Architecture competition "New York Affordable Housing Challenge" 1st prize winners - Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the 1st prize of our “New York Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow from USA!

1st prize winners from USA

Kwong Von Glinow Design Office was founded by Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow in December 2016 in Chicago. Prior to opening the office, Lap Chi and Alison had a total of 7 years of working experience in Herzog & de Meuron Basel, Switzerland. Lap Chi was also a design researcher for Wang Shu at Amateur Architecture studio in Hangzhou, China. Alison has also collaborated with SOM in both the Chicago and New York offices. Both Lap Chi and Alison completed their Masters of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Kwong Von Glinow Design Office’s interest is in architecture that is enlivened by the present, incorporated into its surrounding environment, and, most important of all, related to its user. Their architecture creates physical spaces that people enjoy spending time in.

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?

Currently, we have been working on several residential remodels in both Chicago and Hong Kong. We are grateful to have these small residential projects going on within the first several months of our firm. We have been enjoying designing and engaging with the clients on every little detail for these projects. Since these are residential projects, clients always want to know everything about how the design will change how they see and use the space. We understand that what we make has to be beautiful, functional, and fit the way they will use the space. Our favorite comment that we have received from a client so far has been, “I can’t wait to be in that space!”

Our professional background has focused on large scale projects such as the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Chelsea’s Stamford Stadium while at Herzog & de Meuron, and the Zhong Hong Tower in Beijing while at SOM. We have loved engaging with these cultural designs for international cities. From working on these projects we have seen first hand how architecture has the power to shape the physical presence of society. 

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

We have been fortunate to live and work in a long list of international cities, from Basel, Copenhagen, Rome, Venice, Chicago, New York City, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. As such, we see our role as architectural designers not defined by a single society, but rather a disciple that shapes global society. For us, architecture means to engage with local surroundings, and to welcome any user from any society. From the many residential, commercial, and cultural projects we have worked on at Herzog & de Meuron on SOM, we have learned that a great architectural project does not limit itself to its location, but can become an international attraction.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We participate in architecture vision competitions when we find extra time in our office work. The value we find in participating in these competitions is that is builds our vision, challenges us to think of design issues that we do not work with everyday, and brings more and more ideas into our firm’s oeuvre. It is a great way for us to be inventive and to be engaged in what is relevant in the discipline.

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 have been very selective about the competitions we enter. The first question we ask ourselves is, it this the right project for us? We look through the brief and ask, is it a relevant topic for us to address, and is there something that we can bring to the table? We want to do projects where there is a potential that we can make something that is ordinary - whether it is a run-down warehouse or a super block of blank-slate land - to something that can serve and make the place more meaningful in the future.

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Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
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ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS

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