Promoting sustainable and responsible architecture is precisely the goal that prompted the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara, in partnership with the Fassa Bortolo company, a leading company in the field of products and solutions for the building industry, to set up in 2003 the Fassa Bortolo International Prize for Sustainable Architecture, today in its 14th edition. The award has been formulated to facilitate the dissemination of the results achieved in research on civil constructions to a wide audience, while recognising the central role played by architecture in environmental qualification and social development. The involvement of the University of Ferrara, and therefore of the younger generations of architects and designers helps, among other things, to underline the school’s value in the field of education and as an expression of the cultural development and collective interests of a society.
Over the last 13 years, the two-yearly prize saw the submission of over 1000 projects involving architectural firms from over 30 countries around the world, representing all five continents. The coveted Gold Medal is awarded to works designed by individuals or architectural/engineering firms, developed and constructed in the last five years, which best express the fundamental principles of the concept of sustainability. Two Silver Medals are also awarded, together with the Fassa Bortolo Special Award (recognising the use of solutions that are part of the Fassa Bortolo Integrated System) and, at the discretion of the jury, Honourable Mentions. The 13 editions of the award have seen the participation of young designers, as well as leading architects on the international scene including: Dominique Perrault, Baumschlager & Eberle, Sauerbruch & Hutton, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Kengo Kuma, Shigeru Ban, Christoph Ingenhoven, Georg Reinberg, Alejandro Aravena, Diener & Diener, Rahul Mehrotra and Sean Godsell.
During the last edition of the prize, which concluded with the award ceremony held on June 26, 2019, the Gold Medal was awarded to the PLUG architecture studio for the Infiltrated patio project, a residence built in a suburb of Mérida, in the Mexican state of Yucatán. The two Silver Medals, instead, recognised the merits of the reconversion project of the Opificio Golinelli innovation centre in Bologna, Italy, completed by the diverseghestudio firm (architects Simone Gheduzzi, Nicola Rimondi and Gabriele Sorichetti) and the project for the Law Court in Balaguer, Spain, designed by the Arquitecturia Camps Felip firm (architects Josep Camps and Olga Felip). The prize is open not only to new works, but also to renovations, expansions, as well as large and small scale interventions, including landscape design. Projects that clearly capture and express the ideals of sustainability that constitute the heart and soul of the award: “architecture that is able to interact with the environment in a balanced way,designed for human needs and able to satisfy the necessities of our generation without compromising, through indiscriminate consumption of resources and the resulting pollution, those of future generations.”.
One of the key strengths of the award is its international jury made up of prestigious members from different parts of the world and chaired by architect Thomas Herzog, pioneer in the experimentation and use of renewable energy in architecture, as well as one of the leading experts in the field of bioclimatic architecture and eco-sustainable design.
Registrations for the prize must be submitted by January 11, 2021 and, once registered, applicants will have until February 8, 2021 to submit the necessary documentation.
Images courtesy of Premio Internazionale Architettura Sostenibile Fassa Bortolo