The Next Generation 1st prize 2014 for Europe went to Hani Jaber, Ricardo Mayor, Héctor Muñoz, and Ignacio Taus of DAT Pangea (Spain) for a series of three socially focused architectural designs, entitled “X Marks the Spot”. Their portfolio of projects included a spatial plan and agricultural restructure, a productive urban garden as well as temporary spaces for public engagement.
L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui (‘A’A’) talked to Hani Jaber about the impact of the Award on his work as an architect – which takes key social problems into consideration while offering appropriate design solutions to address specific issues at hand.
‘A’A’: Could you describe the project you submitted in the LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction for which you won a Next Generation prize? What is the current status of this project?
Hani Jaber: We were awarded for three different projects whose design propositions aim for a dialog between architecture and politics, taking key social problems into consideration while offering appropriate design solutions to address specific issues at hand.
The projects tackle, for example, the devastating social conditions of workers in the agricultural sector in the region of Almería in Southeast Spain and the lack of public parks in cities and towns throughout the region. Similarly, measures are offered to improve the role of public spaces in neighbourhoods in the city of Madrid. Considering the shared spirit of the group, the jury strongly recommended an equal sharing of the prize awarded to the team.
‘A’A’: What was the impact of this Award on your professional activity as architects?
Hani Jaber: First of all, the Next Generation prize allowed us to create a global network and broaden our horizon. Recently, we have developed several interesting works, one of them, in France, is a 21 meters geodesic dome design for the collective POC21. On this project, we collaborated with Quatorze, a French collective of architects, committed to encourage social and responsible projects. We are really proud of it.
Secondly, from the moment we received the Award, we have kept going with our personal research, looking for a new architectural perspective, focus on social needs; we are thinking on how architecture could be somehow a learning platform for a better society. The world needs a change and we have to give an answer because the architect plays a major role in reshaping the society.
Consequently, this Award has also boosted our self-confidence in our career and has encouraged us to work towards a positive change. And finally, it made us dream and believe that there are a lot of people who are interested in the concept of sustainability, so we are working on these ideas and developing a viable solution.
‘A’A’: What are your main current projects? Are you still in touch with the LafargeHolcim Foundation’s network and/or other Awards prize-winners? If so; in what context?
Hani Jaber: Currently, we are developing several works. A really significant one is a “tiny house” for Europe. It was thought as a house without land, as an answer to the thousands of refugees and immigrants who are running away from their country. They arrive to Europe, every day looking for a livelihood. But, they are not allowed to do so, as they are not EU citizens, they can’t have a new home.
So, we give an answer to this social problem! Simply by giving a home without land, without property, and really easy to built with some help from the current local factories and Fablabs inside the city, that allows to create an open source tiny house. We have built the first prototype, and now, we are also looking for sponsors to help us develop a second one as an open source where everyone can get the knowledge to build his/her own home and live anywhere.
On the other hand, we are in touch with some companies, talking about a partnership to build an ephemeral pavilion in a public space as a way to show how architecture could be an answer to the current society issues, far away of the branding architecture.
Yes, we are in touch with the LafargeHolcim Foundation, and they are really interested in our research – they are trying to support us, giving us voice in workshops and congress, which means new opportunities for us.
Read the original interview at:See more
The Holcim Foundation launched a community voting to find the favorite “Next Generation” sustainable construction projects. The voting competition received more than 120,000 votes from March 16 until May 19, 2015.
X Marks the Spot: Socially-focused architectural design received the second-highest number of votes and were honored at the first ever "Next Generation" Awards Lab – a one-day workshop on sustainable construction for all “Next Generation” prize winners of the regional Holcim Awards 2014. The Holcim Lab was held in New York City, USA.Read more »
The jury awarded the first prize in the “Next Generation” category for Europe to a group of young architects from Spain who submitted a range of excellent projects planned for Pujaire and Roquetas de Mar in Almería in southeast Spain, and also in Madrid.
