We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st and Client Favorite prize winner of our "Columbarium – The Chamber of Memories" competition – Christopher Taylor from South Africa!

Christopher Taylor from South Africa

OXX is a small architectural collective based in Cape Town, South Africa. It was founded during lockdown in 2020 on the idea of collaboration and uses design and research to expand on architectural space and form. The two founding partners both gained international experience, graduating with a Master’s in Architecture at Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and working for BIG in Copenhagen.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance, what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where the company/ individuals have been involved?

The projects that we have recently involved ourselves with have been relatively small in scale and have mostly been competition entries, but we are always drawn to new programs that challenge our way of thinking about architecture and the spaces that make up the physical world around us.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of an architect in your society?

We view the practise of architecture as the pursuit of combining aesthetics and functionality. One cannot come before the other; they must remain in constant dialogue and inform one another. We are interested in an architecture where a simple idea informs the entire design and is carried through into its smallest details. An architecture that, once completed, gives greater value to its place rather than detracts from it. We find that buildings which are successful in the above points are normally the buildings that generate liveable and enjoyable spaces, able to survive throughout history.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We find it necessary to participate in architecture competitions as they offer a chance to exercise and challenge our design capability within a limited time frame. They can also provide a diverse and interesting array of briefs that are not normally on offer to us professionally.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture competitions?

Like any vocation, you can only advance your skills by putting them to practice and struggling through a problem, learning from mistakes and iterations along the way. Competitions provide the perfect place for this to happen, outside the realm of physical construction, but with some kind of reality attached to it. It's also very beneficial and interesting, once the results have been published, to see and compare the vast array of proposals all addressing the same brief and site that you were given.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

Learn more