The Wienerberger Brick Award has offered a unique platform for the recognition of outstanding brick architecture of international quality since 2004. The award comprises 5 different categories, which may change depending on trends and current topics.
In 2016, prizes were awarded in the following categories: Residential Use, Public Use, Re-Use, Urban Infill, and Special Solution. In total, more than 600 projects from 55 countries were submitted. Owing to the great variety of projects, it was not an easy task for the independent, pre-jury panel to narrow down the submissions to 50 nominations. From this shortlist a jury of four internationally renowned architects (Laura Andreini, Archea Associati, Italy Johan Anrys, 51N4E, Belgium Matija Bevk, bevk perovic arhitekti, Slovenia Alfred Munkenbeck, Munkenbeck + Partners, UK) selected the winners.
This year, two projects were awarded the Grand Prize. One of these prizes went to the project 2226 by architect Dietmar Eberle, located in Austria. Its main characteristic is lying in its energy concept. The entire building manages without ventilation, air conditioning and heating. This is made possible by 76 cm-thick brick walls. The only energy source is waste heat emitted by people, computers and luminaires. This revolutionary approach also impressed in the Special Solution category.
The second Grand Prize winner, House 1014 in the historic city centre of Barcelona, is an excellent example of how to use “left-over” space in urban areas. The very long and narrow site, with a width of only 6.5 metres, shows extreme site conditions. Starting from the client’s wish to divide the home into two independent zones, Spanish architectural office H ARQUITECTES created a sequence of alternating interior and exterior spaces. In addition to the Grand Prize, this project also won in the Urban Infill category.
Termites served as inspiration for the project from Vietnam developed by the architects from Tropical Space, which won in the Residential Use category. The name Termitary House describes the layout of the building, which resembles the building plan of a termite mount, where all corridors, galleries and rooms come together in a central main room.
The auditorium of the AZ Groeninge health centre in Belgium, by Bert Dehullu, is the winner in the Public Use category. While the main building is characterised by a traditional design, a contrasting structural shell was conceived for the new auditorium.
The winner in the Re-Use category is the Marília project by Studio Super Limão in São Paulo, Brazil. The house on Rua Marília, dating from 1915, is one of the last historic brick buildings in the area. Instead of opting for the economically attractive alternative of demolishing the building, it was agreed to preserve it.
A Special Prize went to the architect duo Duplex from Switzerland for their project Cluster House in Zurich. As part of this novel housing concept, the residents forgo having certain conveniences such as their own garage space, but in return they are rewarded with various services like car sharing or hotel rooms for guests.