Architecture competition "Construction Container Facelift" Honorable mention - Carolina Giraldo, Ali Mahjouri and Anastasia Limogiannis

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of the Honorable mention of our “Construction Container Facelift” competition - Carolina Giraldo, Ali Mahjouri and Anastasia Limogiannis from United States!

Carolina Giraldo, Ali Mahjouri and Anastasia Limogiannis from United States

Goshow Architects, established in 1978, is one of New York City’s largest woman-owned architectural firms. Our staff of 26 professionals strive to create architecture that inspires and supports collaboration, sustainability and applied innovation.

Goshow Architects is a firm that is dedicated to building design for the common good. Our work includes projects in the public and private sector: student housing and higher education facilities, K-12 NYC public schools, affordable and supportive housing, historic preservation and various New York State infrastructure & NYC metropolis projects.

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

We view architecture as having a hybrid relativity that transcends technical excellence or creative rigor as exclusively independent of one another. Architecture is not exclusively a science nor an art, but an exquisite fusion of the two. Secondly, we think our mandate as architects, and not exclusively building engineers or exclusively construction technologists, is to shape and form space that will act to enhance, inspire, and motivate change in our culture, both socially and politically. A good building keeps people dry, independent of race, religion, and creed. An excellent building motivates revolution. Architecture needs to be responsive to the present day while maintaining a durability and longevity far beyond the life cycle of the architects and designers. We strongly believe in architecture as a cultural producer utilizing innovation as its lifeblood and socio-economic justice as its raison d’etre. Within the urban context, individual buildings taken as participants in the overall urban fabric must tolerate/adapt to multiple external influences and gyrations.

The architect’s role is to observe the consumption of space in the city and to identify the impact space has on the culture of the city. Architects seek to identify the problems that are typically only visible in the background of the mind’s eye. As producers of experiential space, architects must have a sophisticated and profound understanding of how space forms our perceptions and daily experience in the city. The architect’s role and implicit duty is to notice the nuances of physical space and to apply that knowledge to organize new space. Architects design for a living. In order for architects to understand design, they must understand living.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We have decided to participate in this competition for many reasons. As residents and workers of NYC, we experience a heavy exposure of construction activity. For this competition, the catalyst was inspired/motivated by one of the team member’s daily walk to work – and the frustration felt by walking through a sidewalk shed that consumed the sidewalk completely without giving a view to the construction, or purpose to the community. Our proposal was born out of an inquiry on how a temporary structure that is often considered as a necessary evil, be turned on its head to be considered an asset rather than an inconvenience. Since the bulk of our work is public sector work in NYC, bound by multiple bureaucratic limitations required to fulfill the client’s needs, this project brief appealed to us. Our staff is passionate about ideas in architecture and equally committed to servicing the public good. Competitions based in social objectives on the one hand and design innovation on the other, provide us with a relatively low-risk opportunity to try out new ideas without being limited by project scopes and budgets.

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

We think anyone interested in pushing architecture whether on a local physical level or an ephemeral global level, should enter competitions. It helps to keep our “chops” in practice. It’s important to maintain the inherent exploratory curiosity that we were exposed to in our early stages so that we can maintain a fresh approach to making architecture. Architecture is an important part of culture and needs to respond to contemporary conditions while respecting (and improving upon) lessons of the past.

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