Winners of the 3rd Manni Group Design Awards Announced 

Since the launch of the 3rd edition of the Manni Group Design Awards in October 2021, InspiraFarms has been working with other partners and sponsors as part of the jury. This edition was launched to increase awareness towards the development and efficient management of the agricultural industry in West Africa. The Manni Group Design Awards challenged architects and engineers worldwide to create their best design for an agri-food cold hub. Considering that the current high rates of post-harvest losses for fresh produce stand at 30-40%, massive greenhouse gas emissions, energy losses and revenue loss are inevitable. Each participant was tasked to design solutions for the Ghana Innovation Farm, an InspiraFarms ally intended to be a reference for the local community, offering resources and cold chain solutions contributing to food access.  

Teams from 86 countries on 5 continents were evaluated by judges from top tier Architectural Studios, with evaluations being judged based on principles of environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and the general impact of the cold chain solutions within the African context. According to Giuseppe Grant, from Orizzontale, an architects’ collective based in Rome, the winners of this edition’s contest demonstrated exceptional design proficiency in developing structured and feasible proposals that utilised local materials and construction technologies.  

 The top three winners for this year’s edition were:  

1. SAPLAB, The Innovation Farm (Belgium)  

In first place from Belgium is SAPLAB, a team made up of Shiran Potié, Arno Goedefroo, Maurice Demeyer and Robin Feys. Under the name ‘The Innovation Farm’ their design utilised steel, a highly efficient building material that also reflected the local Ghanian building culture. To integrate functionality within the structure, their design adopted infrastructures for both the agri-food supply chain with resting areas zoned out to cater for the physical and mental well-being of all workers. The SAPLAB team embraced different sustainable construction technologies from the Manni Group across the building. To blend the Ghanian heritage, they utilised Manni Sipre and heavy steel carpentry to fulfil a vision for the design of the roof like the ‘Golden Stool.’ Each building they created was grouped around a model mimicking a village into the surrounding landscape. This approach met a fundamental requirement for the Manni awards of the need to merge landscapes and local cultures in their solution.  

2. POTeam, One Roof (Denmark)  

In second place from Denmark is POTeam, with their design under the name ‘One Roof.’ The team, composed of Omar Dabaan, Paul Schrijen, Paola Carrara and Faiza Hamid developed a flexible cold room hub and model that can be, transformed and customised according to the community’s needs. Their design focused on creating a functional concept for a social enterprise connected to farming activities near a cold storage and produce distribution hub. To integrate a hybrid between the best of local traditions modern engineering technology, they choose materials and dry technologies that would utilise natural thermoregulation. Their modular structure utilised both light steel and complemented this by walls made from hemp scraps, originally produced with a technique similar to that of mud bricks, common in the local construction market.  

  3. J.Przybylska A.Holdenmajer (Poland)  

Finally, in third place is a Polish duo, under the design name ‘Along the Street’ by Agata Holdenmajer and Jagna Przybylska. Their hub integrated a modern design where teaching rooms, laboratories and offices were built with state-of-the-art materials and techniques. To reflect the local Ghanian community, they lowered the road in their design, just as it is in the streets of the cities of Ghana. The pair’s design integrated light steel frames by Manni Green Tech and ventilated facades from Isopan. To facilitate a social area, the team designed an open circular canteen and an open courtyard for constant natural ventilation.  

As a partner of this edition’s award, InspiraFarms’ congratulates the winning architects and engineers who created some of the best human and communal centred designs for this cold hub and educational centre. 

Read more information about the challenge and the winners through the Manni group website