Hero Image
ASC 2023
4 min

Saint-Gobain announces the winners of the Architecture Student Contest

Saint-Gobain has awarded the prizes for the 18th edition of its international "Architecture Student Contest". More than 167 universities from 30 countries participated in a project to transform a district of Lisbon in Portugal.

The challenge of this edition, organized in close collaboration with the municipality of Lisbon, was to renovate one existing building to be reused for a new cultural activity, to develop a new residential building project and to create an urban design of the ground public space that connects these buildings.

More broadly, the objective of the contest is to develop a project with a positive impact on both the individuals and the planet. The buildings have to be highly energy-efficient and as circular as possible, with low carbon emissions during their whole life cycle. At the same time, they have to contribute to the well-being of the occupants by creating healthy and comfortable living spaces.

“At Saint-Gobain, we believe that buildings can and should deliver improved comfort, health and wellbeing, and at the same time reduce their footprint on our natural environment. In the context of global warming, scarcity of natural resources and growing urbanization, this is the exact meaning of our purpose: MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME. Every day, around the world, our teams are working on developing low carbon and circular solutions and promoting lighter and more sustainable construction. But to have a real impact, we must work jointly with all the value chain, and this is the point of the Architecture Student Contest. Through this competition, we offer students the possibility to work on real projects addressing the challenges of sustainable construction” declared Benoit BAZIN, CEO of Saint-Gobain.

The jury was very impressed by the high quality of the projects proposed by the students. Every year, the level of the projects has increased with a larger emphasis on environmental aspects such as Life Cycle Assessments, while responding to the functional and user needs of the architecture proposal. 

1st prize: Green Wave, South Korea


The jury praised a project of very high architectural, technical, environmental, and social quality. The highly original architecture interlaces the quality of the external spaces and link between the nearby buildings, and the internal disruptive spaces between the external skin and the horizontality of the plans. Thus, appropriately addressing the residual spaces turned into high quality spaces for the dwellers, while also providing a smooth circulation of its external areas.

2nd prize: The Contemporary Pombalina House, Portugal


This project highlights the importance of preserving characteristics of a historic city, such as Lisbon, and integration with the context. The project was praised on its potential feasibility, with a good material selection, easy to build and easy to maintain, thus considering the sustainability impact of its operation. The project also provides a good balance between the built environment and the natural environment.

3rd prize: The Warehouse, Mexico


This project integrates very well into its environment by incorporating passive design considerations for its façade, adapted solar protection in the West while more open towards the East, to optimize comfort for the users. A strategy that also fits their proposal for ventilation and heat flows. Moreover, a reflexion was made on the use of light and prefabricated materials to improve construction times and reduce waste.

Special Jury Prize: Dwellings in Memory, Building an Adaptive Lisbon, Colombia


As special price, the jury particularly appreciated the narrative on the resilience of the proposal for a future climate change scenario by evaluating not only a lower energy consumption but maintaining an internal thermal comfort. Another appreciated characteristic was the focus the revitalization of the area with the integration of local vegetation in these scenarios of future climate adaptation.

Student prize1: Yellow, Poland


The students had the chance to vote on their favorite project particularly appreciated the narrative developed by the Yellow project, inspired by the colorful facades and streets of Lisbon. 

Created in 2004, this competition, aimed primarily at architecture, engineering and design students, is designed to highlight the expertise of students around a project based on the real needs of a neighborhood or city, using Saint-Gobain's sustainable construction approach to create living spaces that respect the planet and the well-being of residents. For the second time the students calculated the environmental impacts by using a life cycle analysis tool provided by our partner One Click LCA.