It is the fifth edition of the "Zumtobel Group Award – Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment" presented by Zumtobel Group. The established architectural award, founded in 2007 and curated by Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin, honours contemporary realised or conceptual works that make a significant contribution to greater humanity and sustainability in the built environment and its design.
The Zumtobel Group had invited entries in three categories, Buildings, Urban Developments & Initiatives and Applied Innovations, each category being presented by one of the lighting group’s brands. This year there is also a special award for "Young Professionals". The international expert jury nominated five projects per category and awarded first prizes to the following projects:
- "Star Apartments" by Michael Maltzan Architecture [category Buildings – presented by Zumtobel]
- "Arnhem Central Station" by UNStudio [category Urban Developments & Initiatives – presented by Thorn]
- "Warka Water" by Arturo Vittori [category Applied Innovations – presented by Tridonic]
- "Jianamani Visitor Center" by TeamMinus [special award for Young Professionals]
The first prize in the Buildings category presented by Zumtobel is awarded to the "Star Apartments" project in Los Angeles. Designed by architect Michael Maltzan, the conversion of an existing, one-storey commercial building into a six-storey facility for assisted living on 11,000 m², completed in 2014, improves the quality of life of former homeless people and gives them back a feeling of pride, independence and dignity.
Completed in 2014, the "Jianamani Visitor Center" by Beijing-based architects Atelier TeamMinus was honoured this year with the Young Professionals special recognition presented by Zumtobel. Yushu is a highly regarded religious center to Tibetans. Its significance comes mainly from Jiana Mani, the world’s largest Tibetan Buddhist stone pile. The Jianamani Visitor Center is deeply connected with Tibetan history, by creating explicit links to the historic site. It is also a meeting place and a place of cultural exchange.
A total of 347 projects from 48 countries on five continents were submitted for this year’s award. The jury comprising leading figures from around the world of architecture, as well as experts in the new technologies, selected five projects per category as nominees and chose a winner from among them in each category. Projects qualified for the special Young Professionals award if the persons submitting them were under 40 years of age.
The 2017 jury comprised Klaus Daniels, HL-Technik Engineering GmbH; Elke Delugan-Meissl, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, Elizabeth Diller, Architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Elgar Fleisch, Professor of Information Management, Holger Hagge, Architect & Management Expert, Zhang Ke, Architect ZAO/standardarchitecture, Ulrich Schumacher, CEO Zumtobel Group and Kjetil Trædal Thorsen of Snøhetta Architects.
You can find video statements from the jury here.