We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Las Vegas Affordable Housing Challenge" competition – Liam Bargerhuff and Patrick Kotowski from Poland!

Liam Bargerhuff and Patrick Kotowski from Poland

Liam and Patrick graduated from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, U.K. with degrees in Architecture in 2021. Liam has been working for Anderson Porter Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA for several months now and has completed several projects at Anderson Porter. He will also have some of his drawings published in a study of Proper HVAC Installation for Cannabis Grow Houses in the coming months. Following graduation, Patrick began employment at KIK Architekci where he assisted in the cumulation of important construction drawings for multi family buildings in the Dolnośląsk area of Poland. Following a move to Toronto, Canada, Patrick became an intern architect and lead CAD technician at Melillo Architects Inc.where he currently works, specializing in residential design.

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?

Liam: The scope of work in my professional career has been mostly focused on residential projects with a small amount of input in my company’s work in the cannabis dispensary industry. These projects consist of single family homes within the Greater Boston and New England Area.

Patrick: I had the privilege of beginning my professional career in creating important construction phase drawings for several multifamily buildings in the Dolnośląsk area of Poland. I realized that my greatest interest within architecture was in technological design, particularly on a smaller scale - such as facade mechanisms, joinery, etc. I hope to become an expert in this field which is why I'm currently lead CAD technician at my firm, and enthusiastic to constantly learn.

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

Architecture is, quite literally, the building block of society. It is where we spend most of our lives, public and private. It is the houses that we live in, that we work in, play in, and interact with. It is a combination of our past, present, and future. Through architecture we are able to see how people lived in the past and how they interacted with each other. These discoveries can help us plan for a better future. Architects solve problems that no other professions can solve. An architect literally has to holistically approach problems and create solutions, while constantly pushing technological boundaries for the advancement of humanity with the aim to better society as a whole. All for the purpose of making the environments we interact with daily into better, healthier spaces and our lives easier and more prosperous.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We feel architecture competitions are beneficial to the participants because they allow for feedback and the exchange of ideas without the confines of working in practice. To be able to freely exercise your creativity without having to answer to a client’s visual and functional demands gives wings to far more creative ideas and the exchange of those ideas with like minded, freely thinking individuals. You can also have the opportunity for your own personal designs to be seen by a wider audience, thus expanding your network of architects and designers world wide.

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

Just do it. There are no expectations. Architecture competitions are purely for your own enjoyment. If you would like to do one, then do one! If you don’t like it, there is no need to finish it. You are also able to work at your own pace without the stress of constant deadlines. They are also incredibly fun, and rewarding for you and/or your team - since you are constantly learning and evolving throughout the stages of the project.

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