Please take this opportunity to get introduced to the 2nd prize winners of Red Square Tolerance Pavilion competition - Ida Sandvik and Mesi Koponen from Norway!

We are two architects currently working at DBC AS, an Oslo-based architecture firm. We started the competition before we became colleagues, so this competition has been an independent project for us.
Ida Sandvik graduated January 2014 from Aarhus school of architecture in Denmark. She spent her master degree in a studio called sustainable transformation, focusing on relationships in architecture, and building design. Ida has previously worked for Fantastic Norway in Oslo. 

Mesi Koponen graduated spring 2013 from Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. She had building design as a major subject, and sustainable architecture as a minor subject. Mesi graduated with honors.

In her studies, Mesi Koponen has focused on building design from small to large scale. Her diploma was an assisted living complex, situated in the northern Finnish city of Rovaniemi. The design task was a hybrid of public and housing functions, including housing units for the elderly and a service centre. Mesi also has an interest towards sustainable architecture and her studies include a field-course in Cambodia. 

Ida has experience from both urban design and building design, and did her diploma on collective form and relationships between the built and unbuilt in designing a folkehoyskole (sort of a boarding school) up in the mountains in Norway. While working at Fantastic Norway she participated in the redesign of Utøya political youth-camp, after the terror attack, the 22th of July 2011. In addition she has worked on several cabins and are currently employed at DBC as.

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

We see architecture as having a fundamental role in society as a stage for human life. Architects have a strong position in Norwegian and Finnish societies, as these are countries that value good design that is deeply rooted in nature and human perception. 

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We did the competition to stay fresh and for the fun of it. 

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

Taking part in competitions provides an opportunity to grow as an architect. Participating in competitions brings professional challenges and forces one to seek new ideas. They are a tool for questioning and learning.

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