Holcim Foundation


Call for radical change

Next generation of architects to re-invent the design process

The LafargeHolcim Foundation and Awards proudly presented the opening lectures of EASA 2019, the European Architecture Students Assembly which is being held in Villars-sur-Ollon (Switzerland) and attended by more than 600 participants from 50 countries. Both speakers urged the next generation of architects to take action that radically changes the design and construction of the built environment compared to what we know today.

“The clock is past twelve,” said Dirk Hebel, Professorof Sustainable Construction at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Germany) and member of the Academic Committee of the LafargeHolcim Foundation. “Climate change, population growth, and the availability of raw materials are facts that need to be taken into account,” he added.

1907-EASA-Rahm.jpgPhilippe Rahm (pictured left), Principal of Philippe Rahm Architectes (France), focused on the impact of climatic conditions on future design: “Sun, wind and light dictate the outline, the shape is derived from this – and the spatial concept must finally adapt to the form,” he said and showed successful examples of parks and buildings that have been designed by inverting the common approach of deriving the design from the room concept.

Dirk Hebel (pictured below) advocated lifecycle thinking for all materials used in construction: “It’s not just about recycling, re-using and re-inventing: it’s about combining materials in a way that they can easily be separated and used over and over again.” It’s also about exploring new, for example biologically-based building materials, such as bamboo to replace steel in concrete or mushrooms to produce building blocks. He stressed the responsibility of the next generation of architects to change the game: “You must tell the industry what you demand – and they will produce it for you!”

1907-EASA-Hebel.jpgSharing knowledge and strengthening ideas

EASA promotes the discovery of territories and cultures by organizing workshops in which participants acquire new knowledge and skills through the practice of creative, intellectual and manual activities. EASA has been held annually since 1981, and the assembly at Villars-sur-Ollon marks the second time in the event’s history that it is being held in Switzerland. Over the next two weeks, the EASA program will focus on workshops where participants confront themselves in a new context that enables them to share their knowledge and to strengthen their experience in both teamwork and fieldwork.

EASA 2019

The world’s most significant competition for sustainable design

The LafargeHolcim Awards competition offers the next generation an opportunity to share their ideas on the future of sustainable design. The competition is open for entries until February 25, 2020 for visionary design concepts and bold ideas including design studio and research work. The LafargeHolcim Awards is an international competition for architecture, engineering, urban planning, materials science, construction technology, and related fields. Entry is free.

LafargeHolcim Awards

Last Updated: July 30, 2019
Article Details
Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland
Related Information
Related News
Call for exemplary construction projects, visionary design concepts
Call for exemplary construction projects, visionary design concepts

The LafargeHolcim Awards seeks leading projects of professionals as well as bold ideas from the Next Generation that combine sustainable…

Related People
Dirk E Hebel
Dirk E Hebel

Dirk E Hebel is Dean of Architecture and Professor of Sustainable Construction at the Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Germany and a...

Holcim Foundation

Search Help

Our website search engine covers the web pages including project descriptions and expert profiles, PDFs, images and videos on the Holcim Foundation website. To improve your search results, here are some tips:

Basic search

Our search defaults to term-pairing AND. If you search sustainable construction - then the search engine will look for any items containing sustainable AND construction


photovoltaic OR solar

Looks for either word


(clay OR mud) AND (school OR university)

Combine alternative terms for more specific searching


geothermal -heating

Excludes a term from results, automatically ANDs other terms listed


"zero carbon"

Use quotation marks to search for a specific phrase or combination

Wildcards (one or more characters)


Asterisk (*) matches any word or phrase - so archit* will find architect, architecture, architectural as well as architrave