Zumtobel Group Award 2014
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Zumtobel Group Award 2014 - Recognition for sustainable architecture

Zumtobel Group Award 2014
By Editorial Staff -
Zumtobel Group has participated in the project

The Zumtobel Group Award, promoted by the Austrian corporation that gave its name to the prize, was designed to encourage innovation in the construction industry by awarding significant prizes to those people leading the way in sustainable architecture. For the fourth edition, 356 applicants submitted proposals, with the winners announced in a ceremony at London’s Serpentine Gallery in September. By that stage, 15 finalists had been selected, with the projects grouped into three categories: Applied Innovations, Buildings, and Urban Developments & Initiatives. The jury was headed by Winy Maas and included various international experts, such as the CEO of the Zumtobel Group, Ulrich Schumacher. The jury noted just how stiff the competition had been between the designs, with all the projects of excellent quality.
Deciding on the three winners came down to a decision not only about the ability to find new technical solutions, but also to adopt innovative approaches to planning and participation and to ecological and social challenges.
The winner in the Buildings category was the “Port Sudan Paediatric Center” by the Tamassociati architectural practice, while Arup Deutschland with “Solar Leaf” and the Chilean Elemental with “PRES Constitucion” took home the awards for Applied Innovations, and Urban Developments & Initiatives, respectively.
Tamassociati had been appointed by Emergency, an Italian NGO, to design a paediatric centre in Port Sudan. The harsh climate and complex political situation influenced the design, making simplicity the essential principle. The project included the creation of both medical and social facilities, under one roof. The technical solutions showed a marked combination of traditional and innovative technologies to cut energy use while favouring local resources.
The fundamental part of Arup Deutschland’s design was an integrated construction system for façades that can absorb CO2 and produce renewable energy using a biochemical photosynthesis process based on microalgae cultivated in flat-panel photo bioreactors. The result is the production of energy without any additional space being required.
Elemental took the honours in the Urban Developments & Initiatives category for its sustainable master plan for the regeneration of Constitución, a Chilean city hit by an earthquake and ensuing tsunami in 2010. The solution not only involved the local population, but also had a strong “natural” imprint, with a forest being planted to protect the city from future natural disasters, including seasonal flooding.

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