We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st and Student prize winner of our “RE-Stock London Housing” competition – Elisabeth Loehr from Germany!

Elisabeth Loehr from Germany

Elisabeth Loehr is a German/Swedish architecture master student currently enrolled at the University of Arts in Berlin, Germany. She previously worked at the chair of Jacob van Rijs at the Technical University of Berlin and is currently working at Bruno Fioretti Marquez in Berlin.

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 company/ individuals have been involved?

During previous projects I worked on the subject of unused or underused spaces in dense urban situations, scouting for potential sites that had not yet been identified as such. In one of the most recent works, low-rise structures like supermarkets were transformed into new housing neighbourhoods, using their enormous parking areas and the space above these structures. I found it very interesting to revive these areas and believe that this will be a more relevant topic in the future when liberated ground will be even less common in cities.

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

Architects are responsible not only for a great part of our perceived surroundings, but also for our most intimate spaces, our homes. Some of the most pressing matters in our society today are the ever growing cities and their lack of contemporary housing. Personally, I do not believe that extending these cities in the surrounding vicinity can be the only solution, but rather a sensitive and responsible approach to extend and preserve existing structures. The submitted proposal in this competition is indicates such an approach is needed which in my opinion is a more sustainable variation of urban growth, preserving the original character of the surroundings. Nevertheless, architecture constantly evolves alongside our societies and should therefore propose relevant architectural concepts for a better tomorrow. Good architecture to me is one that is accessible to everyone and creates a positive impact not only on people’s lives but also on our environment.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Participating in architectural vision competitions can extend and deepen your creative way of thinking regarding architectural issues that you may not be confronted with in your professional everyday life. They can be an occasion to deliberately express your very personal ideas and beliefs addressing a specific topic, without being limited to regulations but aiming to reveal the liberty of conception. Furthermore, vision competitions may raise relevant questions about current socio-political matters. Engaging in these matters from not only one point of view but connecting architects from different countries and cultures to work on one specific task may result in a more heterogeneous outcome and diminish boundaries.

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

The process of architectural competitions is where you learn the most about your unique way of working and thinking. They are also the best place to dream and grow your imagination which makes them a great asset for further projects outside of the competition. The advice that I would humbly give to young architects like myself would be to pick a vision competition that really attracts you and to be true to yourself and your principles.

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