We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd and Student prize winner of our "Iceland Volcano Lookout Point" competition – Lorin Wiedemeier from Switzerland!

Lorin Wiedemeier from Switzerland

My name is Lorin Wiedemeier. I’m an architecture student at ETH Zürich in Switzerland and an aspiring architect. After having finished my bachelor’s degree in 2020, during which I worked as a teaching and research assistant for the chairs of structural design and landscape architecture at ETH Zürich, I started working as an intern for the Swiss-based architectural offices Bearth & Deplazes, as well as Giuliani Hönger. There I worked on competitions and detailed planning and had my first glimpse into the architectural practice. I am now finishing my master’s degree and am in the process of starting an architectural office Wiedemeier & Trueb together with my colleague Caspar Trueb. On this competition, however, I worked exclusively by myself.

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?

Wiedemeier & Trueb is currently exclusively focused on competitional work. We started competing in the fall of 2021, and our first and only competition so far was the latest competition hosted by Switch Competitions called Minimum School Ladakh, where we surprisingly won 2nd place. As of this moment, we’re working on further competitions based in Switzerland, looking to set up our office in the process.

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

This question has been addressed by great minds throughout the centuries, and at this point in time I’d consider it premature to try and give an all-encompassing answer to that. I will, however, give some thoughts:

To me, architecture appears twofold. On one hand, it functions as its own independent discipline - being part of the visual arts and crafts and being a means to itself as an end. Pure artistic expression through visual and spatial language with a long history of the pursuit and perfection of beauty, shape, and form. On the other hand, architecture can be a societal tool and is in a unique position to translate systems of values, ideas, and politics permanently into the built environment, ideally influencing both environment and society in a positive manner. These two sides may be contradictory, and it is for us all to position ourselves within this field of tension. In my opinion modern architecture can and probably should contribute positively to culture and society, all the while it should not forget nor negate its history. Architecture should strive to be beautiful and practical, breath-taking and thought-provoking.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Participating in architecture competitions for me is a great way to gain experience in formulating and sharpening ideas and architectural concepts, practicing the skills necessary to translate my ideas, and it is essentially what I love doing most: problem-solving and inventing things.

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

I would advise those individuals to just go for it. The entry fees on platforms such as Buildner are comparatively low and you’re free to invest as much time as you wish. Just by participating and solving the issues presented in the competition you can learn and improve a lot.

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