We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the 1st prize winners of our Himalayan Mountain Hut competition - Davide Prioli, Dennj Avanzi and Andrea Mancini from Italy!

Davide Prioli (Rimini, Italy, 1984), Andrea Mancini (Rimini, Italy, 1984) and Dennj Avanzi (Sirmione, Italy, 1984) have been friends since their ways first crossed and joined them together; first at the Politecnico of Milano and then at University of I.U.A.V. in Venice, where they obtained their master degrees in Landscape Architecture with Honours in 2011. After the graduation, their collaboration didn’t end even though they took different professional paths, leading Davide to Rotterdam, Dennj to Bruxelles and Andrea to Milano.

Davide Prioli used to work for Shift Architecture+Urbanism and currently he is employed at Powerhouse-Company, both of which have offices based in Rotterdam. His expertise stretches from strong concept design skills to detailing and the construction phase. During the past few years Davide has been involved in many remarkable projects such as C-City the Technology Museum and Red-Dot Labs in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, and Villa-B, a luxurious mansion in Munich, Germany.

Dennj Avanzi is currently working at Baeb in Brussels. His focus is architecture design which makes him an active member in the practice. Dennj has strong graphic communication skills and he is the member responsible for the media contact. Some of the relevant projects in which he has been involved are Etterbeek City Hall in Brussels, Housing Rx in Rixensart and the Gameda District in Namur, Belgium.

Andrea Mancini used to work in the team of Eduardo Souto de Moura for the S. Pellegrino Terme competition and for Onsite Studio in Milan. Remarkable projects in which he took part are Hotel Duca d’Aosta and the Expo 2015 Service Areas, both in Milan. Currently he is self-employed and his field of interest stretches from interaction design to environment and landscape architecture with a particular attention to interiors and light design.

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

Davide: I like to define "The Architect" as a multidisciplinary professional who can solve problems through the design process, and at the same time embed emotions which positively affect the users. It is about finding balance between functionalism and expressive design.

Anthropization is growing exponentially, mainly for the purpose of functionality and for economic benefit. Due to the lack of focus on positive emotions, we are losing the chance to value our existence in stimulating environments.

I believe that nowadays architecture needs to trigger the emotive perceptors in the places where we live, work, recreate etc. Where we identify and develop the essence of the culture as a community and as individuals.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Andrea: Architecture vision competitions are a good opportunity to work on innovative projects which require new alternative solutions from scratch. This kind of process gives the designers a lot of freedom and wide boundaries within which to experiment.

The comparison with the work of the other designers from different countries and backgrounds is always interesting and unexpected. Everyone develops his own vision interpreting the requirements of the brief, this is what triggers me because it is inspiring and opens new perspectives.

I believe that vision competitions are a valuable exercise to train yourself to think out of the box when looking for solutions.

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

Dennj: My advice is to take advantage of these wonderful possibilities for developing new ideas opportunities and make our personal experience richer. Eliel Saarinen said: "The purpose of architecture is to protect and improve human life on earth, to gratify his belief in the nobility of his existence." I believe in this principle and ethically pushes us in the perpetual research for something that is a step forward. Thanks to vision competitions young designers can deepen an architectural research that, in daily office practice, is often not possible to face.

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