International Architecture Competition

Tokyo
Pop Lab

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

Tokyo 
Pop Lab

The Tokyo Pop Lab speculates development of an institution for popular culture. The brief calls for the design of a new typological program for the study and production of pop cultural media. Located in Tokyo, the project draws from an abundant and influential history of international pop cultural phenomena. As popular culture migrates and changes, from person to person and place to place, the project provokes considerable thought. Specifically, the competition invites entrants to critically evaluate fundamental correlations between cultural production and architecture.

An unprecedented typology, submissions to the brief varied considerably, from the most pragmatic to to the most ideological. Successful proposals demonstrate several characteristics. This includes, a well considered and articulated definition of popular culture, clarity in representation of both architecture and culture, and a clear programmatic agenda. Selected submissions were differentiated particularly by an asserted effort to challenge established typological and popular cultural paradigms.

Competition results in media publications

1st Prize Winner

Project name

Tokyo Pop Lab

Authors

Attilio De Palma
Andrea Longo
Enrico Nicli

Italy

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

In all fields of life, the exchange of points of view and the ability to deal with others makes it possible to learn through sharing. When designing we always try to achieve a shared result through dialogue and discussion, bringing into the project the different skills that each player can bring to the discussion. Likewise, participating in design competitions allows us to compare our project and our solutions with many others, from which you can always learn. Understanding how one problem can be solved in multiple ways, rather than how a thought can be transformed in various forms, this is the main value which is the basis of design contests. In architectural competitions we participate to share and learn.

Jury commentary

The success of the first place proposal lies in its clarity of massing combined with a strong formal and conceptual position in response to brief. The project consists of two large cubes placed in opposing corners of the site, lifted above the ground plane, and rejoined with an elevated walkway. One cube contains the mass media research component of the program and the other holds an undefined space of “manifesto” and experimentation, represented by an inflated red balloon waiting to pop. This cube is adorned with two-dimensional imagery in the form of full-height fabric tapestries, obscuring the container behind an ephemeral veil of fluctuating media. At grade, a concrete wall separates the sidewalk from a public courtyard/gallery and other public program. From the street this wall only allows views of the binary cubes, generating the sense of a separate and inner world.

Importantly, the project does not restrict pop culture to a particular form or a particular moment in time, but rather seeks to create a generic space and empty architecture, perpetually inflating with the exploration and representation of mass media and pop culture. The stripped-down but well-articulated construction of steel and concrete allows the project to successfully navigate the minefield of contemporary and traditional pop iconicity, deftly avoiding expected representational tools. Through its massing and tectonic assembly, the proposal takes a stance on the role, power, and ephemeral nature of the consumed image, keying in on the “manifesto” as the cultural appropriation and critique of the never-ending cycle of production and consumption.

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

Tokyo Pop Lab

Authors

Stella Cinzia
Leonardo Ramondetti
Marco Lagamba
Francesco Montesoro

Italy

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

For us the research is very important as a starting point to develop our architecture, and all these experiences improve our knowledge and encourage us to think in different ways, it can also be taken as a field application of our skills, learning through practice. Moreover it is always interesting to see the results and to compare different works and points of view.

Jury commentary

The second place entry is distinguished through its definition and organization of public program and social activity. Diagrammatically, the project can be described as a civic pavilion, interrupted variously by hoisted volumes of discrete, localized activity. Below and in-between these floating volumes, urban life extends seamlessly into the building, perhaps resembling most closely the precedent of a colonnade or piazza. Through an open, and carefully considered plan, the scheme establishes an urban, public forum for popular culture. The project uniquely inverts the traditional model of a contained exhibition space by distributing media throughout the primary public space — the circulation surrounding the differentiated volumes. Within each of the distributed volumes, academic functions including classrooms and a lecture hall, are contained. Rather than assume a singular or limited expression, the proposal establishes a forum to exhibit, celebrate, discuss, and debate, the ebb and flow of popular culture in its various forms of expression through thoughtful programming of public space.



