Architecture Competition Paris Affordable Housing Challenge 2nd prize winner - Southern California Institute of Architecture

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 2nd prize winner of our “Paris Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Lourenço Vaz Pinto from Portugal.

PAHC 2nd prize winner

2nd prize winner Lourenço Vaz Pinto from Portugal

Please tell us about your company (when it was founded, where it is based, how many employees, etc) Alternatively, if you do not have a company, please give us some insights on your own professional/academia background.

I did my Bachelor's in architecture and urbanism at the University of Lisbon and now I’m pursuing a Master’s of Architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI_Arc) in Los Angeles. During my studies, I worked in Lisbon at Fragmentos de Arquitectura, and Grimshaw Architects in the New York Office. The combination of my traditional Bachelor’s and the technologically radical Master’s, plus the small-scale and large-scale work experience has led me to my specific way of approaching architecture.

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?

I enjoy both small and large scale projects, I have worked on small boutique-style projects and larger ones. An example would be a project I participated on whilst at Grimshaw, which was the Newark Airport in New York, where a large urban scale plan for cyclists was being developed. Some of the scripting tools insights used in that project have been applied to my entry for the Paris Affordable Housing Challenge.

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

Architecture, for me, is a discipline that is constantly evolving alongside society. As such, I see the role of the architect as a constantly changing one as well. In today's society, architecture has evolved due to the democratization of knowledge. The discipline has become a community-involved practice where the intensely densified areas require deep complex problem solving together with sensitive and responsible design. There is not just one client but we should take the public as our overall client that we need to respect and understand as well.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

I believe participating in architecture vision competitions should be an integral part of architecture, it's an exercise in the most important topics that we face or will face as a society and thus should be the ones that get the most attention and work.

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

Vision competitions exist as a thought and design speculative experiment which can lead to real strategies that can, later on, be applied professionally. As such, I believe the positives of engaging in these experimental deep thought processes can be extremely valuable.

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