The Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury praised the work of architects Wonjoon Han and Gahee Van of VHAN, and executive director Suki Yook of NGO Make Africa Better, South Korea. They considered the shea butter storage concept for the Nyingali community to be sophisticated and community focused. The prize was presented during the closing session of the 6th LafargeHolcim Forum by Brinda Somaya, Principal Architect and Managing Director, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, India and member of the Board of the LafargeHolcim Foundation in April 2019.
For the first time in the history of the LafargeHolcim Awards, the global jury selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition in 2017 to receive LafargeHolcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena.
The striking storage tower for the Nyingali community is designed to induce a chimney effect to keep shea nuts cool and fresh before processing. By storing the nuts and processing them incrementally, the community will be able to sell processed shea butter for skin moisturizing when it commands a higher price in the market cycle.
The base of the tower is a storage space with a double layer masonry construction designed to keep the interior cool. Its ceiling is made of glass foam, which is designed to act as a heat exchanger when damp. The volume above is cross-ventilated and draws hot air upwards. This project, which also includes a range of training programs, is part of a long-term engagement by the NGO Make Africa Better to improve the production of shea butter in the village. The facilities are built in cooperation with volunteers from the village and the resulting structures are owned locally.See more
For the first time, the global Awards jury selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition to receive LafargeHolcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena. The prizes go ex aequo to “Refrigerating Jar” in Ghana, “Cooling Roof” in California, USA, and “Territorial Figure” in Argentina.
Global Holcim Awards Gold 2018 goes to “Hydropuncture”, a publicly accessible water retention and treatment complex in Mexico. The project team is led by design director Loreta Castro Reguera at Taller Capital, and researcher Manuel Perló Cohen from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The infrastructure project in an underprivileged area of Mexico City intermingles flood basins and public amenities with spaces that follow the gravitational logic of flowing water. The jury stated that the sophisticated design addresses an urgent issue at a scale with real impact.
“Legacy Restored”, the Awards Silver winner, is a religious and secular complex in Niger that reinterprets traditional local construction for a new mosque and a community center. The project was designed by architects Mariam Kamara, atelier masomi, Niger; and Yasaman Esmaili, studio chahar, Iran. It creates a civic space open to all in the village of Dandaji, supporting the education of women and strengthening their presence within the community. The design strategy champions local artisanship, traditional building techniques and materials produced on site.
The community-driven neighborhood planning project “Grassroots Microgrid” wins Awards Bronze for re-imagining empty lots as collective infrastructure for energy and food production as well as for civic engagement in Detroit, USA. The large team of authors is led by Constance C. Bodurow, founding Director of studio[Ci], a transdisciplinary design collaborative in Detroit. The project enables neighborhoods to reach energy autonomy through micro-infrastructure, leverages vacancy as an asset, and creates a new economic paradigm for community renewal.
The strength of sustainable design
Jury head Alejandro Aravena commented that the global Gold and Silver winning projects act as role models: “They are masterful pieces that demonstrate what sustainable design and construction can achieve. As a community-driven initiative, the Bronze winner opens a path, innovating an approach that will need to be developed further,” said Aravena. The global Awards winning teams are diverse in every sense of the word. “Although not something considered during the evaluation process, the jury was delighted by the strong representation and success of women in the Holcim Awards,” said Aravena. Traditionally, the Awards competition enjoys a strong level of both participation and success in the competition by female professionals and students.
Aravena explained that the jury selected the water treatment project in Mexico for Gold because it builds large urban infrastructures that serve multiple purposes and become civic spaces. “Using architecture to give dignity to fragile rural communities losing population to urban migration, was a main reason for awarding Silver to the project in Niger," said Aravena. The Bronze winning project in the USA, finally, uses light and local infrastructure as a means of community building. “The context of the three global Awards winning projects is complementary, providing models for megacities, urban communities, and remote rural villages,” added Aravena: “They indicate two tendencies within the discourse on sustainability: a focus on infrastructure and new explorations of traditional ways of building.”
