Nominations for the 2017 Alpine architecture prize

Bern, 15.03.2017 - For the fourth time, Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein are holding the 'Constructive Alps' architecture competition. It honours buildings in the Alps whose sustainable construction is truly outstanding. Of the 30 projects nominated by the jury as best meeting the competition criteria, ten are in Switzerland. The competition offers total prize money of EUR 50,000.

The international 'Constructive Alps' prize for sustainable renovation and construction in the Alps transcends national boundaries. It contributes to the implementation of the Alpine Convention and the Action Plan on Climate Change in the Alps (see box), and provides inspiration for renovation and construction that is both efficient and architecturally appealing. An international jury on which all Alpine countries are represented has now distilled the 268 competition entries into a shortlist of 30, which go through to the second round. These are properties which, in accordance with the terms of the competition, fulfil environmental, economic and social sustainability criteria, while paying particular attention to cultural aspects.

Over the next few weeks the jury will visit and discuss projects throughout the Alps. There is a wide variety of buildings to see, ranging from a kindergarten and primary school in Brand, in the Vorarlberg region of Austria, to the Schmidt vineyard in Wasserburg near Lindau in Germany, and the Maison Commune du Lac d'Aiguebelette in Nances, France. The Swiss nominees include the Crap Gries football ground in Schluein, near Ilanz, the Cabane Rambert mountain hut in the Valais commune of Leytron, the cable car stations in Vicosoprano, Bregaglia, and the Federal Criminal Court building in Bellinzona. The jury will review the nominated buildings critically in accordance with the set sustainability criteria. These include their accessibility by public transport, the use of environmentally friendly, regional construction materials, the cultural value of the building and the gain in quality of life for its users.

The prize will be presented at the Swiss Alpine Museum in Bern on 20 October 2017, which will also be the starting point of a travelling exhibition on the nominated projects. There will be an accompanying publication in the form of a special edition of the 'Hochparterre' architecture journal.

Constructive Alps

Following on from the competitions in 2010, 2013 and 2015, Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein are joining forces again in 2017 to present the fourth international 'Constructive Alps' prize for sustainable renovation and construction in the Alps. The Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE is representing Switzerland and funding the competition in cooperation with the Liechtenstein Office of Environment. The aim of the architecture prize is to make the Alps a model of climate conservation. It represents a collaborative effort between government ministries, ducational and cultural institutions, and non-governmental organisations. The University of Liechtenstein is assisting the international jury with its review of the submissions, while the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps CIPRA is providing  'Constructive Alps' with specialist and organisational support. The jury will determine the three winners, which will share the EUR 50,000 prize money, and also award special mentions to other projects of particular merit.

The Alpine Convention and the Action Plan on Climate Change

The Alpine Convention is the world's first binding treaty under international law on sustainable development in a mountain region. The framework convention was signed by the eight Alpine states and the European Union in 1991. Eight protocols govern its implementation in detail. The states have also committed to an Action Plan on Climate Change, under which they will fund and implement action in this field. The long-term aim is to make the Alps a model of climate change mitigation and adaptation. 'Constructive Alps' forms part of efforts on the part of Switzerland and Liechtenstein to implement the Alpine Convention and the Action Plan on Climate Change.

Address for enquiries

Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE
+41 58 462 40 60


Federal Office for Spatial Development

Last modification 03.10.2018

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