Location: Copenhagen Harbour – Lille Langebro

Period: July

The unPAVILION is a statement piece – that prompts curiosity, debate, and reflection on our contemporary and future uses of resources. It also points to the counterproductive nature of greenwashing.


Das Boot – Naval Engineers,
Khrons Bådebyggeri



The OBEL AWARD unPAVILION focuses on an inherent contradiction of the construction industry.

The construction industry has helped improve billions of people’s lives worldwide, created marvels of human capability, and continues to break new ground in architectural and engineering excellence.

However, the construction of our built environment is also responsible for significant CO2 emissions – both as embodied emissions for the construction and as operational emissions for the running and upkeep of our built environment.

This is a dilemma.

Tackling the CO2 emissions resulting from constructing as well as using our built environment is therefore a main concern. Fundamental changes are necessary to support the path to transitioning the economy towards a new sustainable future.

In this context, greenwashing is counterproductive. Greenwashing comes in many forms, some even unintentional, but instead of pointing fingers at current practices and products, we must encourage ambitious, cross-disciplinary ideas that do not just provide a temporary or small-scale fix nor entail an unrealistic major shift in current practices.

’The unPavilion is the story of a rescued concrete barge otherwise slated for demolition, for use during the UIA World Congress to highlight a dilemma that the construction industry must overcome. The barge will be later retrofitted to become a space of learning for architecture students.

We award potential. And we assist in the sharing of ideas and knowledge. We’d also like to inspire action, evoke thoughtfulness, and spark discussion. I believe that our un-pavilion reflects and incorporates much of what the OBEL AWARD is about.

Jesper Eis Eriksen
Head of Programme, OBEL AWARD


The Royal Academy’s School of Architecture will use it as an educational facility and possibly construct a floating workshop


Poetic Daylight

Daylight gives us an understanding of where we are in the world and of the spaces, we find ourselves in every day. The ‘Poetic Daylight’ pavilion, unfolds the spatial qualities of daylight, where the perceptual, aesthetic and poetic potential of daylight can be experienced in a series of spaces.

03 Good Health and Well-Being

The Raft

A sensory structure landing on one of Copenhagen canal’s floating platforms, aiming at offering visitors a direct and playful sensorial experience with the water.

13 Climate Action


Investigating the role of precast concrete in sustainable equitable urban development. Is it possible to reuse the building components of these buildings in new construction, minimizing resource consumption?

11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

From 4 to 1 Planet

How do we reduce climate impact from residential buildings to a fourth of the current level without compromising on attractivity and liveability?

Find three different answers to this question in our three pavilions, developed by next generations architects.

11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Bricks in Common

The brick pavilion ‘Bricks in Common’ brings our attention to this double bind: brick has a potentially long lifespan – it is, however, also a very energy-consuming material to produce. If we want brick to play a larger part of the sustainable development, we need further innovation, development, and more design for disassembly.

12 Responsible Consumption and Production

Living Places Copenhagen

Living Places Copenhagen – the first seven prototypes of the concept, show how we can develop sustainable buildings with a three times lower CO2 footprint and a first-class indoor climate. The concept holds the lowest CO2 emissions in Denmark, demonstrating that we do not have to wait for future technology to build more sustainably

11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Feed Back

Different lenses on food systems. The pavilion uses virtual spatial design to guide the audience through an exhibition that explores the content of the publication in a gallery-like experience. Users take part of the exhibit space by using their own mobile devices through virtual reality features.

11 Sustainable Cities and Communities


Architects Without Border’s pavilion is an interpretation of one of their actual development projects, the “Bio-Centre”. Through basic sanitary functions, a bio-center provides crucial services in a densely packed slum – while creating a social focal point.

06 Clean Water and Sanitation
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