Prizes for exciting ideas in Argentina, Ghana and the USA
For the first time, the global Awards jury selected three of the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winning projects from the regional phase of the competition to receive Holcim Awards Ideas prizes. “We felt that they offer exciting and novel ideas, even within proposals that are not yet fully developed,” said jury head Alejandro Aravena. The prizes go ex aequo to “Refrigerating Jar” in Ghana, “Cooling Roof” in California, USA, and “Territorial Figure” in Argentina.
Architects Wonjoon Han and Gahee Van of VHAN together with Sookhee Yuk from Make Africa Better led a South Korean team designing shea butter storage towers in Nyingali, Ghana; they enable passive cooling that enhances the economic viability of agriculture and an aesthetic that alludes to traditional local architecture. Georgina Baronian, student at Princeton University in the USA, developed a prototype of a large-scale structure using water on the roof as a thermal insulator and solar reflector in one. The infrastructure-landscape project for the generation of electric power based on tidal currents at Punta Loyola in Argentina was developed by three students from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in Argentina: Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz Serafini, and Tomás Pont Apóstolo.
From more than 5,000 submissions down to 6 global winners
The 5th International Holcim Awards competition attracted 5,085 projects and visions to be implemented in 131 countries. 1,836 projects passed the formal and quality checks and were assessed by independent juries in five competition regions: Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East Africa and Asia Pacific. 11 prizes carrying a total of USD 330,000 per region were handed-over to winning teams in 2017. The three main winners per region automatically qualified for the global Awards; and the 40 Acknowledgement and Next Generation prize-winners were eligible for the Awards Ideas prizes 2018. The prize pool for the global phase of the Awards totals USD 350,000. The International Holcim Awards cycle spans three years, the 6th competition will open for entries in mid-2019.
Members of the Global Holcim Awards jury 2018
Winners of the Global Holcim Awards and Ideas prizes 2018
Follow web links for project presentations by authors, and appraisal and video statements by the jury
Global Holcim Awards Gold 2018
Hydropuncture – Publicly accessible water retention and treatment complex, Mexico City, Mexico.
Project intermingling flood basins and public amenities in an underprivileged area, with spaces arranged to follow the gravitational flow of water.
By Loreta Castro Reguera, Taller Capital; and Manuel Perló Cohen, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico.
Global Holcim Awards Silver 2018
Legacy Restored – Religious and secular complex, Dandaji, Niger.
A re-interpretation of traditional local construction for a new mosque and community center, creating a space in the village open to all.
By Mariam Kamara, atelier masomi, Niamey, Niger; and Yasaman Esmaili, studio chahar, Tehran, Iran.
Global Holcim Awards Bronze 2018
Grassroots Microgrid – Communtiy-driven neighborhood planning, Detroit, USA.
This neighborhood-scale project re-imagines empty lots as collective infrastructure for energy and food production as well as for civic engagement.
By Constance C. Bodurow, director and Eric Mahoney, designer, studio[Ci], Detroit, USA, and a team of further authors.
Global Holcim Awards Ideas prize 2018
Refrigerating Jar – Shea butter storage for Nyingali community, Karaga District, Ghana.
The striking towers of the storage units are designed for passive cooling and allude to traditional local architecture.
By Wonjoon Han, Gahee Van, VHAN; and Sookhee Yuk, Make Africa Better, Seoul, South Korea.
Global Holcim Awards Ideas prize 2018
Cooling Roof – Prototype for an evaporative roof for radiant cooling, Cherry Valley, CA, USA.
Research investigation on cooling large-scale structures using water on the roof as a thermal insulator and solar reflector.
By Georgina Baronian, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA.
Global Holcim Awards Ideas prize 2018
Territorial Figure – Tidal energy landscape, Punta Loyola, Argentina.
Infrastructure-landscape project for the generation of electric power based on tidal flow in the Río Gallegos estuary.
