We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winners of our "Columbarium – The Chamber of Memories" competition – Mengru Wang and Rachel Reinhard from United States!

Rachel Reinhard and Mengru Wang from United States

Rachel and Mengru met during their graduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Rachel is an Architectural and Urban Designer based in St. Louis. She holds a Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Design from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland. She is a committee member of AIA St. Louis Women in Architecture and is currently in pursuit of licensure.

Mengru is an Architectural Designer based in Los Angeles. She holds a Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor of Architecture from China. She has work experience in Beijing (Xinggang Li), Tokyo (Kengo Kuma), New York (I.M Pei) and Los Angeles (RIOS).

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 company/individuals have been involved?

Rachel’s interest in architecture and design is irrespective of a specific scale. Her experience extends across exhibition design, single- and multi-family housing, municipal projects, tenant improvements, and neighborhood development. She is currently focused on a 718,000 sqft historic adaptive reuse project in St. Louis.

Mengru has been involved with housing, museums, and mixed-use projects across the world. Growing up in China, she has a deep interest in craftsmanship, diverse local culture, understanding intimate scale and sensation of living. She enjoys working in different continents and absorbing inspiration from multi-culture.

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

To us: sensorial, detail-driven, and contextual

To society: to be responsive to the environment, people, their well-being, their histories, and their cultures.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

- Continue to challenge ourselves as designers 
- Exploration of details in design. Details can be small, but the details always matter.

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

It’s a great opportunity to continue exploring your own outlook on architecture and continue to learn more about yourself as a designer in the process. Many thanks and looking forward to hearing from you! Buildner Team

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