Holcim Awards 2014 Winners for North America

Words: Dan Kamys

Holcim Awards 2014 Winners for North America

The top prize went to a water supply and flood mitigation project in Las Vegas (image left). An urban flood-protection concept for lower Manhattan was conferred the silver Award (center), and a zero-carbon compostable structure recently on display at MoMA New York received bronze (right). A total of 13 projects from across Canada and the United States by leading practitioners, as well as young professionals and students, were recognized at the Holcim Awards ceremony 2014 for North America with total prize money of $330,000.

See project videos, image galleries and more about each project at http://www.holcimawards.org/nam

Poreform, a water absorptive surface and subterranean basin that captures rain runoff and adds over 75,000 megaliters (20 billion gallons) to the water supply capacity of Las Vegas won the top prize. Designers Amy Mielke and Caitlin Taylor of Water Pore Partnership (New York/Woodbridge, CT) reposition water infrastructure as a civic project. Capable of rapid saturation and slow release, the flood-control pores of this “urban skin” are inlets to a new infrastructure that reframes water as a valuable resource rather than a liability.

See Gold project gallery, video and further info at http://www.holcimfoundation.org/Projects/poreform

The Rebuilding by Design project that addresses New York City’s vulnerability to coastal flooding by using a raised berm and sequence of public spaces along the water’s edge won the Holcim Awards Silver. The 13km (8 mi) long infrastructural barrier to mitigate the impact of future storms with the devastating force of Hurricane Sandy was designed by a consortium led by architects Bjarke Ingels and Kai-Uwe Bergmann of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Denmark/New York).

See Silver project gallery, video and further info at http://www.holcimfoundation.org/Projects/rebuilding-by-design

A cluster of circular towers formed using reflective bricks, designed for and commissioned by the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program for construction in New York City received the Holcim Awards Bronze. The structure by David Benjamin of The Living architecture lab (New York) uses recent advances in biotechnology combined with cutting-edge computation and engineering to create new building materials that are almost fully organically-grown and compostable.

See Bronze project gallery, video and further info at http://www.holcimfoundation.org/Projects/hy-fi

Acknowledgement prizes were conferred for projects in Toronto, Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles, and an unprecedented six “Next Generation” prizes for young professionals and students were presented in recognition of the outstanding quality of submissions from across North America.

The ceremony in Toronto for the competition region North America – hosted at Evergreen Brick Works, a Holcim Awards prize-winning project in 2008 – followed the first presentation of winners in Moscow (for Europe). Further events will be held in Medellín (for Latin America), Beirut (for Africa Middle East) and Jakarta (for Asia Pacific). The projects that receive Holcim Awards Gold, Silver and Bronze in each region automatically qualify for the Global Holcim Awards 2015.

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