Students Jordi Costa and Nieves Blackstad, winners in the 7th CEIM Chair Sustainability Awards

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The awards ceremony was held as part of the event organised to inaugurate the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture’s exhibition of Final Degree Projects

Students Jordi Costa and Nieves Blackstad, winners in the 7th CEIM Chair Sustainability Awards
©Jesús Arenas

UIC Barcelona School of Architecture students Jordi Costa and Nieves Blackstad recently took home first and second prize, respectively, in the 7th edition of the Sustainability Awards organised by the Chair in Industrial Construction and the Environment (CEIM), co-promoted by UIC Barcelona, ROCKWOOL Peninsular and Pich-Aguilera Arquitects. The awards ceremony was held on 18 July, during the inauguration of the exhibition “22@_What? How to Achieve Balance in Northern Poblenou, Barcelona”, which features Final Degree Projects by students from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. 

Jordi Costa received the first-place award for Barcelona Fashion Foundation: A Textile Industry Colony for Creative, Economic and Cultural Production, in which he explored new ways of using the old Ca l’Illa textile factory. According to the jury, “this project advocates the recovery of a lost textile industry through a bioclimatic approach in which used materials and air quality drive sustainability in the renovation of buildings”. The student went on to point out that, “Barcelona Fashion Foundation arose out of a determination to preserve the identity of Poblenou, without making significant changes, yet imbuing it with the phenomenology of an awareness of time”.

Nieves Blakstad took home the second-place award for her work To the Rescue! A Space for Social and Occupational Integration to Combat Oblivion, a project that seeks to reconvert old industrial locations into a social and occupational centre for refugees. According to the student, the project “explores the construction of new social housing by renovating old factories and turning them into homes and workshops, community areas, outdoor areas... In short, flats committed to society”. 

In the words of the jury, Blakstad’s project was “the one that best represented the meaning of the term ‘social equity’ and, thanks to the subject matter, brought the solutions necessary for integrating refugees and immigrants into the city of Barcelona down to an architectural level”. 

The aim of the CEIM Sustainability Awards is to promote sustainability and innovation in the construction sector and, each year, recognises the best proposals in this regards from among the TFGs submitted by final year Architecture students at UIC Barcelona. This year, the jury was made up of lecturers Antoni Solanas and Mauro Manca; Anna Manyes, from the Technical and Development Department at ROCKWOOL Peninsular; Teresa Batlle, architect and director of the studio Pich Aguilera-Architects; and Ignasi Pérez, architect and executive director of the WITS Institute, who was invited to be this year’s special guest.