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Creative projects from Hamburg and Stuttgart win the KfW Construction Award 2020

Press Release from 2020-07-03 / Group, Domestic Promotion

  • Motto: “Buildings for today and tomorrow”
  • Winners from Hamburg, Stuttgart, Upper Bavaria, Thuringia, Solingen and East Westphalia
  • Special prize awarded to a new building project in Werder an der Havel

For the 18th time in its history, the KfW Construction Award 2020 is honouring developers or building associations that have implemented new building projects or expanded, converted, modernised or revitalised an existing building in the past five years. Horst Seehofer, the German Federal Minister of the Interior, Building and Community, serves as the patron for the KfW Construction Award. Chaired by architect Professor Hans Kollhoff, the jury evaluated the projects for a balance of architecture and appearance, good integration into the architectural surroundings, energy and cost efficiency, future-oriented and sustainable building methods, optimum use of space and land, and individual comfort.

The jury awarded seven domestic properties with prize money totalling EUR 35,000. This year, the jury took the opportunity to deviate from the tender’s proposals when distributing the awards and prize money.

In many cases, the winners have achieved the standards of KfW Efficiency Houses and broken down barriers for age-appropriate living.

State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, Anne Katrin Bohle: “Creating affordable living space while considering sustainability and resilience, keeping sight of climate objectives, and thinking about issues such as barrier-free living – this presents a major challenge to many property developers. With the KfW Construction Award, we honour property developers who have innovative ideas and lead the way with bold projects. Their commitment pays off – after all, their projects inspire others to follow suit.”

Dr Ingrid Hengster, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group: “As one of the largest promoters of home ownership in Germany, KfW supports people who look ahead – and think about things like protecting our climate when building a home. Property developers join together to form associations, save historical buildings from decay, repurpose structures into energy-efficient buildings, and increase the quality of life in our cities and villages. All of this takes boldness. That is why we honour unique projects every year with the KfW Construction Award.”

The winners:

New Construction category:

First Prize (EUR 7,000)
The new building “Stadtfinken” in Hamburg was designed by architects Oliver Otte, Jan Pietje Witt and Tobias Reinhardt and creates new living space for over 140 inhabitants in a total of 22 town houses. The residential area is based around the typology of a town house but is run as a community project. This includes elements such as an e-mobility project, a guest apartment that can be used by the community, and a communal garden. As passive houses, the new buildings set a precedent for energy efficiency, for instance, through solar cells on the roofs and a biogas cogeneration unit.

Second Prize (EUR 5,000)
Two new timber-frame houses have been built in Chiemgau in the Schleching district of Bavaria. Sisters Anja and Andrea Aicher placed a great deal of value on ecological building materials and a traditional regional design. The insulation is made exclusively from natural materials, such as wood fibres and cellulose. The location is known for its unmistakable Alpine panorama and the nearby Chiemsee lake.

Existing Buildings category:

First Prize (EUR 7,000)
On a former vineyard in Stuttgart, a group of friends, the Frey and Roth families, have gutted and restored a 92-year-old house and converted it so that each half now contains an open-plan home with a garden. Both families paid particular attention to using resource-conserving construction methods and natural materials. What is more, they were able to clear an old vineyard complete with walls and staircases in the garden and bring it back to life.

Second Prize (EUR 6,000)
The former train station in Gräfentonna, to the north-west of the city of Erfurt, is already 130 years old and has stood empty for 20 of those years. Gunter Ehe and his partner Karsta Schütte have revived the old rural station, placing an emphasis on originality, industrial design and a passion for detail. The interior design stands out thanks to furniture, features and decorative elements taken from original train station fixtures and fittings, which the couple purchased and restored themselves.

Third Prize (EUR 3,000)
A cardboard box factory built in 1898 has been modernised to create new living space in the city of Solingen. Dr Reinhard Maass worked with the Cologne-based architects (CatalanoQuiel) to transform the former commercial property into loft-style apartments. The industrial character has been preserved by keeping the brickwork, ceilings, pillars and old joists.

Fourth Prize (EUR 2,000)
In the region of East Westphalia, married couple Patrizia and Jochen Ferrara have revived a neglected farmhouse on the edge of the Teutoburg Forest. Almost 400 years old, the farm is set in an idyllic location in the middle of a conservation area. One of its key features is its listed structure. The couple placed particular value on an energy-saving and sustainable design. They opted for oak materials, a wood pellet heating system supported by solar power, and a separate wastewater treatment unit.

Special Jury Prize (EUR 5,000)
In the historic old town in Werder, on the hillside overlooking the Havel River, architects Jurek Brüggen and Sebastian Sailer have created a modern “seasonal house” which provides different living arrangements for summer and winter. The project is distinguished by its harmonious blending of house, landscape and neighbouring buildings.

Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s awards ceremony cannot be held at its usual location in the KfW Office in Berlin. The prize winners will be showcased in the KfW magazine bauen+wohnen, on the online platform KfW Stories and in two shows on the German TV channel n-tv. These will be broadcast at 6.35 pm on 7 July (repeated at 3.15 pm on Wednesday, 8 July) and at 6.35 pm on 14 July (repeated at 3.15 pm on Wednesday, 15 July).

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, KfW promotes measures by private developers to improve energy efficiency as part of the energy-efficient construction and refurbishment programme within the scope of the CO2 Building Modernisation programme. Via KfW and its “Age-appropriate Conversion” programme, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community supports the removal of barriers and protection against break-ins in residential buildings, while the Baukindergeld scheme helps families with children to purchase owner-occupied housing for the first time.

For information about promotional opportunities: www.kfw.de and +49 800 539 9002.

For information about the KfW Construction Award: www.kfw.de/award

Profiles on the prize winners will be published on
The series starts with the winner of the Existing Buildings category (available in German only): www.kfw.de/stories/gesellschaft/bauen/kfw-award-bauen-2020-umbau-stuttgart

Press pictures and articles are available from the KfW Group Press Office on request.


Alia Begisheva


Alia Begisheva


+49 69 7431-4126


+49 (0) 69 74 31 32 66