We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our “Spirala Community Home” competition – Sabrina Neise and Jedrzej Nowak from Germany!

Jedrzej Nowak and Sabrina Neise from Germany

Sabrina: I studied architecture in Darmstadt and did an exchange semester in Porto. During my studies, I was focused on building design. I always have been highly passionate about the design process at the beginning of a project. Aside from my studies, I have worked in different companies and construction sectors to gain a variety of working experiences and insights. Three years ago, I finished my studies and started working as an employee in an office in Germany.

Jedrzej: Currently, I'm working in Berlin in a Swedish architecture office. It was founded in 1997 in Stockholm, and the office in Berlin has around 150 employees.

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?

Sabrina: Recently I was working as an employee in the first four phases of a huge skyscraper design in Germany. After three years, I switched to a company which is focused on residential buildings and medium-sized projects.

Jedrzej: I come from Poland, where I graduated from the Wrocław University of Technology. For the last nine years, I have gained experience in different offices in Germany. At my previous office, I participated in many interesting large-scale design projects in a wide range of types.

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

Sabrina: Architecture means passion. The role of an architect is to analyze the spirit of a place, its architectural history, and to bring it into harmony with timeless and sustainable architecture. In this way, emotions and good intentions for people and the urban space can be transmitted. A symbiosis of the needs of the future users, the requirements of the city, and the integration of the 'genius loci' is needed when generating architectural spaces.

Jedrzej: Architecture is solving problems in space. There are many challenges to be met, functional, spatial, and visual. The building is always an element of its surroundings, it should perfectly serve both users and other observers.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Sabrina: It's just incredibly fun to read an announcement, to deal with the desired use of the building, and to find the right architectural answer that has to be in harmony with the user and the site. At the same time, architectural competitions give us the opportunity to develop creatively and to represent our architectural opinion and design. It keeps you fresh, creative, and constantly benefits an architect's own skills.

Jedrzej: The process of creating a building from one line, a sketch, the transfer of ideas to paper and then construction is extremely satisfying. In the initial phase of a project or competition, the only limitation is your imagination. It feels really good when the project you have worked on gains appreciation.

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

Architecture is a process and continuously in movement. It's beneficial for an architect to gain more and more experience by entering a new competition.

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