Social Housing: the winner of the European Baffa-Rivolta Award for Social Architecture has been announced

The winner of the sixth edition of the European Baffa-Rivolta Architecture Prize (formerly the Rivolta Award) is the studio Duplex Architekten, with the residential project Cluster House (‘Haus A’), in Zurich. The studio also signed the masterplan of the entire district, the Hunziker Area, and realized two residences, with the aim of “creating a piece of the city rather than buildings”. 

The international jury was composed by David Lorente Ibáñez, Harquitectes (Spain), Dick Van Gameren (Holland), Massimo Bricocoli (Italy), Camillo Magni (Italy ) and Mauro Galantino (Italy) and 2 temporary members, Laura Montedoro (Italy), Fabio Lepratto (Italy). They commented: “The parallelism between the urban masterplan and the Haus A’s ground floor plan is amazing, because shared and private spaces are held together. The articulation of the private and collective interior spaces is sober in the façade and has a strong domestic feature, fitting into the dense urban context”.

With this project, the Duplex Architekten Studio won a prize of 10,000 euros and the appointment in the jury for the next edition.

Now in its sixth edition, the project is a world benchmark in the debate around social housing. 20 projects participated (5 from Austria, 2 from Denmark, 2 from France, 1 from Germany, 4 from Italy, 1 from Luxembourg, 3 from Portugal, 2 from Switzerland), 13 of which passed to the second and last phase.

Moreover, the jurors bestowed three Special Mentions:

  • MAGISTERPARKEN, by C.F. MOLLER ARCHITECTS (Denmark) for its research and technical constructive innovation (“The project gives a persuasive answer to the demanding need of improving the quality of abandoned post-war buildings”);
  • LIVE-WORK COMPLEX KALKBREITE, by MULLER SIGRIST ARCHITEKTEN AG (Switzerland), for its typological experimentation “of the extreme mix of different residential figures, public services and infrastructure, for the very inspiring way in which the project interacts with the complexity of the site”;
  • LIVING TOGETHER, by FROETSCHER LICHTENWAGNER (Austria), for the development of a highly marked social program (“the project completes public, collective and private spaces in a definite way. It is open towards the context and its inhabitants, with discreet and sober means”).

With this edition, the Baffa-Rivolta Award aimed to identify, reward and publicize the best social housing projects, built and delivered between January 2012 and December 2016, within the 28 countries of the European Community and Switzerland.

The overall quality of the built environment and the sustainability of the architectural project had been particularly interesting issues.

In the first edition of the Rivolta Prize - Paolo Mazzoleni, President of the Milan Order of Architects, commented - social housing was still a secondary and marginal issue, compared to others. Today, thanks to this initiative, now in its sixth edition, which has built up notoriety and respect among European professionals, it is one of the central concerns in the architectural debate. We reward again an international project representing a new way of sharing of the residential community. Matilde Baffa and Ugo Rivolta, extraordinary architects and teachers, would have certainly appreciated this conception”.