BERLIN, GERMANY.- For many years the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin focuses on issues of sustainability in the urban context. Several worldwide exhibitions on this matter have been set up successfully in cooperation with the Goethe Institute and the IfA, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. This year Aedes was commisioned as curator of the newly installed biannual Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment Aedes. The winning projects for 2007 have been announced. Awarded project in the catagory 'Built Environment' - Federal Building San Francisco by Morphosis Architects, Los Angeles / USA. Awarded project in the category 'Research and Initiative' - Solar Updraft Tower by Schlaich Bergermann Solar, Stuttgart / Germany.
The Zumtobel Group Award is designed to promote outstanding sustainable and humanitarian solutions in contemporary architecture and engineering. The award carries a purse of Euro 140.000, shared among two categories.
In the category "Built Environment the jury awarded Morphosis Architects, Los Angeles, USA, for the San Francisco Federal Building. In this recently completed naturally-ventilated high-rise, Pritzker Prize laureate Thom Mayne combined leading-edge sustainable technology with intelligent design strategies to create an architectural landmark of outstanding aesthetic quality. In the words of the jury: "Through its leadership in sustainable thinking, this building sends out a strong signal and message in the urban context, not only in the US, but all over the world.
In the category "Research & Initiative the award went to Schlaich Bergermann Solar, Stuttgart, Germany, for the design of the Solar Updraft Tower.
The idea behind the Solar Updraft Tower has been developed over many years and is now close to large-scale implementation. The jury expressed the hope that the award will foster progress in this respect, because "this seminal technology opens up new prospects for efficient and renewable energy and therefore represents an important and extremely valuable contribution to the future of mankind.
The two winning projects were selected from a worldwide total of 40, proposed by a global network of experts commisioned by Aedes. Determining the laureates in the two categories was the task of an interdisciplinary and international 9-person jury comprising leading architects and engineers, a philosopher, the Executive Director of UN Habitat and the CEO of the Zumtobel Group. As they assessed the nominations, the jury applied wide-ranging criteria from the fields of sustainability and humanity, from environmental and aesthetic quality to high ethical, social and economic standards.
In addition to the winning projects, there were honourable mentions for four other projects in each category, ranging from development projects in Africa and Bangladesh to an open-source Internet platform and experimental approaches to flood protection. With reference to the diversity of the projects considered, the jury expressed the opinion that "the Zumtobel Group Award offers a very interesting and challenging opportunity to discuss and promote the manifold aspects of sustainability and humanity in a global context.