We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winner for our "Romantic Cabin For Two" competition – David Gallo, Franklin Min and Shivani Bakhru from Finland!

Honorable mention from Finland

David Gallo is a full-time architectural designer at ALA Architects in Helsinki, Finland. He has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the North Carolina State University and, prior to joining ALA Architects, he has worked at offices in Beijing and New York City. He is grateful to have practiced architecture within different contexts around the world and is looking forward to continuing enriching his experience.

Franklin Min is a full-time architecture student at the University of Waterloo in Canada and is currently finishing his Bachelor of Architectural Studies. Throughout his co-op experience, he has worked with several architectural firms in Toronto and Helsinki. These firms have varied in scale and specialty, with his most recent experience focused more on architectural visualization.

Shivani Bakhru has recently attained her bachelor's degree in architecture from Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, Mumbai. She has worked with several architectural firms and non-profit organizations in India, focusing on sustainable architecture and resilient built environments. In addition, she has been working as a freelance architect on various interior and architectural projects. Her interest lies in architecture that is minimalistic and is coherent to its surrounding.

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?

Collectively, we have been involved with realizing large-scale public projects, most specifically, the new terminal entrance for Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, and small ones as well, like a private residence in North Carolina. We believe design attitude transcends scale and are interested in any type of project.

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

Architecture for us is about the story we can share with others through the act of building. It can come through form, material, tectonics, or any other aspect that we can affect through our design. The role of the architect is to find the proper manifestation of that story in relationship with the client, the environment, and the other countless professions involved throughout and after construction.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We participate in architecture competitions for the thrill of it. Even if the odds of winning are slim, it’s a great experience to give something your whole attention and engage the whole process of envisioning a piece of architecture. This is something that can become quite rare or difficult to achieve in professional practice. The arena of the competition lets you tune out the noise of the world.

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

Architecture competitions are where the greatest projects and careers are made. If you love the profession and really want to dive into it, there’s no other way.

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