We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “Iceland Thermal Springs Guest House” competition - Noah Cai from Canada!

Noah Cai

Noah Cai from Canada

I am an architecture student and completed my undergraduate architecture degree at McGill University. After graduation in 2017, I worked at Revery Architecture before enrolling at the University of British Columbia in pursuit of a Master of Architecture degree.

I have worked on a variety of projects with no current preference of scale. I believe that architecture of all scales should possess a deep connection to its context to both preserve and supplement the culture of a place. On larger scale projects, I like to emphasize the idea of a “passageway.” The combination of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure can create whole new paradigms in our built environment. The passageway can link the three elements, creating a central circulation space that acts as a hub for human interaction. Funded by McGill University, I have conducted research and curated an exhibition at McGill School of Architecture regarding spatial elements that form dynamic passageways. This research was primarily conducted in the historic towns of Hunan, China. The intention is that these interesting urban circulatory interactions can also be applied to architectural design.

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

To me, architecture is the creation of any built space that people can enjoy, whilst being rooted to the culture of its site and satisfies the needs of its people. The built environment can introduce paradigms that bring new wonders and utilities into our world. This potential is difficult to achieve and requires architects today to actively engage in interdisciplinary collaborations. Architecture is constantly evolving, and I hope to keep learning whilst being able to contribute my own ideas to the architectural collective.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Competitions are a great way to design an interesting project and to gain new insights from designers around the world. I love to design, and the existence of many competitions allows me the freedom to choose to work on projects that interest me.

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

They are an excellent opportunity to experience seeing a project through from start to finish without the guidance of a professor or professional. This can increase your design confidence and project management skills.

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