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As the founder sponsor of the World Architecture Festival 2021 GROHE empowers architects to create healthier urban landscapes

• World Architecture Festival (WAF): The digital edition 2021 took place with the theme “Resetting the city” from November 30th until December 3rd
• Headline partner GROHE awards Water Research Prize to Techlab laboratory’s façade solution which tackled water scarcity around the globe with a unique design project inspired by nature
• The exclusive festival content can be visited via WAF’s digital pass or via the brand platform GROHE X

2022, 12th January 2021 – Supporting architects and designers around the world to create healthier urban landscapes during and beyond the pandemic, GROHE is proud to have been the main sponsor of the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2021, a role taken on by the brand upon the inception of the festival in 2008. As a founding partner, GROHE, a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, represents the unique role water plays for the design discipline, and helps shape innovative architectural visions and solutions around the element of water. During the challenging times of the past years GROHE has continued to support the architect community by sponsoring this year’s WAF and the Water Research Prize 2021.

Greener, cleaner cities

The festival’s theme, “Resetting the city”: Ecological concerns regarding city planning, biodiversity and sustainability now meet the overall need to create healthier, safer surroundings more than ever. As concepts for sourcing clean energy, reducing pollution, and clean water supplies are now directly linked to the control of pandemics, they are becoming the center of urban planning strategies across the globe, and have also become the focus of this year’s festival. A total of 320 hours of inspiring keynotes, sessions and panel discussions were presented to the WAF community. As a highlight of this year’s festival, architects from all over the world came together to compete with one another to win “The World Building of the Year”, an award which was unveiled by GROHE on December 3rd as the grand finale.

Inspired by nature – a win to fight global water scarcity

In this context, GROHE was proud to once again award the annual Water Research Prize to projects aiming at finding creative solutions for water in the built environment. This year’s award went to Techlab laboratory and its “Aquasorbent Façade”. Inspired by the Namib desert beetle, the research team designed a façade using honeycomb-like modules which absorb and use moisture in the air to reach indoor thermal comfort. Designed with peaks and troughs on their surface the modules help retain water molecules from the air. The collected water will be stored in vertical tanks embedded in the façade on every storey. By adjusting the modules according to the optimal rainfall angle of every region, collecting water from both humidity and rainfall conditions will be possible in all climates around the world. The jury was delighted by this unique solution which tackles water scarcity around the globe. “This innovative project tackles water scarcity and I particularly loved the inspiration directly taken from nature,” said Stefan Schmied, Leader, Business Unit Projects, LIXIL EMENA. Paul Finch, Programme Director of the World Architecture Festival added: “All the judges appreciated the inspiration and application of this nano-technology that could help solve the lack of water in stressed areas of the planet.”

The Water Research Prize has been part of World Architecture Festival since 2017, when the WAF X Manifesto was first published. The manifesto identified the most important challenges for architects within the next ten years, including water in relation to the built environment. With this year’s festival focusing on the improvement of the quality of life in urban areas through greener, healthier infrastructures, the close connection to water is particularly striking. By sponsoring the award, GROHE has been supporting research in the field of unique architectural challenges around water for the past four years and is proud to continue doing so at this year’s festival.

A virtual venue loaded with content

The digital edition of the festival was available exclusively via the WAF app. By purchasing a digital pass, participants were granted access to 50 digital crit rooms and the largest amount of content in the history of the festival. GROHE has exclusive access to the festival content via its digital brand platform, GROHE X.

For further information and press material, please see this link.
Discover more of GROHE’s sponsorship and the WAF on our digital experience platform grohe-x.com.
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GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings and has a total of over 7,000 employees in 150 countries – 2,600 of them are based in Germany. Since 2014 GROHE has been part of the strong brand portfolio of the Japanese manufacturer of pioneering water and housing products LIXIL. In order to offer “Pure Freude an Wasser”, every GROHE product is based on the brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability. Renowned highlights such as GROHE Eurosmart or the GROHE thermostat series as well as groundbreaking innovations such as the GROHE Blue water system underline the brand’s profound expertise. Focused on customer needs, GROHE thus creates intelligent, life-enhancing and sustainable product solutions that offer relevant added value – and bear the “Made in Germany” seal of quality: R&D and design are firmly anchored as an integrated process in Germany.

GROHE takes its corporate responsibility very seriously and focuses on a resource-saving value chain. Since April 2020, the sanitary brand has been producing CO2-neutral* worldwide. GROHE has also set itself the goal of using plastic-free product packaging by 2021.

In the past ten years alone, more than 490 design and innovation awards as well as several sustainability awards confirmed GROHE’s success. GROHE was the first in its industry to win the CSR Award of the German Federal Government and the German Sustainability Award 2021 in the categories “Resources” and “Design”. As part of the sustainability and climate campaign “50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders“ GROHE is also driving sustainable transformation.

*includes CO2 compensation projects, more on green.grohe.com


LIXIL (TSE Code 5938) makes pioneering water and housing products that solve every day, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Drawing on our Japanese heritage, we create world-leading technology and innovate to make high quality products that transform homes. But the LIXIL difference is how we do this; through meaningful design, an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to improving accessibility for all and responsible business growth. Our approach comes to life through industry leading brands, including INAX, GROHE, American Standard and TOSTEM. Approximately 55,000 colleagues operating in more than 150 countries are proud to make products that touch the lives of more than a billion people every day. Learn more at www.lixil.com


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