2022 European Prize for Architecture to Christoph Ingenhoven

John Hill
5. September 2022
Marina One, Singapore, 2017. (Photo: HGEsch)

Specifically, Christoph Ingenhoven, who founded his eponymous firm in Düsseldorf in 1985, was named the laureate of the 2022 European Prize for Architecture. Last month's announcement by Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, president of the Chicago Athenaeum, described Ingenhoven as "Europe’s leading architect committed to sustainable and ecological architecture."

A few of the many projects completed and underway by ingenhoven associates that were singled out in the announcement include: 1 Bligh in Sydney (2006), the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg (2008), Lufthansa Headquarters at Frankfurt Airport (2005), the Breezé Tower in Osaka (2008), the Stuttgart 21 Project (ongoing since 2010), Kö-Bogen II in Düsseldorf (2020), Toranomon Hills in Tokyo (2020), and Marina One in Singapore (2017).

Stuttgart 21 Project, under construction. (Photo: Achim Birnbaum)
"For two decades, Christoph Ingenhoven has been a pioneer for a green architecture and an eco-friendly philosophy sustainable to the earth and to the clients and public who live, work, congregate, and socialize in his buildings,” states Narkiewicz-Laine. His buildings demonstrate beauty, modesty, boldness and invention as the foundation and basis of his practice. He is also a champion, rather tour-de-force, of moral and ethical architecture, absolutely committed to sustainable and ecological architecture as the launching point for his designs. His works embody a moral commitment and conviction to improve the microclimate of the city, supporting biodiversity, and fostering people’s general wellbeing. Elegance, efficiency, the economical use of resources, and a high degree of aesthetic quality and innovative technology also characterize his works and are all part of his philosophy. For Ingenhoven, this aspect of the project’s performance is part and parcel of his larger sustainability and urban place-making goals."

Christian Narkiewicz-Laine

KÖ-BOGEN II, Düsseldorf, 2020. (Photo: HGEsch)

The "two decades" mentioned by Narkiewicz-Laine started in 1997, with the completion of Ingehnoven's RWE Tower in Essen. The 127-meter-tall tower, with a double skin glass facade providing natural ventilation for the office floors, is considered "one of the first ecological skyscrapers worldwide." Twenty years later, in 2017, ingenhoven associates completed Marina One; at more than 400,000 square meters, it is the firm's largest project to date. It is also one most overtly green projects, with a public garden in the center of the mixed-use complex.

The European Centre and Chicago Athenaeum are clear that the European Prize for Architecture is not a lifetime achievement award; it is, rather, "an impetus to support new ideas, to encourage and foster more challenge-making and forward-thinking about buildings and the environment, and to prompt the pushing of the envelope to obtain an even greater, more profound result." Marina One, in other words, is not the culmination of one architect's career. It and other recent projects, such as KÖ-BOGEN II, are indications of a practice fully embracing sustainable and ecological architecture.

RWE Tower, Essen, 1997 (Photo: HGEsch)

The formal ceremony for the 2022 European Prize for Architecture will be held at a gala dinner at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens on September 9, 2022.

Ingenhoven is the 17th laureate of the European Prize for Architecture. Previous laureates include: Bjarke Ingels, Graft Architects, TYIN Architects, Marco Casagrande, Alessandro Mendini, Santiago Calatrava, LAVA Laboratory for Visionary Architecture, Manuelle Gautrand, Sergei Tchoban, and Henning Larsen Architects, and Mecanoo.

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