Michael Sorkin Honored with Holcim Gold Award

Distinguished Professor Michael Sorkin was posthumously honored with the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction — Gold North America prize in November. The winning design, House as Garden by Michael Sorkin Studio, is a self-sustaining and collaborative residential project in Chicago. His wife, Joan Copjec, accepted the award in Venice; the $100,00 prize will go to the collaborating nonprofit organization Blacks in Green to advance the project.

According to Professor Fabian Llonch, who was part of the group of consultants and friends who worked on the project, Professor Sorkin submitted the proposal in early March 2020. Later that same month, he died of COVID-19.

From the award announcement:
“We’re creating a new normal for affordable housing,” explains Naomi Davis of Blacks in Green, Chicago, USA. “It is awesome, zero-waste, energy producing, wealth generating, grounded by food and flower gardens inside and out, and within reach of the black middle-income purse.”

The jury says the proposal suggests an innovative residential building typology that not only gravitates around the value of sharing as a means of human empowerment but that is also environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing. They particularly appreciated the great potential for flexibility and replicability of the project, which promotes transferable sustainable practices on many levels.

Click here for the project award video.