The international jury, headed by photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand, meeting on Monday, September 24, 2007 at villa Savoye in Poissy (Yvelines), awarded a «Special Prize» to Balkrishna Doshi for his lifetime architectural achievement and the first «Global Award for Sustainable Architecture» to the Austrian architect Hermann Kaufmann.

The five architects whose work the jury considered had been selected by the Global Award’s scientific committee (1) for their commitment to a more sustainable approach to the development of the city and the living environment. In addition to Balkrishna Doshi and Hermann Kaufmann, the other candidates were Françoise-Hélène Jourda (France), Wang Shu (China) and Stefan Behnisch (Germany).

In awarding the special prize for his lifetime achievement to 80-year-old Balkrishna Doshi, the jury wished to honour one of the great figures of world architecture, a man who – having worked in France and India with Le Corbusier – then dedicated his life to pioneering research into social housing and urban planning. His quest has been to divert the powerful currents of industrial development into the service of the people of India, to channel their effects in such a way that they could nurture India’s culture and economy instead of destroying them.

In giving the first Global Award for Sustainable Architecture to Hermann Kaufmann, the jury sought to highlight the consistent thread running through the work of this 52-year-old Austrian architect, born into a family of carpenters, who as well as a creative architect is also a committed citizen, ceaselessly promulgating a social, ethical, economic and political engagement with sustainable development. Hermann Kaufmann practises his art at the cutting edge of technological innovation, whilst remaining absolutely meticulous in his quest for perfection in the construction of his buildings, which are put together with all the rigour of the master craftsman.

The prize was awarded by Pierre Bédier, Chairman of the Yvelines General Council, François de Mazières, Chairman of the Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine and Jana Revedin, general coordinator of the operation. The «Global Award for Sustainable Architecture» will be run every year, leading to the construction of a house designed to environmental imperatives in each of the 51 communities of Seine-aval, which will eventually form the «manifesto collection of 21st-century architecture». This project falls within the National Interest Operation, a major development project initiated by the Government in this part of the north-west of the Yvelines area. The town of Chanteloup-les-Vignes was chosen to host the first Global Award. The winner will build an «urban lodge» measuring 300 m2 , designed to embody the values of sustainable development. The programme for this house, which will be open to the public, is to create a meeting room – for lectures, exhibitions and workshops – and an accommodation space for small groups or individuals; it is set for completion at the end of 2008. The construction budget for the house is €400,000. Hermann Kaufmann will immediately receive €25,000 as the winner of the award, and his fees for the design of the house will be €50,000. The whole Global Award for Sustainable Architecture operation is financed by Epamsa and the Yvelines Regional Council.

Initiated by the Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine and Epamsa (Mantois Seine-aval public development establishment) with the backing of the Yvelines Regional Council, the objective of this prize is to contribute to the development of sustainable approaches to architecture. It involves a number of partners, including five of Europe’s biggest architecture centres, who form the scientific committee of the global award:

CIVA International Centre for the City, Architecture and Landscape, Brussels
DAM Deutsches Architektur Museum, Frankfurt
IABL International Architecture Biennale of Ljubljana
MFA Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki
Università IUAV Venezia

Its aim is to explore the way in which a commitment to sustainable development modifies the creative process in architecture.

Herausgeber: © Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt a.M., Schaumainkai 43, 22.04.2019