There’s plenty of photo contests out there that celebrate landscapes, nature, wildlife and sports, but often it’s the more obscure competitions that present some of the better imagery. This is a perfect example and the GCCA’s annual Concrete in Life global photography competition aims to highlight concrete’s crucial role in society. There were no shortage of interest in these awards and, in fact, the competition saw more than 13,500 entries with the overall winner scooping a $10,000 prize, along with category winners bagging $2,500. The entries were judged by a panel that included a senior architect at a world-renowned firm, a creative director, and the editor of a leading architectural magazine.
And the winner of that top prize? Well, that was announced as Agung Lawerissa, who took the top honour for his enticing photograph of children playing football on the shore in front of the iconic Merah Putih Bridge – which connects the Leihitu Peninsula and the Lei Timur Peninsula in Indonesia. Agung commented; “I took my photo in the city of Ambon, Indonesia. I was interested in capturing this moment because there was a group of children playing soccer in the sand at low tide with Merah Putih bride in the background. The bridge was built to speed up the travel time between Patimura Airport on the Lei Hitu Peninsula, Central Maluku in the north and Ambon City Center on the East Lei Peninsula in the south. It is a great honour to win the Concrete in Life 2021 competition and tell the story of how concrete is bringing communities together in my country.”
The Concrete Infrastructure Professional category was won by Sara Goli and shows the Chitgar Complex, Iran. Sara commented; “I took this photograph because of the striking lines and the strong foundations. The concrete structure can be used comfortably, and helps the city looks more beautiful and feel safe.”
Niyazi Gürgen took top honours in the ‘Concrete in Daily Life Professional’ category for this beautiful frame that is rich in juxtaposition. Nyyazi commented; “I took this photo in one of the old villages of Anatolia, Turkey. I wanted to document the difficult conditions women in this geography live under and how strong they are. It is difficult to fit daily life skills and abilities into a single frame, but I managed to capture it in an aesthetic way. Just as the woman balances the bread she carries on her back, she resists all the difficulties of life and struggles to keep her family in balance. These concrete stairs, which she climbs up and down many times, make it easier for her to do the hard work she has to do every day.”
This wonderfully striking frame was captured by Amri Arfianto and it took First Place in the ‘Concrete in Daily Life Amateur’ category. The scene shows Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, UAE and Amri commented; “The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a modern model of Islamic architecture, which is unique in its creative and architectural design. This is evident in its corridors and halls, which has made it a leading global cultural destination on the world tourism map. The SZGM attracts worshipers and tourists every year and is one of the most visited buildings in the world. My picture tells the story of how people can build a masterpiece in concrete and benefit people’s daily lives.”
The ‘Urban Concrete Amateur’ category was won by Mario Pereda for this jaw-dropping image of Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in Avilés, Spain. The image was captured on a Nikon D600 paired with a 70-200mm lens.
The First Place spot in the ‘Urban Concrete Professional’ category went to Michael Sidharta for this epic image of The Interlace in Singapore. Michael commented; “The Interlace is an apartment building complex located at the boundary between ‘Bukit Merah’ and ‘Queenstown’ in Singapore. I like this building because it’s very unique and also surrounded by urban forest. It captures the balance of nature, while showing extraordinary strength and resilience in life.”
The winner of the ‘Sustainable Concrete Amateur’ category was announced as Hakan Çöplü for an image entitled, Sea defences that was captured in Turkey. “I took this photo while visiting the fishing port in Istanbul. I saw the concrete cubes made to protect the port from sea waves which helps the worker to work safely. It shows how concrete provides a sustainable environment.”
Lastly, the ‘Sustainable Concrete Professional’ category winner was announced as Rahmad Himawan, Indonesia who commented on his image; “Concrete is important in supporting human life. My photo shows a concrete road section in the middle of a rice field located in a small village in Kemumu village in Indonesia. The road makes it easy for farmers to get to work and carry out their crucial daily activities – enabling our sustainable communities to thrive. It is also used as a road for recreation, travel, and for appreciating the natural scenery around here.”