Architecture competition - Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum 1st prize winners

We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce the 1st prize winners of our Ugandan LGBT Youth Asylum competition: Enrico Chinellato and Jacopo Donato from Italy!


1st prize winners: Enrico Chinellato and Jacopo Donato from Italy

Enrico Chinellato

Born in 1993 in Venice, Italy; I’ve studied Science of Architecture at the University of Architecture IUAV of Venice  where I currently live. In the last years, I’ve worked for a locally-based, well- known architecture firm, taking part in the design process and drafting of several projects and competitions, like the Guggenheim Helsinki Museum competition. Recently I’ve been working both on some interesting international competitions and projects of refurbishment and furnishing of small scale spaces -private and commercial- in the Venetian area. This allows me to get involved in a wide range of situations and programs, bouncing between ideal and practical design issues.

Jacopo Donato

Born in 1993 in Udine, Italy; I’ve completed my first period of university education and obtained a bachelor's degree in Science of Architecture with honors at the University of Architecture IUAV of Venice. For several months I have been engaged in an internship experience within the architecture studio [A + M]2 Architects in Venice, working in all the design phases of an international competition and with some local works. For over a year I have challenged myself in various architectural competitions both independently and in a team, waiting to complete my education with a master's degree and other internship experiences. Moreover, I have worked on some independent initiatives, including the design and construction of some objects for my personal use that allowed me for the first time to see my ideas realized.


Our collaboration was born in 2012, during our studies at the University of Architecture IUAV of Venice. Our different backgrounds, respectively artistic and scientific, immediately allowed us to develop an approach to architecture that summarized in itself the fundamental characteristics of both, which is at the same time creative-inductive and logical-deductive. Simultaneously, this approach allows us, even today, to learn from each other and form ourselves mutually. During the academic years we had the opportunity to collaborate, and at the same time to measure ourselves, with major figures in the world of architecture such as Sean Godsell, Francesco Cellini, Francesco Venezia and Renato Rizzi. Armed with this experience, in these four years, starting from the university environment up to the competition one, we've started together a path of research which was grounded in the continuous analysis of the places of our everyday life, up to range to realities a lot far from our. The focus of our research grew, exercise after exercise, and consolidated with competitions. It is finally the human being and his natural right to exist and just be himself in a space that, from time to time, belongs to him.


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

Enrico Chinellato

For me, the architecture is a tool that can provide answers, and at the same time, to listen. An architecture that has a precise meaning; that has links, roots. An architecture which primary function is to coherently belong to the place for which has been conceived, and then to naturally serve the people of that place. For this reason the architect must act as an investigator of the social, cultural and territorial integrity of that particular place, as well as its historical heritage, by analyzing, interpreting, understanding and responding to equally specific questions. My approach to the project is about constantly learning from places, situations and first of all from the social and human environment, producing results which -from time to time- are able to provide a unique and coherent answer to a problem. I’m interested in working with what is already there, always trying to enhance the historical processes and the aggregative mechanisms of a space, even in a wider urban and contextual view.

Jacopo Donato

I learned that the architecture was born at a time when human beings shaped, for the first time, their space in order to solve a problem that threatened their survival. Like everything else this too has gained complexity with the passage of time, but the architect can still be considered a problem solver. Simultaneously protagonist and silent spectator, he is one who is sensitive enough to find the questions even before he finds the answers. But when you consider the universe as the composition of Space-Time and everything is related through it, then architecture can easily be defined as the "total discipline”. That's the reason an architect can simultaneously be considered a poet of form, a painter of light, an anthropologist, a detective, and even a doctor, the one who molds the space for the welfare of those who inhabit it, the architect who I would become. I want to find my place in the world, working to make myself useful, use what I can do for the good of those who need it most, returning to the essence. Space is a right, architecture is a responsibility.


Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

Taking part in an architecture competition is first of all a dynamic learning experience. It is an opportunity to test your skills by challenging both people from all over the world and mainly yourselves. It allows you to work in areas and environments far from your own and face various and always different issues and problems, getting used to a flexible and never static approach to architecture. On one hand the high degree of freedom given by a competition fuels creativity, on the other side it educates to a continuous search for restrictions. In general, architectural competitions remain for us one of the best learning tools.


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

A competition has to be first and foremost a need, the need of wanting to give an answer to a problem. So, the advice that we address to those who are about to face a competition of any kind is: “You have to do whatever you can't not do”.


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