LafargeHolcim Awards 2017



Jan - Feb 2018

LafargeHolcim Awards 2017

by Heather Marshall Banerd

The 5th cycle of the LafargeHolcim Awards, Asia-Pacific region, took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 23 to 24 November 2017. Organised by the LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction, the competition is held once every three years across five regions: Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Africa, as well as Asia Pacific. Winners of the Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes in each region will advance to compete in the Global Awards, which will be held in 2018.

The Asia-Pacific regional awards received a total of 471 valid project entries, of which 50 per cent were submissions in the Next Generation category from designers under the age of 30. Globally, this is the first cycle to see more entries in the Next Generation than in the Main Awards category, demonstrating the growing interest in sustainable design among young professionals.

The projects were evaluated based on the LafargeHolcim Foundation’s five target issues—progress, people, planet, prosperity and place—that aim to promote a holistic approach to sustainability, emphasising community engagement and economic viability.

Regional winners
Gold prize went to atArchitecture for White Rabbit, a home for marginalised children in Thane, India; Silver was awarded to SHAU Architects for its Fibonacci Microlibrary in Bandung, Indonesia; and Bronze went to WOHA for its BRAC University project in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A common theme across this cycle’s winners was their strong focus on community engagement and social empowerment. Each project strove to address a social need, while also providing amenities and community gathering spaces beyond the projects’ primary functions.

Acknowledgement prizes
These was awarded to Ban Chang Town Hall in Thailand by Bangkok Project Studio; Baitasi historic district urban regeneration in Beijing, China by a team from Tsinghua University; Water Collective multifunctional public space in Thecho, Nepal by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Urban Risk Lab; and the Organic agriculture training centre in Parung, West Java by pppooolll architects.

Next Generation prizes
First prize was awarded to Mengyuan Zhu of Southeast University for her low-rise, high-density village regeneration in Guming, China; 2nd prize went to Vedhant Maharaj of Rebel Base Collective for his design for water treatment infrastructure in Varanasi, India; 3rd prize went to Andi Subagio of SASO for his vocational training facility in Ruteng, Indonesia; and 4th prize was awarded to Tzu-Jung Huang of Feng Chia University for his Meta(bio)lism project exploring resilient ecosystems in Taichung, Taiwan.

Building Better Recognition Award
This cycle also saw the introduction of the Building Better Recognition Award, which honours a winner of a previous cycle whose project has been built and proven successful. This cycle’s award went to Robust Architecture Workshop (RAW) for its community library built by former soldiers in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka. The project helped to train the soldiers in construction methods, and reintegrate them into the community following the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. Since winning Bronze in the Asia Pacific regional awards in 2014 and Silver in the global awards in 2015, RAW has taken on similar projects in the region, including working with the soldiers again to develop a construction training method for unskilled workers.

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