Prize Winner: Eike Roswag

The Architect Eike Roswag is a man of mild gestures. His buildings are not glamorous statements, rather they depend on a respect for the future user and for the experience of local craftsmen. As an expert in sustainable Architecture, he relies on traditional materials such as earth, timber or bamboo and dedicates himself to the search for new ecological building materials. He will now be recognised with the KAIROS Prize for his pioneering and participative building philosophy.

The main focus of Eike Roswag and his Berlin-based office Ziegert|Roswag|Seiler is the development and realisation of environmentally friendly buildings using local building materials. Their projects range from earthen and timber low-energy houses and manufacturing buildings in Germany, through earth and bamboo schools in Asia and Africa, to the conservation of historic monuments on the Arabian Peninsula. The office has contributed to the current sustainability discourse through the completion of a series of low- and plus-energy houses, which could avoid the need for mechanical ventilation systems through maximising the climate-controlling properties of earth and timber building materials. 

Eike Roswag is convinced that Architecture should only emerge through dialogue and furthermore that Architects must see participation and discussion as chance rather than hindrance. The KAIROS Prize Committee emphasised that Eike Roswag, “…manages, in an ever more technology-based society, to occupy an original position on sustainable Architecture. Moreover, his work and philosophy stimulate a new and important discussion on the possibility of creating an Architecture that, through a respectful and contemplative attitude to natural resources, can strike a balance between man and nature.” At the same time Eike Roswag has shown through the aesthetics of his buildings that architectural quality and sustainability are by no means mutually exclusive.

 Eike Roswag and his office have been recognised by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007, the Holcim Gold Award for the Asia/Pacific Region in 2011 and the BDA Prize Berlin in 2013. In 2013, he became a fellow of the Villa Massimo in Rome where he lead a series of discourses between diverse partners on the theme of dialogue in an architectural context. The office’s projects have been displayed in a number of exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2011 as well as being featured in a wide range of publications. 

On the 22nd of February 2015 at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg Eike Roswag received the KAIROS Prize. Speeches were given by Architect Matthias Sauerbruch and the Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture Farrokh Derakhshani. 


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