We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winner of our “Vale De Moses Meditation Cabins” competition - Adélaïde Jandrain from Belgium!

1st prize winner VMMC

Adélaïde Jandrain from Belgium

After I graduated from the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Mons (Belgium), in 2017, I joined the "R2D2 Architecture" office in Brussels. There, I received rigorous training mainly focused on energy efficiency and sustainability, which are niches of architecture rooted in its contemporaneity. Then, I gained further professional experience in the internationally renowned "OXO Architects" office in Paris. Its sensitive approach promotes spatial and temporal experimentation through the prism of arts by reconciling nature with architecture. I am currently collaborating with the "Parc Architecte" office in Paris, which is interested in the creative logic of suburban fabrics and interstitial networks by combining natural and artificial landscapes.

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?

The digital age is influencing the way we conceive and build our daily lives, relying more on immediacy. The constant evolution of our society induces a perpetual reconsideration of the production of architectural forms, which accompany and situate the individual in an increasingly complex environment. In my opinion, initiating innovative reflections both on the macroscopic scale of urban models and usage and on the microscopic scale of the domestic sphere and the object, seems to be a relevant ways of considering architecture.

The approach adopted in my project is to consider the building in its anchoring context and in its relationship with its immediate or distant environment: buildings are cells that make up the living entity of the city. Conversely, the building expresses a city in its own right, a microcosm concentrating a specific dynamism, linked to the choices of architectural programming, organization and status of each of the spaces of which it is composed. In my view, the architectural project must be conceived as an extension of the surrounding environment, whatever its scale.  It is a question of guaranteeing the plural identity of the place while seeking to arouse human emotions.

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

Initially motivated by the insatiable desire to understand the mechanisms of our world, I saw in the discipline of architecture the possibility of studying their complexity by detecting all the elements that underlie them. In other words, architecture for me is a means by which we can contemplate the beauty of our universe, grasp the fragility of our environment, and act in the reality of our daily lives. By exploring the issue that emerges from the dichotomy between human beings and their environment, and from the apparent dissolution of their sensory connection with nature, I suggest in my projects reflections on spatiality and resilience in the field of architecture.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

The projects proposed in the competitions are incredibly diverse, which allow us to open up new horizons in the practice of the profession. Indeed, on one hand, we are confronted with other realities by discovering different cultures, geographies, local practices and challenges, which open our eyes to the foreign world. On the other hand, participating in competitions fosters a positive and proactive attitude that stimulates creativity in addition to enriching our knowledge.

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

Participating in an architectural competition can only be beneficial to one’s professional and personal development. Such activities give us the opportunity to test unusual project templates, develop new design and representation tools, learn about unknown products and implementation techniques, and so on. There are only positive aspects to be gained if you take the time to immerse yourself in your subject. Moreover, seeing how other candidates have responded to the same topic shows the infinite number of answers to be found.

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