Vatnavinir receive award for ecological balance, wellbeing and new local growth patterns based on geothermal sources
The prestigious Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2011 by Locus Foundation under the patronage of Unesco has been awarded to vatnavinir, Iceland who share this prize with further laureates from Peru, Germany, Israel and the U.S.A. Past recipients have included Wang Shu, Stefan Behnisch, Snøhetta, Bijoy Jain and Diébédo Francis Kéré. The responsible architects of the team, Sigrun Birgisdottir (Iceland), Olga Gudrun Sigfusdottir (Iceland), and Jörn Frenzel (Germany), will attend the award ceremony in the Cité de la Architecture in Paris on 23rd May.
Vatnavinir are a multidisciplinary team of professionals from diverse fields such as innovation strategy, philosophy, architecture, design and business, all with respective experience in the spa, tourism or hospitality sector. The team works on multiple interventions under the guiding concept of an integrated Wellness Country Iceland. Iceland´s water, nature and bathing culture form the point of departure; the goal is to develop a network of local geothermal health and recreation spots across the country, utilising wellness and nature for sustainable tourism.
All architectural interventions occur within this framework. Vatnavinir received this year´s Global Award for Sustainable Architecture for their precedent-setting work in local innovation-led co-design - integrating the areas of social, economical and environmental sustainability – and their site sensitive architectural materialisation of the overall philosophy. It is seen by the practice as a major support for their quest for integrating business, environmental concerns and creative design and bringing about transformative change.