Well-known Namibian architect, Nina Maritz, has been announced as one of the five architects annually recognised for their work in sustainable architecture combined with participatory design approaches to the needs of society, in both the northern and the southern hemispheres. Maritz will be receiving the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture at a prestigious ceremony at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris in May, under the patronage of the UNESCO Director General for Culture and the French Minister for Culture.
The 2018 Global Awards theme is: “Architecture as an agent of civic empowerment” and Maritz has been selected by the jury for her ground-breaking approaches in the field. Founded in 2006, the Global Awards has achieved undisputed international recognition, proving its scientific independence and uniting the award winners in an avant-garde community of collective research and experimentation of architectural and urban self-development projects.
Particularly known for the design of the Habitat Research and Development Centre in Windhoek and the Twyfelfontein Visitors’ Centre, her practice has quietly and steadily been producing a body of work in Namibia that focuses on environmentally sustainable principles and community development. This award places Maritz in the ranks of internationally famous architects such as Pritzker Prize winners Herzog & de Meuron, Alejandro Aravena, Wang Shu and Balkhrishna Doshi, all previous recipients of the Global Award.
Maritz is the fourth architect from Africa to receive the award since its inception over 10 years ago and follows in the illustrious footsteps of East Coast Studios of South Africa, Francis Kéré of Burkina Faso and Carin Smuts, also of South Africa.
Maritz is a consistent spokesperson for environmental sustainability and a founder member of Greenspace, the Eco-Awards Namibia for tourism and the Green Building Council of Namibia. She is also frequently invited to speak at conferences and lecture at universities internationally.
The other 2018 Global Award winners are:
- Anne Lacaton & Jean-Philippe Vassal et Frédéric Druot from Paris, France
- Boonserm Premthada,Bangkok Projects Studio from Thailand
- Marta Maccaglia, Asociación Semillas, from Pangoa, Peru
- Raumlabor from Berlin, Germany
The founding principles of the awards regard sustainable design as the catalyst for a new participative approach in architectural und urban planning processes. The very fundamentals of a project: durability, flexibility, economic, technical and ecological adequacy, cultural and social acceptance are being readdressed respecting society’s new concerns, fighting inequality, cultural disrespect and undisputed functionalism.
The Global Award Community, which consists of the 55 contemporary architects from around the globe who have received the award, works towards a sustainable architectural ethic and fosters research, experimentation and transmission in the fields of sustainable architecture, urban renewal and academic social responsibility. It defines architecture as an agent of empowerment, self-development and civic rights.
The members of the Global Award scientific jury are:
- Jana Revedin, Founding President Global Award, Paris
- Marie-Hélène Contal, Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris
- Spela Hudnik, International Architecture Biennale, Ljubljana
- Benno Albrecht, IUAV, Venice
- Kristiina Nivari, Museum of Finnish Architecture, Helsinki