We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Abu Dhabi Flamingo Visitor Center” competition – Alicja Nowak, Maciej Rodak and Yaroslav Panasevych from Poland.

Alicja Nowak, Maciej Rodak and Yaroslav Panasevych

Hello from Poland! We are students of architecture at the Cracow University of Technology in Poland. During our studies, we keep developing our skills and expertise in the fascinating realm of architecture.

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 core of our perceptions is the sense of place: we study the history of place, undertake site analyses, attempt to get the context of the place whilst not disturbing its magic but giving it a new quality. We follow the underlying idea to design the right building for the right place, in harmony with its surroundings and to make the most of its natural landscape.

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

We do admire and identify ourselves with what Peter Zumthor writes in his Thinking Architecture: “I think space, architectural space, is my thing. It’s not about facade, elevation, making image, making money. My passion is creating space.” Architecture is much more than just construction elements which make up a building, it’s about the space around us. This links to the prominent educational role of the architect in society striving to change and improve the way we live.

In our view, architecture is the background for life. Therefore, as an element appealing to the intentional nature of the human being, it should not be only an object that is unshakable and established once and for all. Architecture should express the spirit of the times but should also follow the dynamic rush towards life and be a silent companion on a journey rather than a mere point in space. Paradox is the most profound sense of architecture and the architect’s role is to deal with it.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

To add to and enrich our university experience, we take part in competitions going beyond the world of student academic work and daily routine with the aim of developing creative ideas.   

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

Obviously, work on architectural designs does not always mean that we achieve our goals. But this does not mean we fail. Quite the opposite – we see this as an opportunity to gain experience, learn something new, develop our teamwork skills and manage time better. And then, if success comes our way, the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment are the greatest reward on this challenging path of architecture.

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