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SAWA wins ARC20 innovation award Jury ARC20: "Sawa is what the future looks like."

Nov. 16, 2021

During a festive live broadcast from the Mediahaven in Amsterdam, the winners of the ARC20 Awards were announced last Thursday. SAWA, developed by Nice Developers and ERA Contour and designed by Mei architects and planners, was unanimously chosen by the professional jury as the winner of the ARC20 Innovation Award.

On behalf of the jury, architect Marc Koehler explained that the nominees were selected for their ability to open eyes to a different approach to architecture and design. According to the jury, innovation should not be a small step in the right direction. "Sawa sets in motion a radical change," Koehler said.

From the judges' report:

SAWA is relevant and promising because of the scale of timber construction. It will be the most innovative, tallest timber building in the Netherlands. This is a new concept, smart and aesthetic, energy-saving and possibly the tipping point in the wood building revolution.

The jury report confirms that SAWA is innovative on several fronts. First and foremost, SAWA distinguishes itself in the field of high-rise buildings in CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) by, among other things, executing the floor construction without the addition of concrete. It is a bottom-up development by Nice Developers, ERA Contour and Mei, based on vertical chain integration and with a focus on a group of future residents who participate. SAWA is low-installation designed on the principle of Open Building, providing optimal flexibility. The residential program will be a mix of affordable mid-rent and more expensive housing. There will be various amenities in the plinth of the building, and the deck will add value to both residents and neighbors as a green connector between the building and surrounding green space (such as the existing neighborhood garden).

In addition, SAWA is at the forefront of innovation in nature-inclusive building. The way the building promotes neighborhood biodiversity - through a range of ecological features (such as a biodiversity roof, a coordinated green plan for the balconies and 40 animal houses) - is unique in Europe.

Photo: Mark Compeer (Nice) and Robert Platje (May) accept the ARC20 award

About the ARC awards

ARC Awards is an initiative of 'De Architect' in collaboration with partners and has now gained a permanent place in the Dutch architectural landscape. The ARC Awards highlight the very best work in the categories architecture, urban design, interior, furniture, detail, innovation, young talent and oeuvre. From over 350 entries, independent professional juries chose the winning projects in six categories.

This year's ARC20 Innovation Award jury consists of Marc Koehler (MKA; jury chair), Antoine van Erp (Matter Makers), Dirk van den Heuvel (TU Delft), Robert van Ieperen (Fakton) and Marianne Lahr (de Architect, secretary).

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