Architecture Competition Paris Affordable Housing Challenge 3rd prize winners - Politecnico Di Torino

We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the 3rd prize winners of our “Paris Affordable Housing Challenge” competition - Chiara Quintanal Rivacoba and Bianca Ludovica Palmieri from Italy!

We are both students enrolled in the Polytechnic of Turin, an institution founded more than 100 years ago based in Turin, in northern Italy. Our school was born with the aim of training state engineers and it is getting bigger and bigger by always including new disciplines. Today, the Polytechnic has 11 departments ranging from Architecture and Design to Mathematics, Electronics, Telecommunications and many others. It has 35,000 enrolled students and more than 500 international mobility and double degree agreements.

Thanks to one of these agreements we were allowed to be hosted by the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Paris-Belleville for a year, which was our first and true contact with Paris. We were immediately impressed by the philosophical and artistic approach to architecture, different from that of the Polytechnic, and decidedly more technical. Both approaches have been fundamental to our training as architects.

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?

During our academic career we had the opportunity to work on different project scales, starting from a masterplan for an ex-industrial area, to the interior design of a museum on the history of the Neolithic. We have entered several national and international competitions and were first prize winners for an innovative school project organized by the Italian Ministry of Culture. Last year, while we were in Paris for the exchange programme, we carried out research on the so-called “Architecture of Resilience” of Marseilles, which ended with the construction of a wetroom in one of the numerous bidonville hosted by the city. The wetroom was built in five days by the architecture students and some associations such as Architectes sans Frontières and Yes We Camp.

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

Architecture is one of the ways that man has to give shape to society, to create a place where life takes place, where people interact, where they fulfill themselves.The architecture must be able to adapt to the changing society and must always make the individual feel safe. It must be able to mutate and evolve, but at the same time be resilient. In our opinion, the role of the architect is to be able to grasp the needs of society, which are often not only those expressed by the commissioners. A good architect must be able to predict the future and the evolution of his project, foreseeing any problems and possible solutions.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We believe that competitions are an opportunity to deal with architectural issues with which not all architects have the opportunity to face in their professional lives. It is an occasion to express our opinion and propose the best of our ideas, without limits to our creativity.

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

Architecture competitions are an opportunity to discuss the same theme of future visions with people from around the world. It is a moment to face different academic backgrounds and professional experiences.

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