We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Timber Pavilion" competition – Michele Blaser and Lucia Thea Zanti from Switzerland!

Honorable mention winners from Switzerland

We are two third year students at the Accademy of architecture of Mendrisio. During the first years we,ve participated to four design studios: the first year the studios of the architect Nicola Baserga and the designer Riccardo Blumer; while during the second year the ones of the architects Valentin Bearth and Walter Angonese. During the third year we did a nine month internship in Lisbon in two different offices: Miguel Arruda and Pedro Reis.

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?

Michele: During the first semester of university I’ve worked on a masterplan for the center of a city in Switzerland; in the second semester I had to choose one of the buildings of the masterplan to develop a final project. From the big scale of the first year, during the third semester, we had to plan a shelter built just with timber. In the last semester the project was a housing unit built in a swiss lake and had to be build just with bricks; my project was a 20 floor high building 150 meters from the coast line. During these years I had the opportunity to design small scale and large scale buildings and to explore different materials deeply.

Lucia: I worked on projects that involved both product’s design and architecture for residential, functional and social use at different scales. In my projects, the main focus is on sustainability and the relationship with urban spaces and landscape.

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

Michele: Architecture is what makes a building become a home. The architect is the child that wanted to change the world, who never grew up Lucia: Architecture means understanding, design, integration, culture, and aesthetics. Architect is the chemist/ alchemist who manages the relations between the above elements.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

Michele: Participating this competition was a challenge against myself and a way to see the effect of what I’ve learned in the first two years of university.

Lucia: I’ve been motivated by the chance to compare the quality of my ideas in an international environment

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

Michele: PARTICIPATE! In the worst case you won’t win any prize; but the personal development is huge. Participating if you are a student is an awesome way to challenge yourself. For me it was my first project without being followed by any professional.

Lucia: "who crawls does not stumble"

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