Articles Awards & Competitions - in Africa

Regional LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 Middle East – Africa

The winners of the LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 winners for Middle East Africa have been announced in Nairobi, Kenya. The eleven winning projects share in USD 330,000 prize money, and illustrate how sustainability in building is rapidly gaining significance in the Middle East Africa region.

The event was hosted by Bamburi Cement, a member of LafargeHolcim. And former Global Awards Gold winner Francis Kéré delivered the keynote address.

The 5th International LafargeHolcim Awards competition for projects and visions in sustainable construction attracted 5,085 entries by authors in 121 countries. 

Three Awards, four Next Generation and four Acknowledgement prizes were also be presented at each ceremony: in Marseille for Europe, San José for Latin America, Chicago for North America and Kuala Lumpur for Asia Pacific over the coming weeks.

We are pleased to present the winners of the 2017 Regional LafargeHolcim Awards 2017 Middle East Africa:

Gold | USD 100,000 | Dandaji, Niger: Legacy Restored

Religious and secular complex

Main Author: Mariam Kamara – atelier masomi, Providence, USA; Yasaman Esmaili – studio chahar, Seattle, USA

Reinterpretation of traditional local construction for a new mosque and community center in Dandaji, Niger, creating a space in the village open to all.

The proposed new mosque as well as the restoration of an existing house of worship are accordingly conceived as test beds for sustainable research, exploring new techniques pertaining to the use of renewable resources.

Silver | USD 50,000 | Aït Benhaddou, Morocco: Weaving and Stamping

Elementary school and craft training center

Main Author: Fatima-azzahra Bendahmane – Ecoactiva, Casablanca, Morocco

Learning complex in the village of Aït Benhaddou in Morocco uses architecture, form, and space to claim artisanship and handiwork as living and modern traditions.

The project incorporates local rammed earth construction and also uses local wool and cane weaving as screens and canopies to shade the facades and exterior common spaces. The woven screens are produced by local women.

Bronze | USD 30,000 | El Marj, Lebanon: Pavilion Re-claimed

Adaptive reuse for refugee education

Main Author: Joana Dabaj – CatalyticAction, Tripoli, Lebanon; Riccardo Conti – CatalyticAction, London, United Kingdom; Matteo Zerbi – CatalyticAction, London, United Kingdom
Further Authors: Elena Brunete – CatalyticAction, Madrid, Spain; Ronan Glynn – CatalyticAction, London, United Kingdom

Located in an informal settlement for Syrian refugees, the project creates a dignified school environment from the leftover materials of a temporary pavilion in a collaborative and smart reassembly of its components.

By reusing a temporary structure for a humanitarian purpose, the project contributes to sustainability through re-appropriation and calls attention to the opportunity for architectural structures to be re-used beyond their originally intended purpose.

Acknowledgement prize | USD 20,000 | Lilongwe, Malawi: Ascending Array

Miracle for Africa Foundation central library

Main Author: Steven Holl – Steven Holl Architects, New York City, USA
Sweep of gently curving roof elements and screen enclosures for a library in Lilongwe, Malawi transcending sustainable construction into one integrated and elegant design.

The new central library for the campus of the Miracle for Africa Foundation in Lilongwe provides spaces for books, archives, reading rooms, classrooms, offices, and an open forum.

Acknowledgement prize | USD 20,000 | Kampala, Uganda: Reel to Real

Maisha Film Lab headquarters

Main Author: Raul Pantaleo – TAMassociati, Trieste, Italy; Massimo Lepore – TAMassociati, Venice, Italy; Simone Sfriso – TAMassociati, Venice, Italy
Further Authors: Enrico Vianello – TAMassociati, Venice, Italy; Laura Candelpergher – TAMassociati, Trieste, Italy

Film training center in East Africa conceived as a cinematic series of spaces wrapped in brick and intended to empower a new generation of filmmakers to see and narrate their experiences for a global audience.

The building’s reduced material palette, consisting almost entirely of bricks produced from high-quality local clay, establishes an appropriate cinematic framework for a range of spatial sequences.

Acknowledgement prize | USD 20,000 | Karaga, Ghana: Refrigerating Jar

Shea butter storage for Nyingali community

Main Author: Wonjoon Han – VHAN, Seoul, South Korea; Sookhee Yuk – Make Africa Better, Seoul, South Korea; Gahee Van – VHAN, Seoul, South Korea

Fostering the production of shea butter as an important local trade, the striking towers of the storage units are designed for passive cooling and allude to traditional local architecture.

