We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winners of our "Yoga House in the Bog" competition – Zakhar Zibrov and Diana Zibrova from Ukraine!

1st prize winners from Ukraine

ZRIVERSTUDIO was founded in 2014 in Kharkiv, Ukraine by a married couple Zakhar Zibrov and Diana Zibrova. Common projects in the last courses of the architectural university laid the foundation for collaborative work. A common vision and views on the design, life priorities and goals formed the basis for the creation of the studio.

Our studio was based in Kharkiv and Kyiv, but after February 24, 2022, when Russia declared war on Ukraine and attacked our land, we had to evacuate to Transcarpathia, Ukraine. Now we are closer to nature and working on projects online. At the same time, Zakhar explores the issues of new urbanism in Ukraine in his postgraduate work.

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?

Our studio is focused on residential interiors and private architecture. We are working on projects in Ukraine, Europe and the USA. In projects, we are very interested in the intersection of design, architecture, philosophy and psychology. The priority is to build a mindful sensory and ecological approach on a small scale in order to transform it over time into the creation of new ecosystems in low-rise residential housing. Parallel academic activity in the field of urban studies and an active position in relation to the conservation and cleaning of the natural landscapes of Ukraine.

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

We live in an era of turbulence and a transformational transition to a new level of thinking, awareness and interaction with the outside world. Such trials that have fallen on humanity as pandemics, wars, natural disasters, energy collapse are prerequisites for a global restructuring of human consciousness. This directly concerns all spheres of human activity, including architecture. Now the global architectural community is facing a very serious challenge how to transform spaces and relationships in society in order to build cities and housing for a person of the future who realizes  the  valuable impact of nature and its significance in human life.

In connection with the active hostilities in Ukraine, architects, designers and urbanists will be entrusted with a serious responsibility and a huge amount of work to restore cities and housing for people. Now active research work is being carried out, open dialogues aimed at shaping the prospects and strategies for the development of Ukrainian cities. All this is an important part of the global transformation of humanity.

Why do you participate in architecture competitions?

This is the first time we have taken part in such an architectural competition. We are interested in the topic of a conscious ecological approach in tourism and construction, as well as the beauty of the nature of the Latvian coast. This topic combines our love for nature and interest in spiritual practices. Additionally, in this difficult time, we feel that we have the strength and energy to open new opportunities for our studio professionally. Participation in such competitions provides an opportunity to join the global architectural community, feel a creative drive, test our skills, and showcase our ideas.

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

To our mind,  the architectural competition should be an honest challenge to test yourself, your skills, the relevance and freshness of your ideas. Participation in competitions opens up new layers of perception of a particular problem. This is a very interesting and useful experience that stimulates, disciplines and gives you the opportunity to be in a whirlpool of ideas and images, to think out of the box.

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