Environmental sustainability will be the key criteria for the judges of the Obel Award 2022, which this year focuses on carbon-neutral projects and products, thereby highlighting the role that architecture plays in protecting the planet and its responsibility to future generations.
The Obel Award is an international architecture prize presented annually by the Copenhagen-based Henrik Frode Obel Foundation. The award recognizes projects that support the common good, and are capable of making a significant contribution to both humanity and the environment. The prize is awarded to individuals or groups for various types of projects – such as buildings, masterplans, exhibitions – completed during the last five years. The winner receives a cash prize of one hundred thousand euros, as well as a work by Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno.
Every year, the Obel Award jury selects a theme and assembles a group of experts from around the world to assess the entries. Last year, for example, the focus was on cities and the challenges they face today, and the winning project was Carlos Moreno’s “15-Minute City”. As happens every year, the awards ceremony will be held on October 21, the date of birth of Henrik Frode Obel, the Danish entrepreneur who set up the foundation and who passed away in 2014.
The OBEL AWARD jury consists of: Martha Schwartz, Chair (founder, Martha Schwartz Partners, USA), Kjetil Trædal Thorsen (co-founder, Snöhetta, Norway), Louis Becker (design principal and partner, Henning Larsen, Denmark), Dr Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (professor emeritus of philosophy, Germany), and XU Tiantian (founding principal, DnA, Beijing, China).
"CO2 emissions are a major cause of climate change. Its footprints figure heavily in the construction industry, in the production of materials, in the construction process, and in the use and life span of buildings. The CO2 equivalent tables show that in sum total, buildings cause almost half of the annual global CO2 emissions worldwide. Obviously, architecture is not an observer but an agent in all these matters. Therefore, it has got to be an agent, too, in fighting climate change. Architecture must be a driving force in eliminating all CO2 emissions from the built environment" - Excerpt from the jury statement
All images courtesy of Henrik Frode Obel Foundation
Portrait of the jury © Emilie Koefoed