Architecture competition Amber Road Trekking Cabin Honorable mention - Jean-François Madec

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the Honorable mention of our “Amber Road Trekking Cabin” competition - Jean-François Madec from France!

Jean-François Madec from France

I studied in Rennes, Birmingham and Paris La Villette, where I graduated. I continued my apprenticeship in Paris, joining the studio of Chochon & Pierre, and then with Zündel & Cristea. I then joined Françoise Mauffret and Jean Guervilly, for whom I have been project-managing the Couvent des Jacobins project in Rennes since 2009. These demanding mentorships gave me a taste for restraint, and for the necessary balance between a commitment to form, and to practical know-how. From the planning phases to the achievement of the building's final form, the architectural profession has slowly been revealed to me, in all of its many tasks.

At the same time, I have taken part, on my own or with fellow architects, in various national or international design competitions, as well as undertaking the design and execution of a few small buildings (houses, mountain cabins, installations).

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

In contrast with the formal temptations of the kind of architecture that exhausts itself trying to remain fashionable, this work takes a long time to show its worth. These projects are simply executed, and made of raw materials (concrete, stone and timber); their simplicity preempts any conjecture on the search for formal flourishes, or the aesthetic value of an applied skin.

Our landscapes are the outcomes of tensions and necessities that, in many cases, no longer apply. From the fragmentation of our pastures, cut through with embankments, to the immense uniformity of a patchwork field, from the dull sameness of commercial zones, to the sickening, egotistical sprawl of housing tracts - all buildings are the result of human will, and often we outlive this.

While their locations, programme and scales differ, every project that is drawn and carried out proceeds with the same economy of means; the same willingness to produce a culturally representative architecture, the same respect for the uniqueness of place, the same attention to the built vernacular and the symbolic connotations it bears.

This practice is artisanal in its necessary interrogation of the basis of each project, and in so doing it returns architecture to its humblest and yet noblest role: the simple art of building. 

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Design competitions are great opportunities for young architects to offer answers to building programmes they would not otherwise have access to. This is a unique opportunity to question programmatic and contextual issues that are often complex. The variety of proposals put forward by the various candidates also allows them to see their own approach to the project in perspective, and learn from it.

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

Simply choose a theme that inspires you, and take pleasure in developing a solution that is relevant and that will make this world a little better. 

Open architecture competitions

  • Closest Deadline first
  • Project competitions first
    Selected winning projects have the potential to be constructed
  • Ideas competitions first
    Experimental competitions with the focus on pushing the boundaries of creativity
ideas COMPETITION
MICROHOME 2020 - Small living, huge impact!

Design a new concept of small-scale architecture with the second annual Microhomes competition

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Jun 07
Sep 09
Dec 08
Register now
project COMPETITION
Iceland Cave Tower

Design observation tower overlooking the mysteriously beautiful Grjótagjá caves in northern Iceland

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Jun 30
Sep 22
Dec 15
Register now
project COMPETITION
Yoga House on a Cliff

Design eco-friendly yoga house in a secluded Portuguese retreat

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

extended registration deadline

Remind me
Jun 25
Sep 17
Dec 16
Register now
project COMPETITION
Omuli Museum of the Horse

Reimagine a historical primary school into a museum for horses

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 14
Jan 26
Apr 23
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial

Design a memorial that speaks towards the cause of ending all nuclear weapons

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 15
Jan 27
Apr 21
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
Toronto Affordable Housing Challenge

Design affordable housing solutions for Toronto

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 16
Jan 28
Apr 22
Register now
ideas COMPETITION
SKYHIVE 2021 Skyscraper Challenge

Fourth annual competition to redefine the modern-day skyscraper

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 17
Jan 29
Apr 23
Register now
project COMPETITION
Sleeping Pods on a Cliff

Design a series of sleeping pods for a Portugal yoga retreat

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

Remind me
Dec 18
Feb 01
Apr 27
Register now

ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS

Newsletter