Architecture Competition Office 2021 Design Challenge 2nd and BB Green prize winners – Gareth Cotter and Maria Mera Vera

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd and BB Green prize winners of our "Office 2021 Design Challenge" competition – Gareth Cotter and Maria Mera Vera from United Kingdom!

Maria Mera Vera and Gareth Cotter from United Kingdom

I began studying architecture in 2007 based on my love of art, drawing and Frank Lloyd Wright. I was overwhelmed to find that architecture isn’t just about materials and form but brings together so many disparate facets of life, from how we interact to our mental/physical health and wellbeing. During my academic career I began to discover how cartoons and stories can be used to think and engage with architecture, placing myself in other people’s shoes and exploring the architectural space.

From working on various types of projects in practices I was able to explore the connection between architecture and landscaping, exploring the potential of overlapping and blurring the boundaries of these two fields.

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?

Since leaving academia I have the opportunities to explore various architectural interests in my professional career culminating in a project, which I am leading - a large sweeping hotel and restaurant that meanders through its surrounding landscape. This creates a place is blurs the boundaries between landscape and architecture while being fully contextualised to the surrounding countryside.

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

Architecture provides a framework for social and personal engagement. The layout of a building can produce a hotchpotch of new unique experiences: creating a place for quiet contemplation to encouraging mixing of people from all backgrounds. It is the architect’s job to try and open up all these amazing new possibilities in their approach and design of a building.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Architectural competitions can take you out of your comfort zone and present challenges, locations and opportunities you may never have encountered normally. In response you can develop new skills and ideas previously unconceivable. These are be invaluable for broadening your understanding of architecture and be further developed over time.

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

Even if you do not win a competition, you have still gained a great number of new ideas, skills and presentation techniques that you have tested and will be able further develop as your career progresses. You are always taking something new away and by engaging with fresh and often unusual challenges you are developing your design skills no matter what the result.

Open architecture competitions

  • Closest Deadline first
  • Project competitions first
    Selected winning projects have the potential to be constructed
  • Ideas competitions first
    Experimental competitions with the focus on pushing the boundaries of creativity
project COMPETITION
Tili Wine Italy Guest Homes

Design guest homes for an organic winery in Italy

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Jun 07
Sep 07
Nov 01
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
Las Vegas Affordable Housing Challenge
Affordable Housing Series #14

Design affordable housing in Las Vegas

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Jun 08
Sep 08
Nov 02
Register now
project COMPETITION
Painters' Lake House

Design a picturesque painters' residence

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Jun 09
Sep 09
Nov 03
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
MICROHOME
Small living, huge impact! Edition #5

Design a new concept of small-scale home

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINE
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Jul 05
Sep 07
Nov 03
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
Museum of Emotions
Edition #2

Use architecture to create different emotional states

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Aug 02
Oct 05
Dec 01
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
Rammed Earth Pavilion
Material studies. Edition #2

Design a pavilion to exhibit rammed earth as a building material

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Sep 06
Nov 02
Jan 05
Register now

Other competitions

essay COMPETITION
Why do you enter architecture competitions?

Share your views on architecture competitions

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Oct 04
Dec 07
Feb 02
Register now
T-SHIRT DRAWING COMPETITION
The Architect's T-shirt / May 2022

Design THE architect's t-shirt!

Prize: 1,000 € Monthly
Eligibility: open to all

registration deadlines

Remind me
May 07
May 20
May 31
Register now

Competition results

Hong Kong 
Pixel Homes

Hong Kong Pixel Homes

Affordable Housing Series #2
MICROHOME

MICROHOME

Small living, huge impact! Edition #2 (2020)

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