For the fourth time overall, Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein will award the International “Constructive Alps” Prize for sustainable architecture. The contest aims at honouring the most outstanding sustainable construction and sustainable renovation projects, in accordance with the principles of sustainable architecture across the Alps.
A newly constructed or refurbished building respectively has to be suitable for the needs of the dwellers and comply with the economic and technical criteria for sustainable building. The contest is aimed at searching for the most outstanding construction and renovation projects, which are characterized by both aesthetic appeal and sustainability. The 4th International “Constructive Alps” Prize Contest, represents a joint contribution by Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein to the implementation of the objectives of the Alpine Convention and the Convention's Action Plan on Climate Change in the Alps. The contest will take place under the auspices of the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE).
Alpine-wide sustainable construction and renovation projects are subjected to various requirements. Aspects, particularly important in this regard, are for example: connectedness of the building to the public transport system; resources used for generating energy for heating and power; the impact of the buildings on the environment; structural quality; and the embedding of the buildings into the spatial, (local) societal and cultural context. Therefore, it should be no surprise that submitted projects will be assessed based on stringent criteria that consider the significance of each scrutinized building for the local environment and community and also take into account the level of comfort and quality of living it provides to the users.
The top three award winners of the 2015 International Constructive Alps Prize Contest are paramount examples of how to comply with the strict criteria of sustainable building and renovation successfully. The rectory in Krumbach in the Austrian Bregenz Forest was the absolute winner of the last contest. The structure stands out due to the highly efficient use of limited spaces. The building plays a major role in the renaissance of the Krumbach village centre. Two refurbishments from the Swiss village of Valendas show how a historic village centre can be revived. The projects that jointly earned 2nd place were the transformation of the traditional 500-year old "Engihuus" into an inn with guest rooms and a multi-purpose hall and the refurbishment of its nearby contemporary - the "Türalihuus". Both projects are a testimony to the successful merger between sustainable tourism, vibrant social life, and purposeful preservation of historical heritage. The "bronze medal" was bestowed upon the "Casa Riga", an innovative wooden house built in Comano Terme in the Trentino region of Italy. Although the structure partially submerged below ground level, it still provides the guests with a splendid view.
The application deadline for the 4th International “Constructive Alps” Prize Contest (Constructive Alps 2017) is on 20 January 2017.