We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of one of our Honorable mentions for the “Kemeri National Park Observation Tower” competition - Joana Correia and Guillaume Boitier from France!

Joana Correia and Guillaume Boitier from France

We met at the same French office in Paris where we currently work, and became friends.

Joana: I completed my Master’s degree in architecture at “Instituto Superior Tecnico” (IST) in Lisbon, after undergoing one year at the Technische Univertisät Graz (TU Graz) in Austria, trough the Erasmus program. I did the mandatory one-year internship required to become a certified Portuguese architect at a French office in Paris and at Monadnock, in Rotterdam. I have been working in Paris since 2015.

Guillaume: In 2017, I completed my Master’s degree in architecture at ENSA Paris-Val de Seine. I am now undergoing the six-month training programme required to become a certified French architect at ENSA-Nantes.

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 company/ individuals have been involved?

Joana: I have focused on all phases of a project but prefer the competition and the conceptual phases. I had the opportunity to work on apartment and hotel refurbishment projects, private houses, housing and mixed-use developments. At Monadnock, I worked on a project for a private house, which became the major landmark in my career so far.

Guillaume: I had the opportunity to work on the REINVENTER LA SEINE competition created by the municipality of Paris. The brief asked for the restoration of a historical building on the edge of Parc de la Villette, which will become a cultural and artistic cluster. I am mostly interested in small scale projects, public or private. When I was a student I teamed-up with some of my friends in many competitions.

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

Joana: The world-changing potential of architecture is to turn fiction into reality. Through the process you create and get ready to solve problems on behalf the people. The architect must own his/her creation from conception to construction to be able to respond to the aesthetics and social requirements, as well as to preserve the quality and the harmony of the whole. Currently the architect needs to excel first at integrating the determinant data into the project, second at experimenting, third at managing the different stages of the whole project and finally at looking at the end results with a critical eye. He/she needs to dive into the digital era and embrace technology similarly to other professionals. This is the only way for the architect to maintain a ‘seat at the table’ and build a better future.

Guillaume: Architecture is the place you inhabit and makes you experience emotions on a day-to-day basis, at home or at an urban level. In a forever changing society, the architect must understand the future needs of the people and answer them. He/she can imagine and build the spaces of the future.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We live in a society that is becoming over-regulated. A vision competition gives us the opportunity to embrace our creativity. Also, it is an opportunity to take over the challenge of dealing with a very unique site and brief.

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

It is an investment and it fuels creativity. Do not view competitions as a waste of time and resources.

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