT, USA

Next Generation prize winners – Latin America

1st prize (USD 25,000)
Buoyant Housing in Brazil – Riverside living and community complex
A housing project inspired by indigenous vernacular architecture to empower riverside communities of Manaus.
Winner: Danielle Gregorio, student at the University of São Paulo, Brazil

2nd prize (USD 20,000)
Fluid Buffer in Argentina – Urban flood mitigation and recreation infrastructure
Water-management infrastructure in Resistencia transforms floodwater into a resource for the community.
Winners: Gimena Ponce Abba, María Florencia Ruiz Cabello, and María Rosario Ruiz Cabello, students at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina

3rd prize (USD 15,000)
Improving Market in Mexico – Urban commercial rejuvenation and capacity building
A retrofit intervention for a market offers new environmental, economic, and social growth opportunities in Mexico City.
Winner: Pablo Goldin Marcovich, student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City

4th prize (USD 10,000)
Protective Canopy in Colombia – Landscape revitalization and botanical pavilion
A botanical pavilion in Bogotá heals landscape from human activities and offers new pedagogical and recreational public space.
Winners: Lina Fernanda Valencia Lozano, Juan Camilo Muñoz, and Jhon Salazar Ruiz, students at the University of Valle, Cali, Colombia

Next Generation prize winners – Middle East Africa

1st prize (USD 25,000)
Connective Infrastructure in Uganda – Inter-scale design for community integration
A multi-scale design project for a neighborhood in Kampala to foster social interaction and economic vitality.
Winner: Priscilla Namwanje, architect, Kampala, Uganda

2nd prize (USD 20,000)
Living Memorial in Jordan – Cemetery reconfiguration for urban greening
A project that attributes new public character to cemeteries in Amman, conserves land, and enhances the value of urban green space.
Winner: Tala Shelbayh, student, German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan

3rd prize (USD 15,000)
Plastic Extractor in Sierra Leone – Multipurpose recycling facility
A multipurpose facility to collect and recycle plastic litter and enhance social and economic life in an informal settlement in Freetown.
Winner: Evgenii Varlygin, student, Technical University of Munich, Germany

4th prize (USD 10,000)
Earthen Education in Iraq – School reinterpreting vernacular architecture
An educational complex in Basra to revive the architectural and cultural value of Mesopotamian Marshes.
Winner: Noor Marji, architect/student, Amman, Jordan

Next Generation prize winners – Asia Pacific

1st prize (USD 25,000)
Recovered Foreshore in India – Waterfront sanitation and community infrastructure
A project that brings social and economic legitimacy to waterfront districts of Mumbai through a new network of sustainable infrastructure.
Winner: Soledad Patiño, architect and urban designer, Harvard Graduate School of Design, MA, USA

2nd prize (USD 20,000)
Towers of Strength in India – Multifunctional amenities and services in informal settlements
An acupunctural design intervention to improve the sustainability of Mumbai’s informal settlements.
Winner: Lorenzo Fernandes, architect, Mumbai, India

3rd prize (USD 15,000)
Mangrove Recovery in Thailand – Coastal erosion and economic enhancement
A proposal to tackle the coastal erosion and ecosystem threats in the northern Gulf of Thailand while promoting sustainable fishing and tourism.
Winner: Dolathep Chetty, graduate in architecture from Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand

4th prize ex aequo (USD 10,000)
Buoyant Amenity in Indonesia – Floating sanitation facility upgrade
A project that upgrades vernacular river sanitation systems in Jakarta to reconcile ecosystems with the local community.
Winners: Rionaldi Gunari, Nicholas Rodriques, and Gani Wiratama, students, Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung, Indonesia

4th prize ex aequo (USD 10,000)
Cultivated Envelope in India – Vernacular green facade system
A multifunctional green facade system implemented in Pune coherently responds to environmental, cultural, and economic concerns.
Winner: Divya Jyoti, architect, PMA madhushala, Pune, India