Winner 2013

Award for
Education or Healthcare Structures

Project Description

This competition winning design comprises a new 1250m2 hothouse and the renovation of an existing hothouse in the botanical gardens of the University of Aarhus in Denmark. The team used advanced multi-objective optimisation modelling techniques to develop the structural form in response to the location and environment to passively create the optimal conditions within the tropical hothouse – minimising energy input from AC and lighting systems. Maintenance and fabrication considerations contributed to the choice of an ETFE clad steel gridshell with frame positions and elliptical section orientation based upon maximising valuable winter sun.

Judge’s comments

The judges were impressed with the truly holistic, environment-lead solution to the project brief.  With a creative design approach supported by innovative modelling techniques based on practical engineering detailing, the designers have produced an energy-optimised structure with elegance and simplicity which sets a new standard for such structures.

Project overview

Client Name

  • Danish Property Agency


  • Aarhus, Denmark

Year Submitted

  • 2013