Back in January, I had the opportunity to be part of the jury for the Young Architect Award in Estonia, which was officially announced by the President of Estonia, Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the past Thursday Feb 14th in Tallinn, at the annual meeting of the Union of Estonian Architects .
The objective of the award is to encourage innovative and creative thinking by young minds, and it gives the winner the chance to travel anywhere in the world, giving the opportunity to expand their vision and contribute back to the development of the country.
During the process I had the chance to learn more about the new generation of Estonian architecture after reviewing the works and trajectory of the 8 shortlisted young architects, a generation with very diverse backgrounds and projects, but with one thing in common: a commitment to open up architecture and make it part of the larger public.
This year the ward went to Veronika Valk, who was recognized for her built work and her efforts to raise awareness around architecture (organizing international lectures, workshops, writing articles, and more). More about Veronika and the award after the break:
“When we recall the Award recipients to date, their creative work is confirmation to me of an important observation: in Estonia, one can also do great things in the early stages of one’s creative journey, and one need not toil for decades to be able to come to the fore. This an advantage for us and for you. This is the advantage of a small nation”
- Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia
Veronika Valk was nominated for the different activities she does as an architect. She is a futuristic visionary and independent thinker, interested in different disciplines that can inform architecture expanding its range of interest, from biology to performing arts. Veronika studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts and then at the RISD (Rhode Island, USA).
Her work includes houses, public spaces, installations and exhibitions in on side, and the organisation of lectures, seminars and workshops on the other. Veronika was also co-author of the Estonia exhibit at the 13th Venice Biennale.
She is currently finishing her PhD studies at the RMIT University School of Architecture and Design in Australia.