Morphosis' San Francisco Federal Office Building forgoes mechanical air conditioning in 70 percent of the work area in favor of natural ventilation.
Images Provided Courtesy The Zumtobel Group Award Morphosis' San Francisco Federal Office Building forgoes mechanical air conditioning in 70 percent of the work area in favor of natural ventilation.
In Schlaich Bergermann Solar's updraft tower, air is heated by solar radiation under a low circular translucent roof.
In Schlaich Bergermann Solar's updraft tower, air is heated by solar radiation under a low circular translucent roof.

Austrian-based Zumtobel Group, parent company of Zumtobel and Thorn Lighting and Tridonic.Atco, has created an international architecture award program designed to promote sustainable and humanitarian solutions in the built environment—the Zumtobel Group Award.

In June the awards' inaugural winners were announced. Santa Monica, California-based Morphosis Architects received the award in the “Built Environment” category for its naturally ventilated high-rise San Francisco Federal Office Building. Schlaich Bergermann Solar of Stuttgart, Germany, won the “Research and Initiative” category for its design of the Solar Updraft Tower in Australia—an alternative power plant that generates electricity through air convection.

Honorable mentions were also given to four projects in each category, including Kieran Timberlake Associates' Sidwell Friends Middle School addition in Washington, D.C. (See “Stewards of the Earth,” June 2007), and Architecture for Humanity's Open Architecture Network website.

An awards ceremony will be held September 14, 2007, at the Kunsthaus Bregenz art museum in Bregenz, Austria, designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The awards program is curated and organized by Berlin architecture gallery Aedes Architecture Forum. For more information on the award program visit: www.zumtobel-group-award.com.