Zumtobel Group Award

Innovations for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment 2021

The award, curated by Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin, will be launched for the sixth time. Please submit your projects until 15 May 2021.


   Interview with Ben van Berkel, ZGA 2017 winning project Arnhem Central Station


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The Zumtobel Group Award honours:

• Outstanding and innovative architectural and engineering performances in sustainable solutions

• Pioneering social and humanitarian initiatives and research projects in the built environment that make a notable contribution to a liveable, sustainable and equitable future.

Until 15 May 2021, architecture practices, engineering bureaus, urban and landscape planners, universities and technology start-ups, NGOs and other public or private initiatives can submit their current projects. You can find information regarding the Zumtobel Group Award 2021 online at: zumtobel-group-award

The Zumtobel Group Award carries a total purse of EUR 120,000. The prizes are presented by the three brands of the international lighting group: Zumtobel, Thorn and Tridonic.

The two categories of the award are:

• Buildings

• Urban Developments & Initiatives

• plus the Special Prize for Innovations, selected from the submissions in the two categories.

The category Buildings, sponsored by the Zumtobel brand, is dedicated to architecturally outstanding buildings or complexes realised within the past three years (15 January 2017 to 15 March 2021). Submissions must meet and envisage current and future demands for sustainable lifestyles. The award will go to an implemented building or complex of exceptional architectural merit. The winning submission will constitute an innovative sustainable and socially beneficial contribution to the built environment. Applying the latest technologies, it will lead to a distinct improvement in the quality of life. The award is not restricted to new buildings and complexes. It also covers projects dealing with the re-use, conservation or refurbishment of existing structures or the addition of new components.

The category Urban Developments & Initiatives, sponsored by the Thorn brand, is dedicated to projects on an urban scale: city development/planning strategies, master plans, public space projects and landscape architecture. It also includes on-going research projects and social initiatives in an urban context. The award targets urban developments that are in progress or have been realised in the past three years (15 January 2017 to 15 March 2021) as well as on-going research into the improved implementation of sustainability and humanity. Aiming not least to encourage an emerging generation of researchers and practitioners in architecture and urban design, the award in this category seeks to facilitate and promote urban projects and to foster on-going initiatives or socially beneficial research projects. Individuals or groups from university contexts, architects, urban and landscape planners, NGOs and private or public initiatives are eligible.

The Special Prize for Innovations, is included for the first time and is sponsored by the Tridonic brand. It is dedicated to outstanding innovations (components/systems) and smart technological solutions in the built environment that reduce environmental impacts. It addresses sustainability in terms of creative technical innovations on a building as well as an urban scale. The special prize will be selected from among all contributions under that particular focus. This includes a range of solutions such as embedded software algorithms, application programmes (apps), new materials, renewable means of energy generation or methods for optimised processes and networking.

As in previous years, the Zumtobel Group Award 2021 will be held under the curatorship of Kristin Feireiss and Hans-Jürgen Commerell of Aedes Architecture Forum Berlin. In autumn 2021, a jury of prominent international experts from a variety of disciplines will nominate five projects per category and select a winner from among these five. The presentation ceremony for the Zumtobel Group Award is scheduled for late autumn 2021.

Jury members
Liz Diller Architect, Founding Partner Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York, USA
Alfred Felder CEO Zumtobel Group, Dornbirn, Austria
Francine Houben Architect, Founding Partner Mecanoo, Delft, Netherlands
Tobias Nolte
 Architect, Founding Partner Certain Measures, Berlin, Germany
Dorte Mandrup Architect and Founder Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, Copenhagen, Denmark
Werner Sobek Architect and Founder Sobek Engineers, Stuttgart, Germany
Kjetil Trædal Thorsen Architect, Founding Partner Snøhetta, Oslo, Norway
Zhang Ke Architect and Founder ZAO, standardarchitecture, Beijing, China

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals. For more information about the awards criteria and to access the submissions form please click:

Submission deadline: 15 May 2021