We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial ” competition – Jessica Martins, Catarina Pereira and Inês Lopes from Portugal!

Jessica Martins, Catarina Pereira and Inês Lopes from Portugal

We are a non-professional group of 3 junior Portuguese architects that graduated from the same university – the Department of Architecture in Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, University of Coimbra, Portugal. We don’t belong to the same company and have not followed the same professional path. At the moment, we’re working in different studios. Catarina is in Madrid, Spain, Inês – in Celorico da Beira, Portugal, and Jessica – in Aveiro, Portugal.

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?

We all have had very different experiences as architects. Catarina, for instance, is working with large-scale buildings and projects, with big financial and urban impact. On the other hand, Jessica works with small-scale products and spaces, with low budgets. Inês works with the city hall architects, where she evaluates the urbanism process to build the city as a unity.

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

Architecture is the tool with which we build and comprehend the community around us. As this competition demonstrated, architecture is capable of telling stories and recalling history by its form, materials, expression, location, spatial experience, etc. The architect is the one with the ability to build the society he’s inserted in, to the best extension of his capabilities, because how he draws that space, that neighborhood, or that building may define how it’s lived in.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

As junior architects in the beginning of our careers, we are starting to understand the bureaucratic world around architecture. As such, the creative and conceptual line that defines this type of competition is the motivation we need to keep investing in the quality of the architecture we produce daily.

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

To challenge yourselves and to create new responses for new contexts. Every time you accept a new challenge with new problems, or new contexts, you need to research its surroundings, its history and motivations, so that your proposal and your art is the exact answer for that specific problem. 

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