We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winners of our "The Marker Design Challenge" competition – Hagar Abiri, Justyna Piasta, Zuzanna Światowy and Klara Krešo from Germany!

1st prize winners from Germany

HAA&D is a small-scale international Berlin-based studio for urban renewal projects, architectural services & interior design, founded by Ms. Hagar Abiri in 2014. We do what excites us, be it interior design or urban intervention; our guidelines are respect for the urban environment, the earth & the local culture. 

HAA&D provides architectural services in Berlin, Europe, Asia & specialises in high-end projects, intervention within existing structure, redevelopment & conservation while leading a total design approach – from building's envelope to its interior and fine details.

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?

Ongoing urban renewal:

- PR33 New roof apartments on the rooftop of an existing building, 490 m2, in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany.

- BON18 2 Rooftops (same concept) with about 800 m2 and ground floor with about 500 m2 in Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany.

Ongoing architecture:

- R&A Private house with about 200 m2 in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Ongoing hospitality:

- K ̈blick High-end, eco-friendly holiday park in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with 31 (100–120 m2 each) houses in 3 typologies.

Ongoing interior:

- S04 About 200 m2 (converted rooftop), Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany.

- B117 About 80 m2 private apartment in an existing protected industrial building converted to housing.

Completed interior:

- K20 (Poor But Sexy) 82 m2 private apartment in an Altbau (old building), Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Germany.

- NOGA Interior design, a 25 m2 private apartment in an existing building, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Israel.

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

A cultural statement towards nature.

Architecture tells the story of the human culture. It tells us how people used to live before us and how they used nature resources (among other things, of course). Architecture is also about knowing where you shouldn’t build. Architect has a responsibility toward both nature and society. An architect’s role is to know how to build a situation where people benefit from it, not only as individuals but also as a community, while not harming the environment. As buildings stay longer, an architect needs to plan for the future, not only the present. Today, in almost all world capitals, we live in buildings that limit cultural evolution and make it complicated to improve our lifestyle and the way we use nature’s resources.


Though women make up about 50%* of the graduates from architecture schools, only about 20% of those women are licensed and only about 17%* are partners or office owners. As 50%* of architecture users are women, more women must be in the front and make a difference.

* Google

(Architect in Germany is a planner, a project leader, and the link between all professionals involved in the project to the client and authorities. The work method is such that the architect can take only a specific phase or all**.)

** was asked but not sure if relevant.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Competitions are an opportunity to make a statement, to be critical, and to show an alternative to traditional methods and material. It is an opportunity to be educated and use new tools. It is a way to be involved with projects and topics that are not being practised in the daily routine; at the same time, working on a competition enriches other projects that run parallel. Also, it is a great method to get to know your team members – their strengths, their sets of tools and methods. You can learn from each other, improve yourself, and grow together.

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

Try. Select a competition where you have something to say about the topic, or a topic you want to learn more about. More than a vision, competition requires a lot of time and investment, so it should never be only about winning but also about challenging yourself. In the end, as a minimum, you should be able to say, ‘Hey, l earned something new’ – this is how you become better as a person and as an architect.

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