Back to articles

Architecture of Necessity awards responsible and sustainable projects

Residential building with colourful doors.

The winning projects of the 2022 Architecture of Necessity have been announced. The three award-winning entries include the Hostels for Girls project by Finnish architects Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman.

Architecture of Necessity is an international triennial on sustainable urbanism, organised by Virserum Konsthall. The triennial's manifesto promoting equitable design was first published in 2009. In total, 600 entries from more than 40 countries have been submitted to previous exhibitions. The values state that an Architecture of Necessity is responsible, conscientious, sustainable, just and open. 

The competition, organised in conjunction with the triennial, will reward projects that best reflect the values of Architecture of Necessity. For this year's call, the jury invited participants to reflect on the concept of rurban and the ideas it evokes. In their selection, the jury emphasised architecture as a participatory process in which the needs and desires of the end-users influence both the design and the construction process. The award-winning sites reflect close ties to local logistics, vernacular and workforce.

Award-winning projects include Gyaan Ashray in India (Chaal Chaal Agency), Earth Building Collective in Senegal (Studio Suddo Nueve) and Hostels for Girls in Tanzania (Hollmén, Reuter, Sandman). 

The jury found that the schoolgirl dormitories designed by Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman fully reflect the values of the triennial, support safe access to education for girls and represent truly sustainable architecture. 

The architectural practice has a long experience in handling local conditions, both through the involvement of the users of the sites and through the use of local materials. Hollmén, Reuter and Sandman are also founders of the NGO Ukumbi, which aims to provide architectural services to communities in need. Ukumbi has undertaken construction projects for example in Tanzania, Rwanda and Cambodia.

The Architecture of Necessity exhibition opens on 19 June at the Virserum Konsthall Museum in Sweden. Read more about this year's winning projects through this link (opens in a new tab).