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The Melbourne Tattoo Academy architecture competition tasked participants with creating an institution that would teach this ancient and popular artform, whilst working to dispel at least some of the stigma surrounding it. The selected winning entries challenged personal and social concepts of the tattoo as an art form and its cultural, philosophical implication in architecture.

For the first time in Buildner history, all three winning projects were entries submitted by university students. Therefore our 1st place winners from Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne also received our BB Student Award. This entry stood apart because of its strong response to a difficult urban condition and its conceptual relationship to the ethos and culture of tattoos. The project separated the two triangular sites with a perforated black metal screen along a diagonal street. This created a partially concealed interior environment that created a gradient of interior privacy while interfacing with the public and allowing a flexible floor plate for future use.

The second and third place winners were projects submitted from France’s École Nationale Superieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux, and Spain’s Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. These projects created an urban artists colony and a “Tattoo city” respectively, tackling cultural assumptions and creating a public and almost voyeuristic enclave for an art that is often considered taboo.

Finally, our BB Green Award was presented to an entry from Hong Kong, whose “Stories of Narrators” addresses complexity of sustainability and sustainable architecture. Find out more about all our winning entries at

1st Prize

2nd Prize

3rd Prize

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