MUMBAI: The 5th Cycle of the LafargeHolcim Awards for Sustainable Construction was held in Kuala Lumpur, where their project – a home for marginalized children, in Thane (Mumbai), India was awarded the gold prize. The architects of the project, Avneesh Tiwari and Neha Rane were awarded by the LafargeHolcim Foundation with a cash prize of 100,000 USD.
Sustainable construction in the Asia Pacific region also means building for the community. This was clearly shown by the projects that won prizes in the regional LafargeHolcim Awards presented in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The three main Awards winning projects deal with buildings for education – involving the community and sustainably improving neighbourhoods.
The project aims at building a home for 30 children, replacing their existing facility which tends to flood and lacks ventilation. The proposal reacts to the constrained site by leaving a void for ventilation at the back of the site, drawing air upward and providing indirect light. Terracotta louvers are envisioned as scaffolding for greenery that can help cool the interior and potentially provide a small business opportunity harvesting greens.
The raised ground floor accommodates services for women and the elderly and the upper floors are reserved for the children and their caretakers. That this is mainly a space for children is reflected in the playful design sensitive to their scale and perception.
This building also provides the children with a dignified and comforting environment. The compact, quirky building form nevertheless achieves a feeling of spatial generosity through the inclusion of a central vertical void for circulation, light, and ventilation.
Neeraj Akhoury, Managing Director & CEO, ACC Limited and Ajay Kapur, Managing Director & CEO Ambuja Cements Limited, presented the winners with the award.
Akhoury said, “We are overwhelmed today and feel a tremendous sense of pride in awarding the ‘White Rabbit’ project – a home for marginalized children from India. The project goes beyond social sustainability to include passive building technology, innovating design measures, and a viable economic model. Avneesh and Neha have certainly conceptualized a masterpiece, which is one more successful win, amongst India’s other proudest achievements.”
Kapur said, “The project presented by the young architects Avneesh and Neha undoubtedly stood out from the 486 entries on two aspects – architectural and social sustainability. The positive impact of this project on the lives of underprivileged children will be admirable. With a well-developed building concept and evidently clear child-friendly design, the architects’ winning entry truly reflects sustainable construction in a holistic way; and the gold award is a well-deserved accomplishment.”
Avneesh Tiwari, architect of the ‘White Rabbit’ project – a home for marginalized children, said “I really thank LafargeHolcim for rewarding our work with this prestigious award.”
The second prize was awarded to a micro library in Indonesia, which was recognized for its concept of knowledge dissemination while the third prize was awarded to a floating university project in Bangladesh, which aims to introduce buildings and open space on remediated swamp land.
The LafargeHolcim Award is about more than just beautiful buildings. It stands out as the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design. The competition seeks for projects at an advanced stage of design, not finished works. It acknowledges designs that go beyond current standards, showcase sustainable responses to technological, environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural issues affecting contemporary construction, and deliver truly visionary solutions to the way we build.
Commenting on the variety of entries received, Donald Bates, Head of the LafargeHolcim Awards Jury 2017 for Asia Pacific and Chair of Architectural Design at the University of Melbourne Australia said, “In the first cycle of the LafargeHolcim Awards everything looked different everywhere in this region. This region is the most diverse in the awards competitions as it includes the largest cities and the smallest villages of the world.”
Commenting on the overwhelming support and entries received, Edward Schwarz, General Manager of the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction said, “We are proud to have awarded prizes to an array of projects that improve the lives of people through architectural and urban interventions of diverse scales.”
Apart from these there were also four projects that won the acknowledgement prizes and four prizes for the projects of the next generation. For the first time in 2017 a new award category was introduced: the LafargeHolcim Building Better Recognition. This was awarded to a winning project from a previous competition cycle, one which has been realized and has stood the test of time as a particularly successful example of sustainable building.
The fifth cycle of the competition attracted more than 5,000 entries from authors in 121 countries. 3,606 entries were deemed valid, and more than half of these passed the pre-screening phase. They advanced for qualitative assessment by five independent expert juries in the competition regions Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East Africa, and Asia Pacific.