By Stefano Romagnoli, Juan Cruz Serafini, and Tomás Pont Apóstolo, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Córdoba, Argentina.
The clever cooling towers foster local production of a globally-prized commodity that could provide sustainable income for the community. The jury praises the link made with the construction between local industry and local craft, and hopes that the economic model remains as sophisticated and community-focused as the architecture.
Four projects in each region receive an Acknowledgement prize. Wonjoon Han, Sookhee Yuk and Gahee Van from South Korea developed new architectural structures to enhance the viability of shea butter processing in Ghana. The team of TAMassociati from Italy is giving the African continent an artistic voice that will be heard around the world through their building for Maisha Film Labs in Kampala, Uganda. At the campus of the Miracle for Africa Foundation in Lilongwe, Malawi, Steven Holl from the USA proposes a new library to be built by the local workforce. Finally, Andrew Amara from Uganda is planning a new children’s department in the Center for Nodding Disease in Odek, Uganda.Read more »
The striking storage tower for the Nyingali community is designed to induce a chimney effect to keep shea nuts cool and fresh before processing. By storing the nuts and processing them incrementally, the community will be able to sell processed shea butter for skin moisturizing when it commands a higher price in the market cycle. The base of the tower is a storage space with a double layer masonry construction designed to keep the interior cool. Its ceiling is made of glass foam, which is designed to act as a heat exchanger when damp. The volume above is cross-ventilated and draws hot air upwards. This project, which also includes a range of training programs, is part of a long-term engagement by the NGO Make Africa Better (MA ) to improve the production of shea butter in the village. The facilities are built in cooperation with volunteers from the village and the resulting structures are owned locally.
The jury was particularly appreciative that the project is a site of production that links into an existing fair trade economy – specifically one that employs women. The pleasing form is a subtle and familiar reference to the Islamic architecture in the predominantly Muslim region of Northern Ghana. The proposal is further strengthened by its situation within a longterm engagement with the community. In short, the project is exemplary in its inventive approach to social, economic, and ecological sustainability; while foregrounding architecture as an art form.
Innovation and transferability – Progress
This project is mainly driven by local needs and will be carried out with the community members. Throughout their participation during the construction, community members will get an opportunity to learn how to manage and use it. Voluntary participation from the community members and their ownership is the best way to keep the building sustainable. MA has been implementing various projects in the Karaga district, particularly in Nyingali and its neighboring communities, since 2011. The local project manager is based near the project site and MA Korea and Ghana staffs are regularly visiting the site for their project four times per year. MA organized the self-help groups for the training programs. Local government, local leaders have been actively working with MA .
Resource and environmental performance – Planet
Construction materials are eco-friendly and locally accessible. And the way of building type will follow the local construction method in Northern Ghana. The locally-built structure with a local construction material would not harm the environment. Mud bricks and cement bricks can be made anywhere. Masonry is the basic construction method that can be done by local labor. Therefore, this storage will be built with basic local construction material and method. The storage functions itself without any further extension work. It can be highly appropriate for the area which has a dry and higher temperature such as Northern Ghana. It purposes to emit zero percent of CO2 by reducing the negative effect on the environment.
Contextual and aesthetic impact - Place
Existing buildings are weak at external environments such as temperature and moisture. The new building can overcome those limitations under the same conditions. The building does not require any further external support and it is eco-friendly, sustainable, and energy saving. The building will be the center of the community and it will be a place to work and rest for women and a playground for children. This place will function as a meeting point and festival place for the community. The building and its courtyard can be a plaza for different events. For short term, this is to store food and shea butter for its freshness which is crucial for quality. For the long-term purpose, it provides new residence types for African. A pleasant and improved quality of residence provides quality of life.See more
Ideas prize for "Refrigerating Jar" in Ghana: Global LafargeHolcim Awards jury member, Diébédo Francis Kéré, viewed the …
A shea butter storage facility for the Nyingali community in Ghana addresses local needs and transfers knowledge to …
Fostering the production of shea butter as an important local trade, the striking towers of the storage units are …
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