We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd prize winners of our “Toronto Affordable Housing Challenge” competition – Ana Luisa Rolim, Isabella Trindade, Beatriz Bueno and Larissa Falavigna from Brazil!

Ana Luisa Rolim, Isabella Trindade, Beatriz Bueno and Larissa Falavigna from Brazil

Ana Luisa Rolim is an architect and educator whose experience encompasses working in Brazil and the U.S. She is a professor at the Architecture and Urbanism school at Unicap ICAM-TECH, Brazil. Ana Rolim runs coletivo-rt architecture + interiors, a collective practice based in Recife (Brazil) and Brooklyn (U.S.) that seeks to reinforce women’s role in design, focusing on residential, workspaces, and commercial projects. As an extension of their practice, coletivo-rt has also participated in several architecture competitions.

Isabella Trindade is an architect, interior designer, and educator who has lived and worked in Recife (Brazil), Paris and Bordeaux (France), Barcelona (Spain), and Toronto (Canada). Throughout her career, Trindade has combined her academic and professional practice. She has extensive experience in architecture and interior design, and has executed a number of projects, including participation and awards in national and international competitions. Currently, Trindade is an instructor at the Ryerson School of Interior Design in Toronto, Canada.

Beatriz Bueno recently graduated from Universidade Católica de Pernambuco (Unicap) with a bachelor's degree in Architecture and Urbanism.

Larissa Falavigna graduated from Universidade Católica de Pernambuco (Unicap) with a bachelor's degree in Architecture and Urbanism, and has steadily participated in design competitions as part of coletivo-rt’s team.

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?

At coletivo-rt we have been involved mostly with interior design projects and building renovations of medium to small scale, including residential, workspaces, and commercial projects, as well as architecture competitions. A recent highlight of our work is the Unicap-Icam Pavilion, a building renovation project to house the creative spaces of the International School Unicap-Icam in Recife, Brazil. The Pavilion marks the first venture in Latin America of the renowned Institut Catholique d’Arts et Métiers (Icam). This project won 2nd place in the 2019 Cultural Heritage Challenges Award by the Architecture and Urbanism Council of Brazil.

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

Both professionally and academically we are interested in exploring the potential of architecture as a means to generate positive experiences for people who use it. Aligned with this approach, we are attracted to spaces and forms that state their presence through simplicity and a strong materiality.

We believe the main role of an architect is being able to convert people’s needs and aspirations into space and form with a humanistic approach, which ultimately means that people should feel at ease while experiencing or inhabiting such spaces.

Nowadays, as COVID-19 spreads to the world, we are more conscientious of our role and how architecture impacts our lives, and that the way people use a building goes far beyond its structure. We believe this is a revolutionary moment to reflect about the way we live and how to improve experiences in our buildings, communities, and towns.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Besides having a deep respect for the tradition of competitions in the field of architecture, we believe this kind of experience provides a perfect venue for showcasing ideas that can be heard by a large audience, having the potential to impact the architectural culture as a whole. We also firmly believe that each competition we have participated in represents a step towards a learning curve, affecting our practice and teaching deeply.

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

Do not hesitate, go ahead, work on your entry, and submit it. You will only win by doing this, no matter what the official results might tell you later. The majority of the architects you admire have probably gone through this experience at some point, so join them and leave you mark somewhere.

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