Foundations 16 - page 7

Foundations 16
Only the jury may eliminate
Efficiency is of particular
importance at the regional
jury sessions as the best
projects need to be identi-
fied deftly. To help the jurors
with this task, another
team of specialists screens
the entries before the jury
meeting. Projects that fail
to meet the competition
requirements are sifted out.
“Some entries are incom-
plete, for instance,” says
Marc Angélil “and it’s imme-
diately clear that some will
not make it into the final
selection because they don’t
consider the various aspects
of sustainability.” But even
these entries are presented
to the jury – only the jury
may make the definitive
After the screening, hun-
dreds of projects remain
in contention within each
region. On the first day the
jury works in groups and
selects the most interesting
projects which then get pre-
sented to the plenum. Every
jury member also takes a
look at the projects sorted
out by the other groups and
may return any of these to
the selection – a process
that ensures no pearl re-
mains undiscovered.
With finesse and feeling
This selection process takes
place twice: once for the
main category, in which
three Holcim Awards and
a number of Acknowledge-
ment prizes are conferred in
each region, and again for
the “Next Generation” cate-
gory for young professionals
and students. By the end of
the first day, the jury selects
a maximum of 24 projects
in the main category and 18
projects in the “Next Gener-
ation” category.
Stringent final selection
On the next day the field
of candidates is narrowed
down to the final selection
through intensive discus-
sion and then ranked. The
number of ranked projects
is greater than the number
of prizes to be awarded
for a simple reason – once
the jury has completed its
work, all the potential prize
winners will be further
scrutinized in great detail.
Do they really fulfill all the
competition criteria? When
a preliminary winner is dis-
qualified, the subsequently
ranked projects are upgrad-
ed. Thus also the ranking of
the runner-up positions are
fervently debated among
the jury members.
“We normally come to a con-
sensus,” says Marc Angélil,
who as Head of the AC sits
on all five regional Holcim
Awards juries. “We usual-
ly discuss long enough to
arrive at a common position.
I can think of only one single
case where we had to vote
in the end.” That is astoun-
ding, because the notion of
sustainable construction is
very broad, and each jury
member has a different
focus. One may place more
emphasis on social aspects,
another on technical innova-
tion, and so forth. But in the
end the juries always man-
age to put together a list of
prize winners that covers all
the needs.
The secret remains safe
By the end of the meeting,
the list of winners has been
determined: then begins
a long period of silence.
Following the jury meeting,
several months pass before
the winners are announced,
and during this time nothing
may be leaked to the public.
And when project authors
are invited to an Awards
ceremony, they can assume
that they have won a prize –
but they don’t know which
one. For the cream of the
crop, there is aniticipation of
trophies and prize money –
and for all involved, a grow-
ing excitement to learn more
about cutting-edge ideas
on sustainable construction
from around the globe.
Groups of jury members pre-
sent the entries they preselect.
From left, at the jury meeting
for region Europe at the ETH
Zurich: Horia Adrian, Antón
García-Abril, Holger Wallbaum,
and Jean-Philippe Vassal.
As Head of the Academic Committee,
Marc Angélil is a member of all five
regional juries.
Listening, thinking, assessing,
discussing, and studying new
projects (from left to right): jury
members Stuart Smith, Antón
García-Abril, Holger Wallbaum,
and Arno Brandlhuber in Zurich.
composed to produce opti-
mal results.
“Because sustainable
construction covers a
very broad field, we need
competencies across a wide
range of disciplines: the jury
members have a sharpened
sense for identifying the
most promising projects and
visions to be shortlisted in
the adjudication process,” he
says. Each jury comprises up
to 11 top-notch specialists in
architecture, urban plan-
ning, and engineering. All
jury members have in-depth
knowledge of the region –
and extensive experience in
assessing projects swiftly
and efficiently.
1,2,3,4,5,6 8,9,10,11,12
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