26 November 2015 ~ Lyon, France

Terra Award

The TERRA Award is the first international prize for contemporary earth architecture and has been initiated by the Labex AE&CC-CRAterre-ENSAG Lab research unit, the amàco project, the Grands Ateliers, the CRAterre association and EcologiK/EK magazine. It will be awarded as part of the Terra 2016 World Congress, which takes place every four years in a different continent. In 2016, the Congress will take place in Lyon.

The purpose of the TERRA Award is not only to identify and distinguish outstanding earth building projects, but also to highlight enlightened forward-thinking among project owners for choosing to use earth, the creativity of the designers and the skills of the craftsmen and entrepreneurs.

Exhibition and database

The prize will also serve as a basis for a travelling exhibition to feature 40 buildings from all continents, constructed using various techniques (adobe, cob, CEB, rammed earth, plaster, etc.) for all kinds of buildings and programmes: housing, public facilities, activities, as well as exterior and interior designs. The exhibition will be complemented by lectures and workshops by CRAterre-ENSAG and the amàco project.

A second product of the award is the founding of a global database on contemporary earth architecture. Submissions that are not selected for the prize or exhibition may still be eligible for inclusion in the database. The resulting virtual library will be available to professionals and the public alike via the award website.


Projects must have been completed after January 2000.

There are eight categories covering all types of programs, whether new or renovated:

  • Individual housing
  • Collective housing
  • School, sports and health facilities
  • Cultural facilities and religious buildings
  • Offices, shops and factories
  • Interior layout and design
  • Exterior design, art and landscape
  • Architecture and local development

All documents will be published in French, Spanish and English.

Judging and selection criteria

Two juries will be formed consisting of prestigious international experts along with representatives of institutions and stakeholders in the earth sector. The competition will be in two phases.

Phase 1: nomination of 40 buildings, which will be presented within the itinerant exhibition.
Phase 2: a jury will choose one winner for each of the eight categories from the preselected buildings.

The selection criteria will include quality of architecture and showcasing of skills, taking account of social and environmental requirements:

  • Architectural quality and landscape integration
  • Environmental approach and energy performance
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Technical performance
  • Local economy and social intensity
  • Showcasing of skills

Award ceremony

Wang Shu, 2012 Pritzker architecture prize laureate, is the president of honour of this TERRA Award, the trophies for which will be presented in Lyon on July 14, 2016 at the Terra 2016 World Congress.

Event Homepage