We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the 1st prize winners of our Baltic Way Memorial competition - Aidan Doyle and Sarah Wan from United States!

Aidan Doyle and Sarah Wan from United States

We worked together at Safdie Architects in Boston and decided to move west to Seattle. We had the opportunity to work on several ambitious large scale projects; some competitions and some that were realized. Through working on projects together, we discovered we shared many similar ideas about what architecture was for us and what it could be.

We are fascinated at the range of scales available to the architect. Whether a project is big or small, we conceive of it through a similar process of starting with what interests us and then digging down into the details; always trying to find some element of surprise. For each project, we spend a lot of time trying to distill down to a simple concept; a kind of first principle that will guide all the subsequent design decisions. Through every step of the process we ask: does this support the original idea?

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

Architecture is hugely important to us. It's the place that allows us to have the biggest dreams and to create the biggest challenges. Every project allows us to create problems to solve. We hope each time to learn some lessons and to discover new ideas. On good days it feels like the architect's role in determining the future of cities and directly affecting the lives of individuals is very significant. On more ordinary days, it feels like the role of the architect is hard to define and maybe even a little marginal in the broader cultural context. But whatever the role of the architect is or can be, architecture will always offer culture tremendous possibility.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We participate in architecture vision competitions because of the above! It offers the unique chance to use architecture to uncover the potential of a site and program. Competitions allow us to escape from the ordinary settings and imagine something extraordinary.

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

We would firmly suggest you join next time. It may be tough on your schedule and gobble up a few weekends, but when it's complete you just may leave behind something you’re proud of.

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