Design observation tower overlooking the mysteriously beautiful Grjótagjá caves in northern Iceland
We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winners of one of our Honorable mentions for the “Irish Cult Music Venue” competition - Marty Sandberg and Cristina Gallo McCausland from United States!
Marty Sandberg and Cristina Gallo from United States
For a firm with modest size, Via Chicago’s project experience is unusually broad. Our current work ranges from a 153 square foot (14 sq m) triangular micro apartment in Chicago, up to a 26-key fishing hotel off the Pacific coast of Panamá. A recently-completed South Side brewery is contrasted by the ongoing restoration of a 200-year-old mixed-use building at the heart of Casco Viejo.
To us, architecture is real. It is a place-making tool that can have a tangible impact on communities. A beautiful-yet-unbuildable rendering is nothing more than art – architecture has the ability and responsibility to translate identity and culture into a true physical experience.
We seek out interesting architectural competitions as a way to hone our craft for the everyday world. They present an amusing and low-stakes opportunity to test out new ideas, or to explore new project typologies that we haven’t had a chance to jump into professionally. Perhaps most importantly they offer a fun excuse to practice how we illustrate and explain our ideas – both graphically and verbally – which is critically important for the success of a small firm.
Knowing that most architecture competitions will likely be a “side project,” be realistic about what you are willing to commit to the endeavor. Many competitions feel too fuzzy, or require an immense amount of time to complete. We look for competitions with a unique and concrete scope, reasonable submission requirements, and a measurable impact on the communities they touch.