We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Buildner Student and Sustainability Award winner of our "Tili Wine Italy Guest Homes" competition – Maria Turco from Italy!

Maria Turco from Italy

I am attending the first year of my master's program at the Academy of Mendrisio, USI, in Switzerland. During my course of study I worked in Berlin for Heim Balp and in Barcelona for Arquitectura-G. Later I also studied for six months at ETSAM in Madrid before returning to study in Mendrisio. For the development of the project, the collaboration of Martino De Grandis, a photography student and creative artist, was crucial.

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?

This was my first competition and my first project carried out independently from the university context, developed only with the support of Martino de Grandis. In general, in the projects carried out so far in university, I am most interested in small to medium scale projects, and especially in the field of restoration and reuse, developing a project that has a connection to place and tradition.

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

For me, architecture is beauty in the sense of a public or private space in which one is comfortable, with attention to detail and materials but also with a strong connection to the larger context and place one is in. It is fundamental to society because in my opinion architecture should always be connected to tradition and to the history of a place and thus goes to define the way a society relates to and experiences spaces.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

I wanted to challenge and express myself in a project carried out autonomously without university supervision.

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

I think it's a very useful way to learn, to challenge yourself, to be stimulated in making your own project, with the freedom to follow your creativity.

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