A wooden tower in Nigeria, a community food center in Hawaii and a hydroelectric canal in Boston have been named among the most innovative architectural proposals of the year.
They join eight other winning projects in a new prize recognizing the biggest challenges facing architects over the next decade, including climate change and aging populations.
“Everything architects do is about the future, even if it’s a restoration project,” said WAF’s program director, Paul Finch. “We wanted to identify the issues that architects seem to be habitually interested in as being important for the future.”
“We came up with 10 areas that we thought were important for architecture — ones which are going to affect architects, but which architects, in turn, may be able to affect themselves,” he said.
Sustainable urban planning
The overall prize was awarded to US firm Paul Lukez Architecture for its proposed hydroelectric canal, which also won in the climate, energy and carbon category. Designed to protect Boston’s low-lying harbor area from flooding, the project would restore almost 25 million square feet of salt marshes to create a sustainable neighborhood.
In the case of rising tides or storm surges, the canal system would channel water toward recreational parks which double up as reservoirs. Hydroelectric turbines would also provide clean energy to residents, explained the firm’s founder, Paul Lukez.
“The development would use tides and new infrastructure as a way of capturing renewable energy — using that as the basis for a new kind of urban design,” he said. “The idea is to…