Holcim Global Gold to Swiss Building Made from Salvaged Materials

John Hill
16. November 2021
Gold: Extending the Cycle, a building that is primarily constructed with salvaged materials. Winners: Marc Angst, Michèle Brand, Barbara Buser, Pascal Hentschel, Benjamin Poignon, Kerstin Müller, baubüro in situ, Basel, Switzerland. (All photographs courtesy of the Holcim Foundation)

During an award ceremony held in Venice on November 13, the Holcim Foundation announced the four winners and four commendations in the Global Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction. 

Gold was given to an industrial building in Winterthur, Switzerland, that was transformed into offices and studios by baubüro in situ. Titled "Extending the Cycle" but also known as K118, the project repurposed and added three floors to the building, limiting its construction to primarily old building elements. When it was not possible to reuse elements from nearby buildings that were dismantled, the architects used natural materials and erected the project so it could be easily disassembled in the future.

As in previous iterations, winners in the 6th cycle of the triennial Holcim Awards were drawn from winners in the five regional awards: Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East Africa, and North America. Nearly 5,000 entries located in 134 countries were submitted for the 6th cycle, with approximately 2,500 of the projects going on to the regional judging. The regional and global winners were announced in the November 13 ceremony, which can be watched in its entirety on YouTube. Details on the Global Holcim Awards winners are below.

Global Holcim Awards Gold 2021 (USD 150,000)

Extending the Cycle: A building that is primarily constructed with salvaged materials.

Winners: Marc Angst, Michèle Brand, Barbara Buser, Pascal Hentschel, Benjamin Poignon, Kerstin Müller, baubüro in situ, Basel, Switzerland.

"This project redefines the starting point of the design process by treating demolition as an opportunity to source construction materials. An industrial building is preserved, repurposed, and expanded by 3 stories to house 12 residential units. The additional stories are built using materials reclaimed from demolition sites. The design process started with the collection of salvaged building elements and materials. The materials were then cataloged, and their potential for reuse was determined."

Gold: Extending the Cycle, a building that is primarily constructed with salvaged materials. Winners: Marc Angst, Michèle Brand, Barbara Buser, Pascal Hentschel, Benjamin Poignon, Kerstin Müller, baubüro in situ, Basel, Switzerland.
Global Jury Report:

"The Global Holcim Awards jury highly commended this project for the disruptive construction methodology it proposes to achieve carbon-neutral buildings and enable circular-economy models in the field of design and construction. The project demonstrates how much potential exists – and is lost – in buildings that are torn down, to the extent that dismantled elements are reused as components for new construction. 'The project applies circularity in construction to a level of near perfection,' praised jury member Marilyne Andersen."

Global Holcim Awards Silver 2021 (USD 100,000)

Wetland Vitality: A landscape design project for environmental recovery and social sustainability.

Winners: Edgar Mazo, Sebastian Mejía and team, Connatural, Medellín, Colombia.

"This project aims to consolidate the Jaboque wetlands. The consolidation is achieved along a 5.5 km-long linear park that integrates recreational and natural areas and offers educational opportunities for the community. The landscape planning was used as an opportunity to create a live botanical collection. Plants were selected depending on their impact on the ecosystem and their potential to strengthen the wetland flora and fauna."

Silver: Wetland Vitality, a landscape design project for environmental recovery and social sustainability. Winners: Edgar Mazo, Sebastian Mejía and team, Connatural, Medellín, Colombia.
Global Jury Report:

"The Global Holcim Awards jury found that the project integrates a wise, sustainable, pluralistic, and participatory logic, aiming to repair a long-lost relationship between local communities and nature through wetland restoration. 'What is really impressive is how much effort and research went into the details to figure out what exactly was needed,' says Marilyne Andersen."

Global Holcim Awards Bronze ex aequo 2021 (USD 50,000)

Cultural Interlude: A self-sustaining center to preserve tribal cultural heritage.

Winner: Aziza Chaouni, Aziza Chaouni Projects, Fez, Morocco & Canada.

"The oasis in the Drâa Valley in southern Morocco is losing its inhabitants, and along with them its heritage. This project aims to help preserve local life and culture by creating a self-sustaining cultural center in the town. It incorporates traditional construction with appropriate technologies such as solar chimneys and solar-powered geothermal systems along with passive systems like composting toilets and rainwater harvesting for both domestic and irrigation purposes."

Bronze ex aequo: Cultural Interlude, a self-sustaining center to preserve tribal cultural heritage. Winner: Aziza Chaouni, Aziza Chaouni Projects, Fez, Morocco & Canada.
Global Jury Report:

"The Global Holcim Awards jury recognized the laudable intention to address the issue of tribal-community displacement due to the threat of climate change by suggesting a design solution that enables people to remain rooted in their hometown and maintain their traditions. 'This project combines many different elements into a whole that serves a bigger purpose,' sums up Marilyne Andersen."

Global Holcim Awards Bronze ex aequo 2021 (USD 50,000)

Propagated Sanctuary: The cultivation of an urban forest and economic catalyst.

Winners: Marek Obtulovic, Nguyen Duc Trung, Mai Lan Chi and team, ODDO Architects, Hanoi, Vietnam.

"A large group of volunteers plans to restore the subtropical forest on Banana Island, a 26-hectare island in the Red River. By planting endemic trees and plants, the project aims to introduce abundant greenery within the urban fabric, reduce carbon emissions, and multiply the number of native species. The flora will enable animals to return to their natural habitat, boosting regional biodiversity. The project will also create an educational recreational area for Hanoi residents and an open-air laboratory for interested scientists and research institutions."

Bronze ex aequo: Propagated Sanctuary, the cultivation of an urban forest and economic catalyst.Winners: Marek Obtulovic, Nguyen Duc Trung, Mai Lan Chi and team, ODDO Architects, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Global Jury Report:

"The jury recognized the clear relevance of this proposal for Hanoi and highly commended the way landscape design is deployed to integrate the urban and natural environments. According to the jury, this proposal stands out as a bold act of awareness that shines an urgent spotlight on the recognition of green infrastructure in Vietnam. 'This project adds public space to the city in very interesting way, offering many strong benefits and opening new perspectives,' adds Marilyne Andersen."

Global Holcim Awards Commendations 2021

  • Connective Threads: Shelters for refugees using upcycled textile waste. Winners: Azra Aksamija and the MIT Future Heritage Lab team, Cambridge, MA, USA.
  • Empowering the Homeless: Sustainable social housing for homeless families. Winners: Prasoon Kumar and Robert Verrijt, Billion Bricks, India and Singapore.
  • High-Performance Tower: A new sustainability model pursuing low-energy and high-comfort performance. Winners: Wolfgang Kessling, Transsolar Energietechnik, Germany; Edwin Chan, EC3 Design, USA; James O’Callaghan, Eckersley O’Callaghan, United Kingdom;Corie D. Sharples and Andreia Taixeira, ShoP, USA; Ric Wang, Atlassian, Australia; Njnotschka Titchkosky, BVN, Australia.
  • Rebuilding Erupts: A post-disaster community reactivation facility. Winners: Leão Lopes and team, M_EIA/Atelier Mar, São Vicente, Cabo Verde.

Global Holcim Awards Jury 2021

The Global Holcim Awards Jury 2021, from top to bottom, left to right: Brinda Somaya, Hashim Sarkis (Head of Jury), Maria Atkinson AM, Angelo Bucci, Bruce Gibbons, Meisa Batayneh Maani, Marilyne Andersen, Mun Summ Wong, Anne Lacaton.

Other articles in this category