LafargeHolcim Foundation flies sustainability flag at “4 Design Days” in Poland

Awards winning projects build inspiration at largest event for property, architecture and design in Central Europe

  • 1 / 5

    “4 Design Days”, Katowice, Poland

    Opening panel discussion of “4 Design Days” in Poland on the importance of pursuing a social mission when constructing a people-friendly urban fabric. From left: Ivan Blasi (Spain), coordinator of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture; Robert Konieczny, Ewa Kurylowicz and Robert Majkut, renowned Polish architects; Edward Schwarz (Switzerland), LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction; architect Rainer Mahlamäki (Finland); and moderator Maciej Ortos.

  • 2 / 5

    “4 Design Days”, Katowice, Poland

    More than 34,000 visitors attended “4 Design Days” – the largest event for the property, architecture, interiors and design market in Central Europe to examine topics relevant to global trends in architecture and design.

  • 3 / 5

    “4 Design Days”, Katowice, Poland

    Promoting the 6th LafargeHolcim Awards competition that will open for entries in mid-2019: keynote speech of General Manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation Edward Schwarz at “4 Design Days”.

  • 4 / 5

    “4 Design Days”, Katowice, Poland

    Edward Schwarz explained how LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition winner from Burkina Faso was built by the community. The construction process is considered to be an important part of the transfer of knowledge, whereby locals acquire new building skills that can be reused and taught.

  • 5 / 5

    “4 Design Days”, Katowice, Poland

    Strong interest in sustainable construction – and the objectives of the LafargeHolcim Foundation.

More than 34,000 visitors attended “4 Design Days” – the largest event for the property, architecture, interiors and design market in Central Europe. 300 speakers were invited to Katowice, Poland to examine topics relevant to global trends in architecture and design, including Edward Schwarz, General Manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction who was also part of the opening panel.

Last updated: February 21, 2018 Katowice, Poland

Welcomes from the Mayor of Katowice and the Marshal of the Silesian Voivodeship were followed by a keynote speech by renowned Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki, in which he examined “what the buildings we build tell others about us”. In the second keynote, Edward Schwarz outlined the impact that competitions like the LafargeHolcim Awards can have by encouraging architecture to respond to social needs: “What do an urban shading construction in Spain, a river remediation project in Morocco, a two-story school built of bamboo and cob in Pakistan, a post-Tsunami reconstruction master plan in Chile, and a structure made of compostable bricks in the USA have in common?” he asked. He then illustrated how each is a LafargeHolcim Awards prize-winner that lives up to the five “target issues” for sustainable construction including “ethical standards and social inclusion”. The social dimension of the Foundation’s “target issues” demands that sustainable design adheres to the highest ethical standards and enduringly enhance the collective realm.

1802_4DD_Poland_Audience.jpgBy highlighting how submissions in the five international competitions since 2004 live up to the “target issues”, Edward Schwarz explained how the topical focus of entries varies between the regions of the world from upgrading infrastructure and prefabricated housing in more developed regions to projects related to water and sewage, affordable housing and rural economy mainly in the Southern hemisphere. He put special emphasis on the first-ever prize winners from Poland: Student projects to convert a factory into housing and a monastery into a rehabilitation facility were awarded Next Generation 1st and 2nd prize 2017 for Europe.

In a workshop dedicated to people-centered success stories, Edward Schwarz presented the example of Francis Kéré, Global LafargeHolcim Awards Gold winning architect from Germany and Burkina Faso. Building schools in Western Africa is all about “people for people”, about learning by doing, about involving the entire community to enable education and a better life for the next generation of villagers. Achieving this goal requires much more than design, it is about coaching and building trust, about combining traditional skills with contemporary knowledge, about using local construction materials – or in brief: about living up to the “target issues” of sustainable construction by bringing the elements of the triple-bottom line together with architectural excellence with innovation that is transferable: so that good ideas can be copied with pride, and great ideas can become tomorrow’s norm.