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.
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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About KAIROS Prize
The KAIROS Prize is honouring European artists and academics from the fields of the fine and the performing arts, music, architecture, design, film, photography, literature and journalism. The award is designed to be given to individuals for artistic achievements, but also to producers, festival directors, publishers or gallery owners and other personalities who give important impulses to art and culture in Europe. The KAIROS Prize is endowed with the amount of 75.000 € and aims to honour outstanding individuals working with entrepreneurial spirit, persistence and creativity in the field of European culture and intercultural understanding.
The prize is named after the Greek god KAIROS – the god for “the right moment” –as it seeks to encourage and promote people at “the right time in their career”. It is neither an award for life time achievement nor a singular project, but rather seeks to identify early achievement, special work in progress as well as potential for future sucess.
The KAIROS Prize is awarded annually in Hamburg by the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. An independent committee decides on the awarding.
The current members of the committee are:
Christoph Stölzl (President Liszt School of Music, Weimar)
Christine Eichel (author and journalist)
Shermin Langhoff (artistic director Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin)
Heike Catherina Mertens (executive director Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House)
Monika Sandhack (ZDFkultur / 3Sat Kulturzeit)
Nike Wagner (artistic director Internationales Beethovenfest, Bonn)