Architectural Competitions

We put our philosophy and approach into our projects, even at the expense of the brief

There are dozens of public and private architectural competitions in the Czech Republic every year. However, not every one of them is one we want or can win. What leads us to participate in a given competition? How do we deal with situations where inspiration leaves us? And how do we reflect the philosophy of the studio in the design of the project?

The initial impulse

We choose our competitions carefully. The key is that we are interested in the brief and that we have not only the right people, but above all enough time. Most importantly, however, is to have the courage to present a strong idea. This is exemplified by our success in winning an international architectural competition in Latvia to design the entrance to the GREAT KEMERI BOG Nature Reserve. We are big fans of natural materials, functional and beautiful design. Here we had a brilliant opportunity to apply everything we believe in.

How do we decide?

When considering participation in the competition, we assess not only the time availability and attractive aspects of the brief, but also its compatibility with our approach and philosophy. We need to have a sense of how to approach the project after reading it and be confident that we can do it. Once we have decided on the competition, the next steps are managerial, such as setting the budget, timeframe and selecting the right people.

For now, let us focus on communications, both personal and online. Let us address the concerns of impersonal meetings, phone calls to strangers, and mass video conferencing. These are powerful tools which, when used correctly, save a lot of time.

Our approach

Our decisions are increasingly guided by our experience. Even though this may mean something could change in the original brief. Projects are based on a solid idea that reflects our philosophy. Commissioners may not be sure of the vision, so often they are still looking for it through architects. We believe that if we get the project right, it has a better chance of winning. That’s why we try to come up with strong conceptual designs, because only those have a chance to succeed.

Overcoming challenges

We aspire to be architects of the third millennium, thus embracing a holistic approach that emphasizes sustainability and social responsibility. An exemplary instance of this approach is our design for the EXPO Osaka competition, showcasing considerations of sustainability in architectural design for a temporary exhibition. Despite the project’s modest budget, we aimed to avoid creating an elaborate structure that would be moved halfway around the world. Instead, we meticulously planned the use of local materials, involved local communities, and sought to present the Czech Republic through the lens of its inhabitants’ daily experiences. Though we didn’t secure victory in the competition, we introduced a novel approach to sustainable architecture to the world.

How to address the jury?

While we may have the best design, we can’t do without a strong visual. We rely on simplicity of expression. The more cluttered the design, the less effective it becomes. Diagrams and any graphic flourishes that allow for a constant understanding of the theme are also important.

Advice in conclusion

Whether we’re working on commercial projects or competitive assignments, our goal is not to just lead the project or be just creatives without overlap. It is always a combination of both. And that’s why we stand by the idea that if we don’t have the power to motivate, we should never demotivate.

Join in! If you’re interested in our approach and would like to get involved, feel free to drop us a line. We would love to hear from you!