Architecture competitions are about so much more than the prize fund. And while participants will tell you that the money is nice, it’s the challenge and the experiences that can add so much to your career. A perfect example of this is the recent Rising Star Award winner Antonio González Viegas, whose New York Affordable Housing challenge project won him an internship at New York’s Architecture in Formation.

The competition tasked participants with designing a pilot-phase concept for affordable housing within New York City, one that could be easily rolled out to various locations to increase the capacity of housing stock, with minimal use of land and materials.

The Rising Star Award was presented to Antonio González Viegas who submitted the New York Parasite Housing project. It drew inspiration from the very pests that plague the city. Antonio's project made use of New York’s so-called “5th wall” - its rooftops - allowing housing to be installed in almost any location across the city. The parasite housing structures would be connected to their host building in order to draw on its power and utilities and, like its namesake, living off its host.

Rising Star Award winner Antonio González Viegas

“Some months ago, I could never have imagined being where I am right now – in a room in an apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn; and yet, everything has gone so well, as if it had been planned. Now, I get up every morning, take the L train and walk through the High Line, heading to the studio in Manhattan. I can't imagine being given a warmer welcome from both the studio and the city: I arrived the 4th of July, the sky covered in fireworks.

Antonio's desk in the studio. Coffee included!

I am learning how the architecture business works from one of the capital cities of the world – floor plans, sections, details, schedules, budgets… I consider myself very lucky for being able to take my firsts steps in the professional area in such a significant place. I think that this experience has been highly instructive – the first-hand observation of the organization and managing of such a great studio provides me with priceless knowledge that may well give me crucial keys in my professional future.

I have hardly been in the studio one week and I already feel as if I’m one of the crew. They are not only teaching me, but also making me enjoy this summer as one of the best of my life. For that, I am deeply grateful to them.

Today I end my first week here, and I can't wait to see what the incoming three months have to offer.”

Brooklyn's sunset

Check out the Antonio's project as well as all other winning projects here - New York Affordable Housing Competition

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