Architecture competition Gauja National Park Footbridge Honorable mention - Zhong Cai

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the Honorable mention of our “Gauja National Park Footbridge ” competition - Zhong Cai from Canada!

GNPF honorable mention Zhong Cai

Zhong Cai from Canada

World 2 Studio was founded in 2018 and contains a selection of past projects, research, and exhibitions. It is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. I completed my undergraduate architecture degree in McGill University. After graduation in 2017, I worked at Revery Architecture for one year. I am currently a graduate architecture student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

I have worked on a variety of projects with no current preference of scale. On smaller scale projects, I focus on the idea of “craft.” It is important that architecture contains a degree of complexity and a deep connection to its context. On larger scale projects, I like to emphasize the idea of a “passageway.” The combination of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure can create whole new paradigms in our built environment. The passageway can link the three elements, creating a central circulation space that acts as a hub for human interaction. One of my past projects - the Irish History Museum - is in itself a long passageway, connecting major public spaces through an industrial dead zone. This proposed project is designed for the Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation and has since been featured in several news publications. Furthermore, I have conducted research and curated an exhibition at McGill University regarding spatial elements that form dynamic passageways. This research was primarily conducted in the historic villages of Hunan, China.

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

To me, architecture can be simply expressed as the creation of built spaces that people will enjoy. However, architecture contains the potential to introduce completely new paradigms that brings new wonders and utilities into our world. This potential is difficult to achieve, and requires architects to effectively collaborate with landscape experts, urban planners, engineers and scientists. Although difficult, this collaborative effort can help to advance our built environment into a new age.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Competitions are a great way to design an interesting project and to gain new insights from designers around the world. I love to design, and the existence of many competitions allows me the freedom to choose to work on projects that interest me.

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

It is important to experience seeing a project through from start to finish without the guidance of a professor or professional. This increases design confidence and opens one’s mind to a world of new possibilities. 

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