The design’s interior/exterior ring layout dedicates more than one third of the total floor area to multi-purpose spaces that encourage community interaction and permeability. This layout supports the facility’s objective to nurture partnerships and knowledge exchange among urban stakeholders tied to art, education, and sustainable food production. To this end, the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation has named the building El 17, referring to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular the important role of partnership (Goal 17).
A notable achievement lies in the reuse of 95% of the existing structure that recovers the original open-plan layout with a flexible system based on removable partitions that facilitate different configurations. Material circularity and the almost exclusive adoption of biomaterials and recycled elements complements programmatic circularity. The bioclimatic envelope of the building ensures comfort while minimizing the ecological impact by reducing reliance on mechanical ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Moreover, the integration of local vegetation serves the dual purpose of climate protection and urban biodiversity enhancement: gardens and orchards use captured rainwater and contribute for example to the circular cycle of food production, consumption, preparation, and composting. The installation of a complementary geothermal system alongside solar collection aligns with the larger neighborhood energy infrastructure. Indicators display solar energy utilization, creating an energetic rooftop landscape that promotes community engagement in environmental concerns.
Client: Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation
Project Status: Design stage completed, construction expected to be completed by January 2025.
A project of exemplary nature, combining the revitalization of an existing building with a new fabric for socially relevant activities – while at the same time prioritizing components that minimize environmental impact.
Holcim Awards 2023 Jury for Europe
The jury appreciated several aspects of this design project. They admired its exemplary nature, combining the revitalization of an existing building with a new fabric for socially relevant activities, while at the same time prioritizing components that minimize environmental impact. The project’s model of mixed use promotes social interactions and co-management processes, demonstrating a holistic approach to sustainability. The meticulous selection of materials, especially local biomaterials, showcases a commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
Additionally, the integration of gardens and biodiversity corridors further highlights the project’s dedication to preserving the environment while enhancing building aesthetics. The jury appreciated the participatory process employed throughout the project’s development, promoting inclusivity and community involvement. This approach showcases a business and management model aligned with open governance, establishing local partnerships that drive social transformation. From a design perspective, the flexible space design and original configuration of the façade result in an appealing and convincing architecture.
The comprehensive and complete presentation of data related to the project were particularly acknowledged. The thoroughness and clarity in which the sustainable features, metrics, and outcomes were communicated provided a robust understanding of the project’s impact, and its propensity to transfer knowledge within the sector. This level of transparency demonstrates the design team’s commitment to accountability and evidence-based decision-making.