We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Melbourne Affordable Housing Challenge” competition – Luc Harel, Manos Mavridis and Phil Snowdon from Australia!

Architecture Competition Melbourne Affordable Housing Challenge Honorable mention – Ola Studio

Ola Studio from Australia

Ola Studio was founded by Phil Snowdon and Manos Mavridis in 2014 after recognising an uncommon architectural compatibility and a shared interest in humanising both the process and outcome of architecture. We are a boutique-size studio, based on Kulin land in Collingwood, Melbourne, with a team of 5 architects, and we have a satellite studio in Paris which functions as a hub for a collection of international projects. We are a team of dedicated designers, passionate about crafting warm and inviting spaces that connect and contribute positively to their environments.

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?

Our portfolio includes bespoke single residences, larger scale multi-residential developments, intricate bar and restaurant fitouts, and complex wildlife reserve projects. Notable works include Ari, which won the Victorian AIA Multi Housing Award in 2016, and several single residences, such as Garth and Ross, which have been widely published and have received several local awards. In 2018, Ola won an architecture competition for the design of a Civic Centre for the Pentridge redevelopment in Coburg, a landmark site in Melbourne.

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

Architecture is the backdrop or framework that allows the expression and reflection of people or societies that enliven a space at a particular moment in time. Our role as architects is to see that that expression be realised time and time again, while juggling the myriad of practical constraints that are associated with the creation of space.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

For us, participating in architecture competitions represents a promise of being able to explore architectural ideas in their pure sense. We can work through ideas without being distracted by the conservative restraints and limitations that our projects typically encounter.

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

Participating in architecture competitions builds a design intelligence. It helps clarify ideas you have which will not only be beneficial to the competition you are working on, but valuable to projects you will work on thereafter.

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