The individual entries made it to the last round of jury deliberations and were all deemed exceptional both in terms of content and form. In these unusual circumstances, the prize was conferred to a collection of projects by the group of designers rather than to a single project. Of significance in this regard is the group’s name “Designs for Architectural Territories” (DAT) which is more than a simple designation of an architectural collaborative, but stands for a program of action – where architectural design is a method to raise and potentially solve societal deficiencies.
Project co-author Hector Munoz Mendoza of DAT Pangea notes the importance of considering both the building and its users when developing a design. “X Marks the Spot: Socially-focused architectural design in Spain” won the top prize in the Holcim Awards category for young professionals and students – the project is a dialog between architecture and politics, taking key social problems into consideration.
The “Next Generation” 1st prize, went to Hani Jaber, Ricardo Mayor, Héctor Muñoz, and Ignacio Taus of DAT Pangea (Spain) for a series of three socially-focused architectural designs. Their portfolio of projects includes a spatial plan and agricultural restructure, a productive urban garden as well as temporary spaces for public engagement. The jury was impressed by the design propositions that aim for a dialog between architecture and politics, taking key social problems into consideration while offering appropriate design solutions to address specific issues at hand.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2014 for Europe »
The design propositions aim for a dialog between architecture and politics, taking key social problems into consideration while offering appropriate design solutions to address specific issues at hand. The projects tackle, for example, the devastating social conditions of workers in the agricultural sector in the region of Almería in southeast Spain and the lack of public parks in cities and towns throughout the region. Similarly, measures are offered to improve the role of public spaces in neighborhoods in the city of Madrid. Considering the shared spirit of the group, the jury strongly recommends an equal sharing of the prize awarded to the team.
The jury awarded the first prize in the “Next Generation” category for Europe to a group of young architects from Spain who submitted a range of excellent projects planned for Pujaire and Roquetas de Mar in Almería in southeast Spain, and also in Madrid. The individual entries made it to the last round of jury deliberations and were all deemed exceptional both in terms of content and form. In these unusual circumstances, the prize was conferred to a collection of projects by the group of designers rather than to a single project. Of significance in this regard is the group’s name “Designs for Architectural Territories” (DAT) which is more than a simple designation of an architectural collaborative, but stands for a program of action – where architectural design is a method to raise and potentially solve societal deficiencies.See more
The spatial plan for 600 square kilometers of land used for intensive agriculture in plastic greenhouses in Pujaire, in the region of Almería, Spain, remediates a destroyed natural habitat and declining economy that lacks social infrastructure. The project proposes the rearrangement of water supplies, introduction of wildlife corridors, development of model cities, and enhancement of the greenhouse architecture – all focused on a natural environmental restoration of agro-industrial territories and improvement of social conditions for the region’s inhabitants.
Progress: The water infrastructure network and adobe bunds aid water collection in a region with low rainfall. The design provides a model for transforming ugly and unhealthy greenhouses, an isolated community lacking basic needs, and depleted natural resources into a model city. The plan’s ethical and social responsibility includes converting the greenhouses into a place for work and providing ecological restoration. The local community supplies field workers. Wildlife corridors improve the quality of the fields, improve yields and decrease fertilizer use.
People: The social infrastructure applied to the agro-industrial sites follows urban models, improving health conditions and distributing the necessary natural, industrial and social resources. The plan identifies three stakeholder groups (the field worker, the inhabitant and the tourist), a model of experiential learning enables each to build awareness of the other, develop opinions and improve the reality of the site as a whole.
Planet: The bunds channel run-off from torrential rain, preventing the loss of sediment by capturing it for later use in water tanks. Ecological regeneration using SER (Society for Ecological Restoration) International’s approaches uses the greenhouses for nurturing native vegetation to enhance the natural value of the area.
Prosperity: The project turns around the recent degradation of agricultural product and the diminished value of the region for tourism by restoring the environment, and thereby improving productivity and tourism.
