We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Timber Pavilion" competition – Casper Hijlkema and Daria Kristal from Netherlands!

Honorable mention winners from Netherlands

We are both highly motivated architecture students who met three years ago at the Hello Wood workshop, and have been together ever since. However, as we are both studying at different universities, we haven’t been able to subscribe as a student 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?

As we are both students we still engage in a wide variety of projects, not bound to any scale or typology. We do, however, consequently pay close attention to material and detail throughout our projects. Wooden construction in that regard is something we both greatly enjoy.

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

We believe that one of the main challenges of today’s architects is to seek aesthetics in sustainable solutions. The sustainability debate, in our eyes, is too often limited to merely the energy efficiency of a building. Aspects such as the often excessive use of material and the lifecycle assessment thereof make for a small part of the discourse, as are the aesthetics, of which we like to think as a form of sustainability in and of itself. If users enjoy the specific qualities a building has to offer, the architecture is likely to be cherished and sustained through different types of use.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Participating in architecture competitions allows us to develop ourselves outside of the academic environment. Next to the often unique design briefs, they’re also a great exercise in presenting and selling an idea or concept. While in university tutors are involved throughout the design process, here you only have a limited amount of material to convince the jury. This requires you to focus on a single strong concept and illustrate this to the best of your abilities.

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

Competitions are a great way to develop skills in an environment where the stakes aren’t as high as they are at university or work. Although we all play to win, it is an investment in your personal skill set and portfolio regardless of the end result. Lastly, and above all, it is great fun to create something together with your peers.

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