We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winners of our “Spirala Community Home” competition – Manuel Collado Arpia, Dustin Hernandez Jover and Berta Calle Martos from Spain!

Manuel Collado Arpia

I have a PhD in architecture and am the founder of the Madrid-based architectural offices: Manholo 2018–2021, Mi5 architects 1999–2015 – both are small-scale offices with no more than five people engaged.

I´m also an architecture teacher and I´ve been Unit Master at the Architectural Association in London 2011–2018, and actually am teaching regularly as lecturer at the UAH Public School of Architecture in Madrid.

Since 2000, I have been deeply engaged with diverse holistic practices, like Aikido as an instructor, Katsuguen Undo, Zinheng Qigong, and meditation.

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?

These are some of the projects I’ve been involved in, representing a variety of scales, mostly coming from public and some private competitions:
• "80 social housing in San Francisco Javier II" Madrid, 1999.
• "Planning and development Calpe´s seafront" Calpe, Spain, 2000.
• "Planning and development of the Playa del Inglés seafront" Gran Canaria, 2001.
• “Youth Center in Getafe”. Madrid, 2003.
• “Youth Center in Fuenlabrada”. Madrid, 2006.
• “Youth Center in Rivas-Vaciamadrid”. Madrid, 2008.
• “Domingo Gascón Square”. Teruel, 2013.
• “School of Musicality” Madrid, 2018.

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

Architecture is the geometry that unfolds human life on earth; this built geometry, in addition to offering us shelter, broadens our way of being and perceiving reality. The architect is the mediator who creates the right space and geometry for each way of life. Since 2018, the studio has also acquired an environmental sensitivity that seeks to integrate architecture, body, and nature in a continuum, understanding the project as a holistic process.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Architecture competitions are a public space to discuss ideas and communicate creative architectural processes to society. For my office, it’s the way our work becomes part of a global community.

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

There’s no learning in an isolated creative or architectural process. Ideas flourish within open discussion forums, and that’s why architectural competitions offer great spaces for debate. It's also a constant training to activate creativity when you are surrounded by an “over-professionalized” architectural market.

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.

Learn more