Place: Architecture coexists with the existing forms: between greenhouses, farms, and nature – functioning as a symbol in a subconscious. A greenhouse is designed that embodies the architectural qualities that might appear in the most representative buildings of place, down to the smallest detail.Download project overview (PDF, 1.99 MB) »See more
A system of easily mountable and removable light structures enables the infiltration of public space and provision of real rather than virtual public programs. Conceived as an economic stimulus proposal in Madrid, Spain, the project Tangram is an attempt to resolve the economic, social and environmental situation of our planet by installing a platform promoting ethical and social responsibility, sensitive to the emotional needs of each person, and strengthening collective identity and its ability to change reality.
Progress: The virtual space of social networks such as Facebook and Wassap provide freedoms that outweigh those of the physical world. The proposed are easily mountable and removable by any person that utilizes the public spaces, and fills them with real public programs. The intervention provides places for debate, art, and leisure that is not subject to political control – and from which a social, economic, and environmental revolution can generate momentum.
People: The approach may be installed in any place at low cost, allowing a social structure and customized program to be developed according to the needs of a neighborhood. This promotes an ethical and social responsibility, responding to targeted emotional and psychological needs. Customization strengthens collective identity and its ability to change perceived reality.
Planet: An energy-efficient design that leverages the wind and solar power, as well as passive systems for heating and cooling. The system retains all rainwater, and due to its temporary nature, preserves environmental quality by leaving no permanent imprint. Freedom of use allows inhabitants to develop the constructions that target specific environmental initiatives to improve the quality of life for generations to come.
Prosperity: An economic model based on exchange and solidarity in which money loses significance: the individual is aware of their interrelationships to the whole, giving residents more awareness and control over impacts. Construction is based on the Chinese game Tangram and is adaptable by inhabitants according to their current needs. Telecommunications function builds awareness of improvements developed without being filtered by mainstream media.
Place: Iconic forms that improve existing contextual conditions respond to the imagination of the inhabitants. Folk forms are reminiscent of houses, churches, palaces and other shapes that exist in collective conscience: our place, our homes, and our planet.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.99 MB) »See more
The concept revitalizes a degraded area in Roquetas de Mar in the region of Almería, Spain, and creates a park for public use. The plan envisages the construction of a utilitarian park – a leisure area which collects rainwater and recharges groundwater but also produces energy; a park that meets the needs of inhabitants. Existing installations will serve as raw materials for the creation of a new topography, and a participative effort will contribute to the improvement of conditions in adjacent spaces.
Progress: Simple technology for spectacular results that creates a perfectly structured and complex system. The existing installations will serve as raw material for the creation of a new topography. Furthermore, the new public space will also make use of the native plant species. Thanks to the terraces, a new productive topography is generated that allows the collection, recirculation and storage of water.
People: The goal of the project is to create an open system space without an immovable code of use. The citizen will be able to make decisions and manage the final use of the new public space. The creation of the park will improve the condition of the adjacent spaces. Not only new public transport connections will emerge, but also new commercial opportunities and new spaces for citizens.
Planet: In a city with variable weather, the interface responds to external conditions, taking advantage of natural elements to generate energy and economic benefits: self-watering system, improvement of acoustic and environmental conditions; and energy self-sufficiency.
Prosperity: The project generates an artificial system that responds to changes in climatic conditions in order to save energy and maintain the natural and aesthetic richness of the park. The artificial/natural system includes: groundwater recycling; groundwater depuration for use in the new irrigation system; groundwater storage and recirculation using mills and water tanks. These elements will also be a part of the natural richness of the park: the new mills will generate energy using hybrid systems. Thanks to this system, maintenance costs are reduced from €3.50/m2 to €2.50/m2.
Place: The new irrigating and water collecting system creates an oasis where citizens can enjoy a new landscape with new vegetation, which is not typically found under normal conditions. A strong contrast is created thanks to the mix of typical and exotic vegetation.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.99 MB) »See more
Project co-author Hector Munoz Mendoza of DAT Pangea notes the importance of considering both the building and its users …
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