We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the Student prize winners of our "Vancouver Affordable Housing Challenge" competition – Mariia Pykhacheva, Olesia Ivleva, Alika Appaeva and Ekaterina Klyusova from Czech Republic!

Student prize winners from Czech Republic

We are a team of 4th year students of the Moscow Architectural University (MARHI), specializing on Residential architecture.

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?

Each of us also has work experience at architectural bureaus, but we all generally focus on smaller scale projects, i.e. individual housing, developing concepts for interior and exterior design, etc. When it comes to university studies, there was an introductory course for the first 2 years, when we worked on projects of small architectural forms, then galleries, museums, libraries and even car parks, and finally moved to residential projects at the 5th semester.

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

For us architecture is primarily a tool to make the world a better place. We believe that architects are the ones who shape not only the cities and landscapes, but peoples’ lifestyles as well. Architects envision the future and do their best to develop a better one.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

During our 3rd year at the university we realized the urgent need to broaden our horizons and indulge into larger projects that tackle the needs of the society as a whole rather than those of individuals, and formed a team to participate in international competitions. Most notably, unlike conventional practices, this experience gives space for creativity and experimental ideas to emerge, which is crucial in such a volatile field of work as architecture.

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

Apparently, participating in competitions in an ultimately beneficial experience for students. Not only is it entertaining, but also helps to overcome limitations and fulfil your creative potential. On top of that, it allows to get a deeper insight into foreign architectural practices via the thorough research held during project-making.

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