3rd Prize Winner

Project name

Tokyo Pop Lab

Authors

Alina Kvirkveliya
Sacha Gengler

Switzerland

Jury commentary

The chosen third place winner is notable for its clarity in thought and purpose. The project is organized around three conceptual and programmatic elements, including a distorted cube, an adjacent parterre replica from the Palace of Versailles, and a nested, infinite white void. Discrete yet cogent, the project oscillates between these elements, describing through architecture a critical, reflexive position of popular culture as a social phenomenon. The project’s enclosure and signifying form is singular and definitive. A moderately inflated cube adorned by a glazed membrane produces a distorted reflection and interpretation of the building’s surroundings — of both the city, and local popular culture as it were. Occupying the other half of the site, the replicated Jardin de Versailles is overshadowed. Through juxtaposition, the inflated cube and Baroque replica provoke a striking statement concerning the contrast between popular and elitist culture — the former a phenomenological reflection of the immediate present, the latter a reference to historic propriety. The interior is anchored by an exhibition room, materialized as an infinite white void and described as a canvas for individual, cultural expression. Collectively, these three elements describe and thereby accommodate the dynamism of popular culture, a byproduct of social reflection, historic legacy, and individual expression.

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

Tokyo Pop Lab

University

Savannah college of art and design
+52 points!

Country

United States

Project authors

Zelig Fok
Kelsey Hickerson
Alejandro Peña

Project Name

Tokyo Pop Lab

Country

Italy

Project authors

Marta Dell'Ovo
Carlo Alberto Di Carlo
Aurora Destro
Maria Francesca Di Alessandro

Project Name

Tokyo Pop Lab

University

Chungang univ.
+52 points!

Country

South Korea

Project authors

Chihwan Seok
Seungyul Vin
Seungki Yoo

Project Name

Tokyo Pop Lab

Country

Portugal

Project authors

Rui Alves Rocha

Project Name

TOKYO POP LAB

University

School of architecture of university of florence
+52 points!

Country

Italy

Project authors

Vincenzo Moschetti
Andrea Benelli
Davide Lucia
Giacomo Razzolini

Project Name

Tokyo Pop Lab

Company

Abm architekti s.r.o.

Country

Czech Republic

Project authors

Peter Bus
Tomas Vlasak
Vaclav Petrus
Petr Bouril

Open architecture competitions

  • Closest Deadline first
  • Project competitions first
    Selected winning projects have the potential to be constructed
  • Ideas competitions first
    Experimental competitions with the focus on pushing the boundaries of creativity
ideas COMPETITION
The Home of Shadows

Design a home with no artificial lighting

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 05
Jan 24
Apr 18
project COMPETITION
Portugal Elderly Home

Design a comfortable and accessible home for the elderly in Portugal

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 06
Jan 25
Apr 19
project COMPETITION
Portugal Olive Guest House

Design a guest house and olive oil tasting room located in Portugal

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 08
Jan 27
Apr 21

Reccuring architecture competitions

ideas COMPETITION
Silent contest
For this competition, NO DESCRIPTION TEXT is allowed. The architecture ideas must be communicated strictly with visuals.
Museum of Emotions
Edition #2

Use architecture to create different emotional states

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Aug 02
Oct 05
Dec 01
ideas COMPETITION
Children's Hospice
Home for the Terminally ill / Edition #2

Design a safe and supportive space for children struggling with a terminal illness

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 06
Feb 08
Apr 06
Run repeatedly
Milan Affordable Housing Challenge
Affordable Housing Series #15

Design a concept for affordable housing in Milan

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 07
Jan 26
Apr 20
Register now
Run repeatedly
Office
Office Design Challenge / Edition #2

Reimagine the workplace of the future, and design the new way of working

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Jan 03
Mar 01
May 04
Register now
Run repeatedly
Timber Skyscraper
SKYHIVE Skyscraper challenge! Edition #6

Design an iconic new skyscraper constructed from timber

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Nov 01
Jan 04
Mar 09
Register now
Run repeatedly
Rammed Earth Pavilion
Material studies. Edition #2

Design a pavilion to exhibit rammed earth as a building material

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Sep 06
Nov 02
Jan 05
Register now

Creativity gym Short term competitions for you to exercise your creativity

essay COMPETITION
Why do you enter architecture competitions?

Share your views on architecture competitions

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Oct 04
Dec 07
Feb 02
Register now
T-SHIRT DRAWING COMPETITION
The Architect's T-shirt Edition #17

Design THE architect's t-shirt!

Prize: 3,000 €
Eligibility: open to all

registration deadlines

Remind me
Nov 30
Dec 31
Jan 31
Register now

Please enter your email address to receive download link

Thank you!

The download link will be sent to your email shortly

please check the spam folder
in case you can not find it
OK

Competition results

MICROHOME

MICROHOME

Small living, huge impact! Edition #4
Hong Kong 
Pixel Homes

Hong Kong Pixel Homes

Affordable Housing Series #2
To access competion downloads please enter your email address:
OK
To access competion downloads please enter your email address:
OK
This website uses cookies for enhancing the user experience and tracking usage statistics.
More information is available in our Privacy Policy.