Urban Think Tank

2014 Zumtobel Group Award Nominees Announced


The Zumtobel Group Award has recently announced fifteen nominees for the 2014 awards under the categories of Buildings, Urban Developments, and Applied Innovations–a new category that recognizes “technological solutions that make a trailblazing contribution to the realisation of a more sustainable built environment.” We are elated to see the familiar public interest design practices Rural Urban Framework, Studio TAMassociati, and Urban Think-Tank nominated for a Buildings award, along with new projects like ArchiAid, Megacity Skeleton, and Elemental’s Pres Constitution in Urban Developments and Bamboo Reinforced Concrete and Prefabricated Rammed Earth in Applied Innovations. The jury has their work cut out for them in selecting the final winner, which is due out later this year in September.

The Zumtobel Group Award honours contemporary realised or conceptual works of exceptional innovative content, design, technology and construction. Submissions must make a significant contribution to greater humanity and sustainability in the built environment.

Click here to learn more about the 2014 Zumtobel Group Award nominees, online at Zumtobel-Group-Award.com.

Urban Think Tank awarded Holcim Global Prize

As announced last week, the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has issued its 2012 Global Prizes. Beyond Kéré Architecture‘s $200,000 Gold Prize-winning secondary school project, profiled here last week, the $100,000 Global Silver Prize-winner is a fascinating multifunctional public building, called Grotao, in the Paraisópol favela of São Paulo–an informal settlement home to more than 100,000 people. The project, which started construction in June 2011, is designed by Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner of Urban Think Tank, based in Brazil. It was recognized with the 2011 Holcim Gold Award for Latin America, thus making it a contender for the global prize. In describing the project’s “Ethical standards and social equity,” Brillembourg and Klumpner write:

The project expands the definition of sustainability beyond ecological terms into the area of social sustainability. Improvement of this and other marginalized zones depends on the provision of basic services, equal resource distribution, and adequate social infrastructure and programs where they all have been conventionally ignored. The terraces provide necessary public space in the overly dense fabric in the form of a dynamic and productive zone available to all residents. They provide a framework to integrate previously fragmented areas with new social infrastructure and diverse programs to strengthen collective identity and ensure positive growth for the future. The design process is built on community participation in both the initial design phase and in the end use of the space.

Click here to learn more about this unique project in the favelas of São Paulo and the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction.