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German Architecture Prize recognizes sustainability

Heike Mund / eg
October 13, 2015

This church may not be the most impressive from the outside, but it won Germany's top prize in architecture for its trendsetting features. Discover other award-winning architectural projects.

Immanuelkirch in Cologne, Copyright: Oliver Berg/dpa
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/O. Berg

The main award, which includes a cash prize of 30,000 euros (over $34,000), went to the office Sauerbruch Hutton in Berlin. The architects' design of the Immanuel Church and the community center in Cologne was selected by the jury of the German Architecture Prize for its sustainable and visionary design.

Minister for Building Barbara Hendricks, who handed out the award on Monday (12.10.2015), declared in a speech, "This community center impressively shows that sustainable architecture promotes identity and provides important impulse for a healthy environment."

Design for a vibrant city

The Berlin architects planned their ensemble as an architectural bridge between the new church and the community center. The rooms they designed are not only functional; they can also be flexibly used in different ways, adding to the sustainability of the concept. These features justified the jury's selection of this concept over more spectacular ones, which was usually the case in the past. The design by Sauerbruch Hutton offers a "contribution to a vibrant city," said Minister Hendricks.

The German Architecture Prize reflects the high level of planning and building culture in Germany, said the President of the Federal Chamber of Architects, Barbara Ettinger-Brinckmann: "Such buildings would not exist without all the builders who are open to creative designs and are inspired to execute them well."

The gallery above features different examples of this innovative building culture in Germany. The design for the factory residential buildings Lokdepot 123 (second picture) also received an accolade during the award ceremony.

Along with the main prize, five other awards, endowed with 4,000 euros ($4,550) each, and eight honorable recognitions underline the most important contributions to innovative architecture in Germany.