The 17th edition of the "Architecture Student Contest" has come to an end, with the participation of over 220 universities from 32 countries. This year, the challenge was to transform a district located in Warsaw, Poland in order to revitalize an area located next to Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East). The contest involved the design of a new student residence and housing, as well as a meeting and entertainment center in an old factory building that is classified as a historical heritage site. With the requirement of addressing the space's performance as well as its architectural, environmental and social aspects, the contestants were tasked with a project that positively impacts its users and the planet, with low carbon emissions throughout its life cycle.
According to the contest press release, "The jury was very impressed by the high quality of the projects proposed by the students. Year after year, the level of the projects has increased and now environmental aspects are fully integrated into the students' thinking, without forgetting the eminently social function of architecture."
See the award-winning projects below, including each team's original descriptions:
1st prize: Chain of Change - Finland
“Our proposal respects history, reflects it to this day and welcomes new technology for a more sustainable and energy efficient future. The architecture of the new student housing complex honors the old factory building: The variating heights of the buildings decrease towards the factory leaving it noticeable and respected. The roof shapes of the towers take inspiration of the evolving section shapes of the factory building and symbolizing change. The chain of towers connected with garden bridges.”
2nd prize and student prize: Rust Green - Latvia
“Rustgreen building complex is a symbolic landmark of the dangers that will arise if humanity fails to convert to sustainable living. The visual theme represents an apocalyptic scenario, in which humanity has fallen, and the last signs of us are decaying buildings that are slowly overgrown by nature. The flow of time is represented in the materials used which have tendencies to change their visual properties in time. Apocalyptical irregularities create the soul of this space.”
3rd prize: Botanic Frame - Poland
“The idea of the project was to frame the factory with a simple architecture and to emphasize its values. Seen from the perspective of the building, there is a game of contrasts between the colorful terraces piercing through the solid and the minimalism of the facade. In the patio, we have proposed a botanical garden with a running track hanging over the heads of visitors. The architecture and greenery have been selected to constitute the background for the historical building.”
Special Jury Prize: Econtainer Student Living - Mexico
“We integrate the most important factors from the context, analyzing climate and environment as well as the essence of Warsaw, to create a green and vibrant student housing project designed with passive strategies and energy efficient systems, as well as achieving thermal, lighting, and acoustic comfort. We used sustainable Saint-Gobain materials and lower carbon emissions from its life-cycle, specially in the manufacturing stage by recycling shipping containers, giving life to Econtainer project.”
Created in 2004, the competition is mainly intended for architecture, engineering and design students, seeking to showcase students' knowledge and experiences around a project based on the real needs of a neighborhood or city. Based on the Saint-Gobain sustainable construction approach, students are prompted to create living spaces that respect the planet and the well-being of residents. This was the first edition where projects included environmental impact calculation, by using a life-cycle analysis tool provided by One Click LCA.
See the Architecture Student Contest website to learn more about the winning projects and previous editions.