We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winner of our "Iceland Beer Spa" competition – Ana Rita Rodrigues Gomes from Portugal!

Ana Rita Rodrigues Gomes

Please tell us about your company (when it was founded, where it is based, how many employees, etc) Alternatively, if you do not have a company, please give us some insights on your own professional/academia background.

I founded CURO. architecture atelier in the beginning of 2021. After working as a researcher and an architect at other offices, I decided it was the right time to start my on path. Therefore a new adventure started, and it has been really interesting to fight for the goals we want to achieve.

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?

I am more focused on small scale projects, specially housing and refurbishment housing buildings and apartments new identity. But I also collaborate with other offices for bigger scale projects, such as public competitions in Portugal. I love this contraste of scales and teams, it makes me grow faster as a professional.

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

Architecture exists because humanity exists. Being an architect it's not a 8-5 job. It is a lifestyle, a way of being in life, a way to think, to see and live the world. We are storytellers, we create stories everyday. Some are better than others, but all belong to the history of humanity. Our role in society is huge, and our responsibility is even bigger. I wish more people would understand the importance of architecture, and having an architect to advise and guide them on some projects making decisions.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions provide a means to escape the numerous rules one must adhere to when designing a client's project. They offer freedom and prompt questions like, "Is this allowed?" or "Should I explore this path instead?" This encourages searching for new and different approaches. It's not just about expanding one's portfolio; it's about exercising the brain and having fun.

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

Do it. Do it better. Do it again. I've been participating on Buildner competitions since 2017 and every time I do it, I have so much fun. I learn from others, and it makes me want to be better and work harder. So at least try it once.

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