International Competitions in Architecture
Last year, two pivotal socio-political events seismically affected the world (to mention only two, although their number and geo-political distribution was larger): one happened at the beginning of the year, the Egyptian uprising, centered, physically, on Tahrir Square, in Cairo. The other one happened in New York City, towards the end of the year, and it was centered on Zuccotti Park, in the Wall Street area. Both events, while not equal in amplitude, sacrifices and outcome, aimed at the same thing: to restore some justice in the world, be it the Arab world, or the “Western” one.
We felt then, as we continue to feel now, that in some ways what Mubarak was (and maybe still is, in Egypt), Capitalism was and it continues to be in the United States. Yes, money is the "Mubarak" of the United States.
So we launched two competitions: one to envision a new design for The Tahrir Square in Cairo and one, symbolical, to envision A New Façade for New York Stock Exchange, in New York, one that would not be a "Potemkin façade," but one that would tell the truth about what was happening inside the building.
We didn’t receive as many works as we would have liked and hoped for. But perhaps the number is not so important. We planted some seeds, architecturally, hoping thus to contribute, from our own profession, to these important events in the public life of the world.
For the Tahrir competition we had a competent and generous jury, composed of architects Anna Barbara, Luca Molinari, Alessandro Scandurra and Marco Navarra. You can read their report and their comments on http://www.ymag.it/schede.asp?id=9358 Special thanks are deserved by Milena Sacchi, of the Via Piranesi office in Milan, who facilitated the dialogue between the Italian jury and ICARCH. For the N.Y.S.E. competition we evaluated the works ourselves, since we received only a few works.
Here are the results:
TAHRIR SQUARE competition:
1st place: J. Esefeld & S. Bostanci / Scala Architekten - Germany
2nd place: Francesco Garofalo / Openfabric - Italy / The Netherlands
3rd place: Prof. Wolfgang Rahm / Atelier Rahm - Germany
1st place: Charles Lai – Hong Kong
2nd place: Andrea Cimini – Italy, Pegaso Architetti – Italy, Ketham Santosh Kumar, Thanasis Farangas – India / Greece.
There is something very important that we want to add: these competitions are still open, just as, in athletics for example, a record is only temporary, until a new great achievement comes into being. We urge you, if you feel inspired, to send us your work for one or for both competitions, if you strongly feel that there is something that does need to be said, and only you can say it. Let’s try to contribute to these great events with similar passion and with a similar thirst for justice, which some actually equate with beauty. Yes, maybe justice, at its most intense and its most sincere, IS beauty!
And if we are to believe Dostoevsky that “beauty will save the world,” then we invite you, again, to send us your beautiful input, in the form of serving a justice without which we suffocate, to say the least.
You can see all the works received on this website, or on the blogs:
We would be happy to receive your comments, in case you will have some. After all, our aim is nothing else but cultural creation and cultural dialogue. Thank you.