We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd prize winner of our "Portable Reading Rooms / Edition #2" competition – Gi Giannone from United States!

Gi Giannone from United States

I recently graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Architecture. Drexel has introduced me to diverse typologies and ranges of architectural scales. For my senior project, I chose to explore the design of sacred spaces in efforts to preserve faith for the “spiritual but not religious” and inclusive life cycle ceremonies for all. To assist in the design process, several studies were performed to learn how to use light, movement, and material to create ineffable space in the absence of religious symbolisms.

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?

While pursuing my degree, I assisted Farragut Street Architects in the adaptive reuse, preservation, and renovation of residential and small commercial projects in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During that time, our rehabilitation and renovation of 1000 S. Saint Bernard Street, a vacant industrial building turned residential mixed-use, was completed in 2022. Upon graduation, I joined Atkin Olshin Schade Architects whose projects range from academic, religious, and cultural institutions.

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

Architecture to me means setting the stage. Our days are so entangled in architecture. It moves with us as we mark life events, either through its major presence or by receding to the background. I was drawn to architecture for the love of developing a narrative, the endless exploration, collaboration, problem solving, and the process of getting it “wrong” and getting it hopefully “right.” Because the field is interdisciplinary in nature, architecture can teach one a lot about how to be; how to be patient, how to be thoughtful; when to be bold and when to be subtle; how to be a good teammate; how to be an advocate.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

I participate in architecture competitions to remain curious. For ideas competitions, there is enough freedom and enough restraints in place to be playful while remaining mindful.

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

I struggle with deciding to enter competitions myself. I would encourage someone to enter with the mindset that you will always learn something, even if it is what not to do. Always submit, even if you believe it to be unfinished.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Enter Architecture Competitions

Curious about the value of architecture competitions? Discover the transformative power they can have on your career - from igniting creativity and turning designs into reality, to gaining international recognition.

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