• World Architecture Festival Reveals Winner of GROHE Water Research Prize

    3 December 2020

    Researchers from the University of Patras, Greece, have won a £10,000 research prize to investigate how rainwater can be used to help cool facades of buildings in super-hot cities.

    The Water Research prize is funded by GROHE and is part of the World Architecture Festival annual awards programme. This is the third time it has been awarded; other winners have included water filtration and generation programmes in Peru and Brazil.

    This year’s winner was announced today (2 December) during the WAFVirtual event taking place online between the 30 November – 4 December, where the winning team presented their ideas.

    The winning project is a suspended modular lightweight facade system for evaporative cooling with harvested rainwater. A light-weight structure which can be retrofitted to existing building facades will now be developed with façade consultants. Rainwater will be collected in a roof-tank and used within the system which will spray some of it onto the building, while retaining as much as possible. The lead researcher of the winning team is Professor K.A. Liapi from the Department of Architecture, School of Engineering, University of Patras in Greece.

    Researchers say the new structure, when developed, ‘will combine art, technology, architecture and mathematics’, serving as a prototype which will be able to include planting to further help in cooling strategies.
    The judges praised the proposal for a variety of reasons.

    “What I liked most about the winning entry is that it uses a clever blend of environmental and product design, and at its heart it promotes sustainability in dense urban environments”
    Patrick Speck, Leader, LIXIL Global Design, EMENA

    “We decided as a jury that this project was a worthy winner because it exploits the scare resource of water in a creative way and promotes sustainability via a visually impressive facade”
    Paul Finch, Programme Director, World Architecture Festival

    Learn more about the project at:


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    A sophisticated yet modern setting was derived by juxtaposition of Indochine-Vietnamese features and wood-fire inspired material palettes. Re-interpretation of the spatial order of a typical Indochine-Vietnamese mansion has been adopted to give hierarchy, layers and details to the space.


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