This is the fifth time the Holcim Awards competition is being conducted. Over the years, more than 200 projects have been awarded worldwide. More than half the winning projects have been built or are scheduled for completion soon. Thus, the Holcim Awards are not about castles in the air, but about tangible measures that advance the science of construction. This aspect of tangible change is underscored by a prize that’s being awarded for the first time in 2017: the “Holcim Building Better Recognition”. It is awarded for a winning project from a previous competition cycle, one which has been built and has stood the test of time as a particularly successful example of sustainable building.
In Latin America, this recognition went to Mario Camargo on behalf of the team of colectivo 720 in Calí, Colombia. Using minimal financial and material resources, the architects transformed a decommissioned water reservoir in Medellín into a multiuse public park. The project won the Global Holcim Awards Gold in the fourth competition cycle. The jury applauded that it “foregrounds the value of water as an important resource of urban life, celebrating a piece of infrastructure as a civic work of collective pride and beauty.” Today, “UVA Orfelinato de la imaginación” is a pleasant reality for the local residents who are glad to see it standing the test of time.