We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our Honorable mention winners for our "Timber Pavilion" competition – Gabriel Rodríguez Apolito and Franco Allia from Uruguay!

Honorable mention winners from Uruguay

Both of us have recently finished our degrees in Architecture (2021). We studied at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo) at the Universidad de la República, Uruguay.

As our first formal working experience, we work as interns at the architecture offices of different faculties. As architect assistants, we take part in project developments, drafting, construction supervision, building maintenance and management. During the course of our degrees, we both attended several theoretical and practical wood construction elective modules. Since then, we have been in awe of the possibilities that wood can bring to architectural design, as well as of all the environmental advantages that it offers.

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?

Due to the nature of our current jobs, we have been involved in projects aimed at designing and building facilities for academic purposes, at several scales. When it comes to choosing a project that is particularly significant for us, however, we would definitely mention a small-scale lookout structure that we built during one of our wood construction modules. The latter was an extremely gratifying hands-on experience which helped us learn a lot about working in close proximity with the local community, since the construction was carried out in collaboration with local residents.

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

We believe in a context-sensitive architecture: architecture should aim at giving material solutions to daily and persistent problems in a society and any solution we could come up with should consider the resources available in a given environment. That is, design must take into consideration spatiality, technique, and creativity criteria in order to improve the life of its users

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

We consider competitions as a challenge to improve our creativity, a chance to get out of our comfort zone, a moment to experiment and learn about different structural, material, and formal subjects. What's more, we view competitions as a way to put ourselves in a more flexible design environment than the one we face in our daily jobs.

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

The best advice we could give is this one: as long as taking part in an architecture competition is a possibility for you, you should go for it. We see these instances basically as part of our technical and creative formation. A competition process trains you to draw, assess, and discard numerous ideas relatively quickly, and to identify the best work you can come up with. Additionally, in a competition you consider how to communicate your ideas in the most appealing way, which is a key skill for your development as an architect.

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