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The winner of the Fritz Höger Award 2014

BERLIN/BONN. The Deutsches Architektur Zentrum (DAZ) in Berlin hosted the presentation ceremony for the Fritz Höger Award 2014 for Excellence in Brick Architecture on 19 September 2014. The evening's top honour, the Grand Prix, went to Álvaro Siza and Rudolf Finsterwalder for the Siza-Pavillon Insel Hombroich. In addition to the Grand Prix, this year saw the introduction of the Fritz Höger Gold and Silver Awards and the Special Mention distinction.

Rudolf Finsterwalder,   Finsterwalderarchitekten,
received the Grand Prix for the project he realized in cooperation with Álvaro
</br>Photo © KopfKunst | Jan-Paul Kupser

Rudolf Finsterwalder, Finsterwalderarchitekten, received the Grand Prix for the project he realized in cooperation with Álvaro Siza.
Photo © KopfKunst | Jan-Paul Kupser

With over 500 projects submitted and a high international profile, the Fritz Höger Award 2014 for Excellence in Brick Architecture was presented for the third time this year and has become firmly established as one of the major architecture awards. An impressive cross-section of international brick architecture was represented.


Grand Prix winner, Gold winner, and "Best Passive House Project"

This year's winning projects impressively demonstrate the design potential that makes brick a fundamental element of contemporary architecture. Freed from the constraints of design conventions, the Siza-Pavillon Insel Hombroich (Álvaro Siza/Rudolf Finsterwalder, Stephanskirchen, Germany | Winner Grand Prix) brings together architecture, art and nature in a harmonious overall composition. This modest museum building fits sensitively into its setting. It is not a building that wants to stand out, but rather to convey an architectural message.


This year's winning projects also include another museum building: the Museum Luthers Sterbehaus (VON M, Stuttgart | Winner Gold "Public buildings, sport and leisure"). Respectfully discreet and architecturally self-contained, this new contemporary building is situated at a sensitive distance from the surrounding historic architecture. The Studio conversion in Dubsstrasse (Boltshauser Architekten, Zurich, Switzerland | Winner Gold "Office and commercial buildings") is inspired by a different philosophy. Situated in the courtyard of a perimeter block development, this conversion has a powerful presence that forms a deliberate contrast with the buildings around it.


The project "Defence Colony Residence" in New Delhi (vir.mueller architects, New Delhi, India | Winner Gold "Apartment blocks/multi-storey residential buildings") demonstrates that building with brick does not mean dispensing with durable solidity and delicate details. Drawing on the rich architectural heritage of the Indian capital, this earthquake-resistant residential complex is anything but an anachronism. The building's translucent brickwork creates an impression of lightness and also forms an interface for its residents between the public and the private space.


The interplay between open and closed is also a feature of the design of the project "1101 House" (H Arquitectes, Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain | Winner Gold "Detached/semi-detached houses"). The composition of this three-part complex of buildings dissolves the boundaries between inside and outside and merges the living space and garden into a harmonious whole.


The Fritz Höger Award 2014 honoured not just new buildings, but also two renovation projects. The renovation of the Hamburger Bestattungsforum Ohlsdorf (Dohse Architekten, Hamburg, Germany | Winner Gold "Complete renovation") focused primarily on one key aspect: staying close to the original design of this Hamburg historic monument. The original brick roof of the Fritz-Schumacher-Halle was reconstructed according to a historic design. For the "reconstruction" of the fire-ravaged Astley Castle in Warwickshire, UK (Witherford Watson Mann Architects, London, UK | Winner Gold "Development of existing buildings), restoring the building to its original state was not an option. The new building inserted inside the historic walls stabilises the ruins and integrates them into a new, living building – without taking away their open character.


Some very promising projects were also entered for the Newcomer Award, conferred for the first time this year, two of which won the Fritz Höger Gold Award. These were detached house projects that could not be more different from one another – not least because of their locations. Nestling among the palm trees, "House LS" in Madampe, Sri Lanka, (M&DB Architecten, The Hague, Netherlands | Winner Gold "Newcomer Award") is the epitome of architectural simplicity. Far removed from fake colonial-style romanticism, the unique quality of this beach house is expressed in its discreet presence and contrasting materials. Less exotic, but a superlative example of a converted property, is the Haus Stein (Jan Rösler Architekten, Berlin, Germany | Winner Gold "Newcomer Award") in the Magdeburg Börde in Germany. When this building is filled with life, its transformation from a functional agricultural building to an atmospheric dwelling house becomes apparent.


The Secondary School with Gymnasium and Youth Centre in Frankfurt-Riedberg, Frankfurt am Main (Ackermann + Raff, Stuttgart | Winner Silver "Best passive house project") demonstrates that brick is the ideal basis for energy-optimised building. As a key element in the new city quarter, this innovative school building is – above and beyond its formal purpose – a model for sustainability and therefore the winner in the "Best passive house project" category.


DAZ exhibition

Details of almost all the winning projects are on display in an exhibition at the Deutsches Architektur Zentrum (DAZ) until 19 October 2014, and later in a touring exhibition at various institutions of higher education in Germany.


Address/opening hours:

Deutsches Architektur Zentrum
Taut Saal
Köpenicker Straße 48/49
10179 Berlin
Monday to Friday 10:00 – 17:00
Free entry. (Subject to change)


About the Fritz Höger Award for Excellence in Brick Architecture

First conferred in 2008, the Fritz Höger Award for Excellence in Brick Architecture is worth EUR 10,000 in total and is bestowed every three years by the "Initiative Bauen mit Backstein" (Brick Building Initiative) – an association of 18 leading brick manufacturers in Germany – in cooperation with the Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA. Further information is available from:


New award system
Due to the high quality and number of entries – from 23 nations in total – the independent expert jury has introduced a new award system. A Grand Prix was awarded for the first time this year. In addition, around 20 other projects received the Fritz Höger Gold and Silver Awards 2014. Selected projects were also distinguished with a Special Mention. This allows the jury to commend exemplary details that particularly stand out.


The 2014 jury
The independent jury of the Fritz Höger Award 2014 was made up of the following five people: Prof. Andreas Meck, overall winner Fritz Höger Award 2011, Alexander Schwarz, Partner and Design Director David Chipperfield Architects, Berlin, Prof. Enrique Sobejano, Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Madrid (ES), Heiner Farwick, President Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA and Kaye Geipel, Deputy Editor-in- Chief of the architecture magazine Bauwelt.


We will be happy to supply you with informative image material and further information on the subject for publication purposes.


We kindly request you to provide us with specimen copies and/or a link to the online content.


More information:
Initiative Zweischalige Wand – Bauen mit Backstein
Tel.: +49 (0)228 91493-18, E-mail:


Press contact:
KopfKunst, Agentur für Kommunikation GmbH
Tobias Steinkamp
Tel.: +49 (0)251 97917-36, E-mail:



Overview: Winner and nominees

In the following, you will find an overview of the winners and nominees available for download.


Images: Winner Grand Prix & Winner Gold

You can download the image material shown in the document below from our website: (Folder: Fritz-Höger-Preis 2014).You can use the photos free of charge when reporting on the Fritz Höger Award


Images: Winners at the award ceremony

You can download the image material shown in the document below from our website: (Folder: Fritz-Höger-Preis 2014).You can use the photos free of charge when reporting on the Fritz Höger Award


Hintergrundbild: Geschäfts- und Bürogebäude Domstraße, schenk+waiblinger architekten, Hamburg; Foto © schenk+waiblinger (Einreichung im Rahmen des Fritz-Höger-Preises 2011)