For the 2020-2021 edition, the teams have been asked to design a biomimetic real estate project. Each project, new or existing and located in a densely populated urban environment, had to "be inspired by living things to innovate and transform the city"
In a context of profound environmental, economic and social changes, reinforced by the unprecedented health crisis we are going through, it is more urgent than ever to think and design sustainable, resilient, reversible and inclusive buildings. What if living things, which have demonstrated their ability to adapt, become a source of inspiration to achieve this goal? How can biomimicry provide a concrete response to the environmental and social challenges of an increasingly dense city (due to reach 80% of the population in 2050)? How to apply these principles to real estate? What solutions can be drawn from nature to design, renovate and occupy low-greenhouse gas-emitting and resilient buildings, fight against their obsolescence, preserve the comfort and well-being of users while remaining inclusive?
After an initial selection of six projects, the selected finalists presented their proposals in front of a jury made up of members of the General Management of BNP Paribas Real Estate and a number of renowned architects.
On 22nd March 2020, the jury named Salma Harrak and Clara Grange students at ENSA Paris Malaquais as the winners of this edition for their project "La T (h) ermitière". The project, inspired by compass termites, is a set of shared student accommodation located in Sevran, France. The building itself was presented as a simple structure whose morphology was based on the study of termite mounds. Like termite mounds, the building centres around a shared space where community life can be found. On either side this space, seven levels of shared apartments are accessible by way of a passageway, and benefit from light entering through their living rooms. Thanks to an inclusive approach, the project is open to the city through its ground-floor commodities: a cooperative café and supermarket that forges links between residents.
BNP Paribas Real Estate gave its employees and internet users the opportunity to vote for their favourite project. Following the online votes, La T (h) ermitière project once again came out on top. This year, two special prizes were awarded, and presented by Kalina Raskin (Director and Co-Founder of CEEBIOS) and Jean-François Legaret (Chairman of the Vieux Paris commission).
The jury decided to award an initial “Special Prize” to the "Polychromie" project imagined by Luka Forrester and Quentin Godiveau, also students at ENSA Paris Malaquais. The jury wished to underline the innovative nature of their proposal. "This concept uses colour as a bioclimatic tool, inspired by the morpho butterfly, and its effect. Inspired by the coloured slats of the Torre Agbar de Nouvel and the Métropole de Rouen de Ferrier, the building includes different types of dichroic glass solar shading. The yellow and green reflective coloured glass thus filters light at longer wavelengths and mitigates the sun exposure within the building.
The living world is full of extraordinary innovations that can revolutionise the way we imagine and design buildings. This year's biomimicry focus allows us to dream of a more sustainable city building, which is intended to be resilient, reversible, and inclusive in order to respond directly to environmental and social challenges
The jury also decided to award a second Special Prize to Nina Pizzi, a student at the EIVP - ENSA Paris La Villette, for her daring project. Her concept offers new ways of using and inhabiting post-industrial buildings. Based in the Ney warehouses located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, this project would mean these buildings could become habitable, whilst the façade could be improved through the installation of balconies for inhabitants. This industrial buildings would then be used one again by Parisians thanks to mixed and flexible offerings, more suited to the needs of tomorrow. By reviving abandoned buildings, this project recreates a sustainable ecosystem.
“For over a year, we have all been living through a particularly difficult and stressful time. If the first victims of the health crisis were our elders, the younger generations are the main indirect victims, in particular deprived of leisure, outings, part-time jobs and more generally of prospects. BNP Paribas Real Estate will continue to be at their side in 2021 and in the years to come, through the next edition of the Espoirs de l'Architecture Awards, but also through the grants and housing assistance that we have been awarding for several years ” states Thierry Laroue-Pont, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Real Estate
"The living world is full of extraordinary innovations that can revolutionise the way we imagine and design buildings. This year's biomimicry focus allows us to dream of a more sustainable city building, which is intended to be resilient, reversible, and inclusive in order to respond directly to environmental and social challenges "concludes Catherine Papillon, Global Head of Sustainability/CSR at BNP Paribas Real Estate.