For the seventh time, the prize for The Best House is being awarded by the s Bausparkasse in collaboration with the Federal Chancellery of Austria and the Architekturzentrum Wien, and in cooperation with the regional architecture institutions of Austria. This year‘s prize has a particular focus on construction in the existing substance, i.e. the adaptation and extension of existing buildings.
In the face of rapidly progressing urban sprawl, the prize focuses on contemporary architecture that creates attractive spaces while contributing to the containment of urban sprawl. This is done with the sensitive reactivation of historic substance by deliberately returning to traditional community centres, and in general through houses that are compact and well thought out, generating high quality with little surface. In addition, the prize highlights programmatic concepts that combine living space with work, and promote intergenerational coexistence.
One winning project has been selected in each Province, together with 18 further exceptional projects.
Specific regional features reaffirm that nine equal prizes need to be awarded, as the clients‘ social spheres and local conditions vary too much to evaluate them according to the same scoring grid. The juries in the individual Provinces — who were nominated by the local architecture institutions — inspected the majority of the submissions in advance. In this, the architecture prize differs from others of its kind, where decisions are made solely on the basis of the submitted material.
The brief for single-family houses has been a source of controversy for years because in economic terms it uses too much surface and requires too much infrastructure, weakens closed structures and promotes urban sprawl. The jury considered both the justified criticism of the brief and the reality of people‘s dream for a home of their own. The results provide new inspiration for striking a balance between individually tailored homes and the efficient use of resources.
This year, too, the prize for the public‘s choice is to be awarded following the ceremony.