Architecture Competition Iceland Black Lava Fields Visitor Center 1st prize winner - Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 1st prize winner of our “Iceland Black Lava Fields Visitor Center” competition - Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt from Denmark.

Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt from Denmark

Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt from Denmark

I worked in an engineering office for a few years, working as an constructing architect before I got a Bachelor’s in architecture. I joined GottliebPaludan Architects in Copenhagen 4 years ago and I’m mostly occupied with doing visualisations on all kinds of projects, big and small.

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 company/ individuals have been involved?

Where I’m currently employed we do all kinds of projects ranging from interior furnishing to large scale public transport hubs. We rarely do residential projects though. I have been involved in a lot of bridge projects which I enjoy a lot since these objects tend to be very sculptural and rewarding to visualize.

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

Architecture means a lot to me. To engage in a design process and to create images of these designs is escapism in its purest form. I don’t have anything to escape from though but I enjoy the concentration and fantasy. In the real world there’s a lot to enjoy about beautiful buildings and images of beautiful buildings. I believe that good architecture can make people’s lives a little easier. If done correctly it can be empathetic to people and in rare situations even sustain positive emotions. However, I don’t think buildings as objects alone can solve social problems, but spending time and money on affordable housing or quality public transport systems shows that a society cares about each other.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

I like the opportunity to test ideas and techniques in a very specific way. It is the challenge and fantasy that is the driving force.

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

My advice would be to analyze and think really hard about if the specific competition will keep you motivated to spend your evenings and weekends working. If it’s exciting enough it feels more like a hobby that you enjoy more than hard work. It probably won’t feel like that all the time, but just enough that you just can’t stop.

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