For the second time, GROHE and the World Architecture Festival (WAF) award the winner of the Water Research Prize. The research initiative “Recycle Build Brazil” convinced the jury around Paul Finch, Programme Director, WAF, Paul Flowers, Chief Design Officer LIXIL and Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands with their proposed sustainable architectural solutions for a school in the Brazilian Saõ José dos Campos area.

By using recycled materials and implementing intelligent rainwater harvesting systems, ‘Recycle Build Brazil’ not only improves the lives of the schoolchildren but also raises awareness of their interaction with water. Starting with the school building as a pilot project, there is also a longer-term proposal for the enhancement of the local 400 low-income housing units.

The quality of this year’s entries was phenomenal but this one specific project caught our imagination due to the educational approach. The project not only builds a school but also takes young people on a journey to understand the relevance of water as a local source and motivates them to interact mindfully with this limited resource. The concept starts as a pilot project and from there will be rolled-out to more than 400 low-cost houses in the area. This is an amazing opportunity to make a tangible difference and it reflects perfectly GROHE’s brand ethos.

Paul Flowers
Chief Design Officer of GROHE’s parent company LIXIL

The Water Research Prize identified the most important challenges for architects within the next ten years including water in relation to the built environment. ‘Recycle Build Brazil’ tackles these challenges from two different directions.

As a pilot project, the initiative will be used in a closed loop subterraneous wet land system (waste water gardens) which will provide planted sheltered outdoor dwelling zones for the children and will be used to cool the building. On top of that, the school is located in the middle of a peninsula where two rivers meet, the project will open the back end of the school up to the river. The re-organisation of the school’s entry promotes a safer, slower pedestrian friendly drop off zone and also activates a pathway from the new school wing to the river entry point. Once this project is proven successful, the concept will act as a locally built example as reference for solution to water, waste and housing crisis. This will be further rolled-out to 400 low-income housing units in the area.

GROHE is proud to have been the main sponsor of WAF since its inception in 2008.

Find out more here.