Architecture of Necessity Award to Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects

Hostels for School girls project in Tanzania, by Saija Hollmén, Jenni Reuter and Helena Sandman presents systemic approach in sustainable architecture.
Hostels for School girls project in Tanzania by Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects_Architecture of Necessity Award 2022
Photo: James Kasela

The Architecture of Necessity competition seeks to award architectural works that are in the forefront of rethinking a future with an architecture that is responsible, conscientious, sustainable, just and open.

This year the competition attracted entries from all over the world. The jury awarded three winners and three honorary mentions in the Architecture of Necessity Day, which took place in Virserum, Sweden 8 September.

The winning Hostels for School girls project has built dormitories, that are desperately needed safe havens for school girls in Iringa, Tanzania. By engaging the local community in the actual design process and by using sustainable building methods, the project aims to strengthen the local economy and generate health and social benefits for the area.

The project fulfils all requirements for an Architecture of Necessity, the jury motivated:

‘In a simple, yet beautiful architecture it reinvents the classical typology of the cloister, creating a protected space for young schoolgirls, empowering them and ensuring they get their education safely.

The architects have long experience in handling local conditions, both culturally in the form of user participation and technically in the use of local materials. The project is one in a series, thus having the systemic approach that is essential for a truly sustainable architecture. ‘

Architect Jenni Reuter is delighted that the competition highlights especially small-scale but meaningful architectural projects.

‘The international competition has been very popular, and we are proud to have been selected as one of the three winners. What all winners have in common is that we work on a grassroots level with people on a low income who cannot afford to buy architectural services. Inclusive design strengthens communities' sense of self-worth and cohesion. Architecture can make an active contribution to the daily lives of all people’, says Reuter.

Award went also to Gyaan Ashray in Ahmedabad, India by Chaal Chaal Agency and Earth Building Collective in Mako, Senegal by Studio Suddo Nueve were awarded.

In addition to the prize money (€1200), the winning projects were presented and discussed in a seminar and exhibition at the Virserum Art Hall.


Associate Professor, architect Jenni Reuter, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, +358 (0)50 305 57 04, [email protected]

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