By storing the nuts and processing them incrementally, the community will be able to sell processed shea butter for skin moisturizing when it commands a higher price in the market cycle.

Acknowledgement prize | USD 20,000 | Odek, Uganda: Through the Looking-Glass

Odek Center for Nodding Disease

Main Author: Andrew Amara – Studio Flame, Kampala, Uganda
Further Authors: Philip Murungi – Studio Flame, Kampala, Uganda

Exuberant and playful transformation of traditional type forms for a healing center for children with Nodding Disease in Uganda aimed at community-building after decades of conflict.

This “playground-as- campus” is the result of a participatory design process that incorporates the formal vernacular of traditional architecture as filtered through the drawings of its future inhabitants.

“Next Generation” 1st prize | USD 25,000 | Soshanguve, South Africa: Brick-Works

Brick kiln and incremental development project

Main Author

Heidi van Eeden – University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Brick-Works, located in the old township Soshanguve in South Africa, offers proof that brick-making can indeed be technically sustainable and deliver a social contribution to community-making.

Going beyond technical exigencies, the proposal envisions brick-making as a catalyst of community-building. As the community grows, socio-economic conditions gradually improve and new urban nodes are formed around the production facility.

“Next Generation” 2nd prize | USD 20,000 | Aleppo, Syria: Recovering Aleppo

Rubble recycling units

Main Author: Nour Madi – American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut, Lebanon; Jad Melki – GHAITH&JAD Architecture and Design, Beirut, Lebanon; Ghaith Abi Ghanem – GHAITH&JAD Architecture and Design, Beirut, Lebanon

Project for rubble recycling units for the city of Aleppo in Syria, combining the rebuilding of the constructed habitat with the rebuilding of devastated communities.

The intention is to recycle concrete rubble while reconstructing the city’s social and urban fabric. With the support of a humanitarian agency, the project raises awareness on cultural continuity while rebuilding a “lost” city.

“Next Generation” 3rd prize | USD 15,000 | Cairo, Egypt: (In)formal Pattern Language

Designing processes for informal settlements

Main Author: Nada Nafeh – The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

Design of a so-called “(in)formal pattern language” to improve the social and physical conditions of Cairo’s poverty-stricken and fast-growing informal neighborhoods.

Stakeholders are enticed to take charge of their environment via the deployment of straightforward “patterns” for improving their neighborhood.

“Next Generation” 4th prize | USD 10,000 | Amman, Jordan: Steps of Amman

Urban stair and library

Main Author: Noor Marji – German Jordanian University, Amman, Jordan
Steps of Amman, an urban stair and library in the city of Amman in Jordan, transcends disciplinary boundaries by simultaneously being a building, an urban infrastructure, and patch of landscape.

More than just a project for a building, the design makes a plea for reinforcing the civic role of architecture in contemporary culture.

Coming soon…

Global LafargeHolcim Awards 2018

Winners of the LafargeHolcim Awards Gold, Silver or Bronze in 2017 from each of the five regions automatically qualified for the Global LafargeHolcim Awards competition in 2018. The finalists will be evaluated by a panel of independent experts of international stature engaged in the sustainable development of society, building processes, and building projects. The Global LafargeHolcim Awards Jury will meet in Zurich in March 2018.


  • Head of Jury: Alejandro Aravena

Partner Architect & Executive Director, Elemental, Chile; Laureate, Pritzker Architecture Prize 2016; Curator, Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2016

  • David Adjaye

OBEPrincipal, Adjaye Associates, United Kingdom (tbc)

  • Xuemei Bai

Professor of Urban Environment & Human Ecology, Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University (ANU), Australia

  • Hashim Sarkis

Dean, School of Architecture & Planning (SA+P), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA; and Principal, Hashim Sarkis Studios, USA/Lebanon

  • Stuart Smith

Director, Arup, United Kingdom

  • Werner Sobek

Director, Institute for Lightweight Structures & Conceptual Design (ILEK), University of Stuttgart; and Founder, Werner Sobek Group, Germany

  • Rolf Soiron

Member, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and Chairman of the Board, Lonza Group, Switzerland

  • Brinda Somaya

Principal Architect & Managing Director, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, India

  • Head of Academic Committee: Marc Angélil

Professor of Architecture & Design, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), Switzerland

For further information

For further information about the LafargeHolcim Awards jury for region Middle East Africa  meeting at the American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt in May 2017 , visit the Article on Apsaidal. 

For further information about the Lafarge Holcim Awards, visit the Article on Apsaidal.

Click here if you want to read the Official Announcement in LafargeHolcim´s website.

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