Iconic Awards 2022: Innovative Architecture - Awareness of Sustainable Building

The Iconic Awards 2022: Innovative Architecture honor forward-looking projects and new approaches to sustainable construction

iconic awards
Source & Copyright by German Design Council | a+r Architects: Kulturbahnhof Aalen

Author: Julia

Germany's leading competence center for design culture, the German Design Council, has the Iconic Awards 2022: innovative architecture awarded. The award recognizes visionary actors and architectural offices in the field of sustainable building and thus valuable impulses for environmentally friendly changes. This year, the winners impressed with a variety of approaches to promoting sustainable architecture. These include the revitalization of existing buildings, the transformation of urban areas into usable open spaces, the creative and constructive use of sustainable building materials and integration innovative technologies.

Irrespective of the guiding visions, however, the projects have a common focus: the bioclimatic and identity-forming conditions of the object and its location. This way of thinking forces an orientation towards natural cycles, which considers buildings over their entire life cycle. After the demolition of a building, materials are not regarded as waste, but as a valuable resource - reuse in the sense of the circular economy. Based on this basic idea, the German Design Council has identified two key trends.

#1 It's the material that matters!

Contemporary construction projects prove that ecological building materials are full of potential. Both structurally and aesthetically. A prime example: Wood. The organic material is suitable for constructions from stylish patios to impressive high-rise buildings. In addition to this architectural quality, it is also characterized by its timeless design and its effect on health and emotional levels. Wood connects with nature and demonstrably increases well-being in the sense of Plananthroposcene trends. However, the ecological building material is not alone in this: the versatile spectrum ranges from wood to clay to cork.

#2 The environmental context matters

Since cities and economically strong conurbations are becoming more and more living and working space need to develop strategies for efficient use of the city. However, this should not be about progress, but about renewal. The declared goal is to optimize and expand existing structures instead of relying on area growth. This means: A stock must be valued both in its temporal context and evaluated on the basis of its potential for intelligent and resource-saving further development.

Iconic Awards 2022: Innovative Architecture

The Iconic Awards 2022: Innovative Architecture will be presented at a ceremony on October 5, 2022 in Munich. However, if you can't wait, you can winning projects view online. Or be inspired by the following selection of impressive and forward-looking winners.

Contemporary conversion

Link Architects convinced with its stable conversion. A project that transformed a former horse stable into a modern home. As the building blends into a series of older buildings, the architects used the visible facades for a modern interpretation of the existing structure. Based on the originality of the building, the interior also dominates natural materials stone and wood. "A great design both inside and out, which respectfully and harmoniously blends into the existing building and at the same time convinces with its own unmistakable identity," said the jury.

iconic awards

Source & Copyright by German Design Council | Link Architects

New building in the old walls

The Kulturbahnhof Aalen by a+r architects shows how historical fragments of an industrial plant can become a future-oriented place of culture. More precisely, the cultural building combines the past and the present by integrating the fabric of the old building into the new design of modern architecture. Positive side effect: Minimal use of resources. The public areas, music school and theater workshops are partly in the old building and partly in the new building of the complex.

iconic awards

Source & Copyright by German Design Council | a+r architects

New landscape in the urban

Floating Forest Fish Tail Park in Nanchang City inspires the landscape architecture projects of the future. With the help of bridges, footbridges and platforms, the architecture firm Turenscape has transformed the 126-hectare, previously badly damaged lake landscape into a kind of park that can be walked on. And with double added value: while visitors can relax in nature, the wooded islands of the lake landscape regulate flooding and create new habitats for wild animals.

iconic awards

Source & Copyright by German Design Council | doorscape

Climate protection in architectural design

The new storage building of the Historical Archive and Rhenish Image Archive in Cologne has a climate concept with optimal climate stability. For this, Waechter + Waechter Architects BDA have taken a number of passive measures - including heat-storing walls and carefully heated pipes.

iconic awards

Source & Copyright by German Design Council | Waechter & Waechter Architects BDA

wood as a connecting element

A statement for the timelessness of wood: Crawshaw Architects converted a former cowshed from the listed Stanbridge Mill into a library. And relied on a wooden arch construction that was processed both traditionally and modernly. For example, solid oak wood parts with knots, stains and some pulpwood were built using rural carpentry techniques. It is particularly noteworthy, however, that not only that Building material is sustainable. In line with environmental protection, the library is supplied with biomass and fresh air via a passive ventilation system.

iconic awards

Source & Copyright by German Design Council | Crawshaw Architects

Light metal becomes a design factor

Inspired by Nature: Based on the Stone Forest, the architects One Plus Partnership designed a sculptural installation for the entrance area of ​​an office building in Kunming. This consists of perforated sheets. A material that is permeable to light and air, durable and resource-saving. All these attributes make it a sustainable building material.

iconic awards

Source & Copyright by German Design Council | One Plus Partnership

What's next?

The German Design Council has proven once again that the Iconic Awards honor forward-looking ideas. Ideas that are at the intersection of design, construction and sustainability. Be it the revival of natural materials, resource conservation through revitalization or nature conservation through landscape architecture - the innovations provide important impetus for positive change. And position the construction industry as part of the solution to global challenges like the climate change. Not as one of their originators.


Always informed about the latest lifestyle trends, architecture, design & interior, as well as current technologies around sustainability.

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