Data: ottobre 2024

Recognizing the urgency to respond to the ever- growing vulnerability of people and the planet, the 2024 OBEL AWARD focus asks how architecture can strengthen this position of working with as opposed to for.

Each year, the OBEL AWARD jury establishes a focus for the award. Emphasis is placed on a focus that forms dialogue on emerging agendas that recognize the importance, fragility and challenges facing our societies and the built environment. In this way, the award seeks to identify exemplary architectural projects that respond to these significant current and future challenges.

Architectures With looks at navigating the difference between participatory and co-creation as well as bringing in other bodies of knowledge to the center of the design process.

Architectures With questions the role of the architect and the profession as a whole, through re-envisaging technique and exploring radical new ways of sharing and giving agency to all stakeholders.

Architectures With will open the discourse to take practicing architecture beyond where it is today. Looking to address collective design and process with other disciplines and be co-creative in a non-hierarchical way. What is the honest way of working with, where  the architect takes on the role of translator.

With rapidly changing climates; atmospheric, political and economic, comes challenges for all demographics and species. Architects and designers need to find ways to manage the complexity required to secure innovative, safe and responsive environments for diverse communities to thrive.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Snøhetta Co-founder, OBEL AWARD Jury Chair: “Architecture is by nature plural. It is important not to underestimate the complexity nor the collective intelligence of a community. The symbiosis appears when each party can listen to the other, when respectfulness and social intelligence is employed throughout the project.”

The mission of the OBEL AWARD is to honour outstanding architectural contributions to social and ecological development globally. These contributions should offer creative proposals to urgent problems in the service of people and the planet, a commitment towards the common good.

The 2024 OBEL AWARD winner will be announced in October 2024.

Past years’ focuses and winners

2023: Adaptation
The jury focus illustrates the necessity and possibilities of architecture to adapt to a world in flux. Adaptation calls for an architecture that confronts uncertainty and acts through time so that both human and non-human life can continue to survive and even thrive. The winning project was Living Breakwaters by SCAPE Studio.

2022: Emissions
The jury called for seminal solutions, which are CO2 neutral, factoring in all embodied emissions. The winning project was Seratech’s solution for zero-emissions concrete.

2021: Cities
The jury called for works (projects or products) that offer seminal solutions to the challenges facing cities. The winning project was the 15-minute city as defined by Professor Carlos Moreno.

2020: Mending
The jury called for projects in which architecture has been an active tool for positive change by creatively contributing to the mending of our physical environment. The winning project was Anandaloy in Bangladesh, by Anna Heringer.

2019: Well-being
The jury called for ground-breaking, original architectural solutions that touch our senses and emotions. The winning project was Water Garden in Tochigi, Japan, by Junya Ishigami & Associates.

2024 OBEL AWARD jury: Kjetil Trædal Thorsen Chair (co-founder, Snöhetta, Norway) / Nathalie de Vries (founding partner MVRDV, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) / Louis Becker (design principal and partner, Henning Larsen, Denmark) / Dr Wilhelm Vossenkuhl (professor emeritus of philosophy, Germany) / XU Tiantian (founding principal, DnA, Beijing, China) / Aric Chen (general and artistic director of the Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, The Netherlands) / Sumayya Vally (founder and principal at Counterspace in Johannesburg and London, South Africa and United Kingdom)