International VELUX Award 2004 for Students of Architecture:Winners Announced in Paris Today

Ten winners of the International VELUX Award 2004 for Students of Architecture presented and honoured in Paris today. Jury praised the visionary quality and background thinking of the 258 entries.

The jury of the first International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture was deeply impressed by the high quality and the architectural innovation represented by the students projects.

258 entries from 106 schools from 27 European countries demonstrated that day lighting is a central architectural challenge. After three days of dedicated work to review all 258 projects, the jury decided to award one first prize, one second prize and eight honourable mentions. The winners represented Norway, Croatia, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, and Hungary.

Valuable knowledge of educational level and themes
- I think the International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture was an excellent occasion to see a cross section of the educational level of architecture in Europe, said the jury member Mr. Ahmet Gülgönen, when the jury had selected the winners of the Award 2004.

In their evaluation the jury members in particular looked for projects that challenged existing views and established practices. Projects that convincingly mastered analysis as well as design, and projects that explored essential questions rather than just giving answers. The jury looked for ideas and concepts that expressed optimism and hope for the future. They stressed the projects social dimension, placing peoples lives and living conditions at the heart of creativity.

The jury generally praised the students for their great imagination and creativity and for their remarkable resentation skills. After the evaluation the jury members expressed their optimism as to the future of architecture.

First prize
Claes Heske Ekernäs from the Oslo School of Architecture in Norway won the first prize for his project "Light as Matter", characterized by the jury as a sensitive approach that demonstrates lightness and happiness. The idea of his project - a museum for the famous Korean artist Nam June Paik - was to make a fusion between art, architecture and the human being.

- I have exploited the possibilities of making light and art work together. Physical walls have been replaced by immaterial walls of light, working as transmitters instead of borders, dividing the different rooms, said Claes Heske Ekernäs about his project.

Second prize
The second prize went to a Croatian team of students, Hrvoje Zupari, Dean Niskota and Ivan Starcevic, from the faculty of architecture in Zagreb. Their project "The Hole Issue evolves around an intelligent house of glass, adjustable to the individual inhabitants" need for light, transparency, contact to nature, privacy or darkness. - The project merges light and lightness in a simple, archetypical house design in a scale that talks to us all, said the jury about the second prize.

- In our project we used all five facades of the house and also exploited the potential of solar energy to make the house sustainable, said Hrvoje Zupari, representing the team of architect students.

Eight honourable mentions
Besides the first and second prizes the jury awarded eight honourable mentions. The themes of the projects were plentiful, but some common traits were discernable. For example, the exploration of the relationship between light and materials like glass and fabrics. And the invention of light machines in the form of building structures adapting to daylight by more or less complex mechanical or electronic control systems.

Please find detailed information about the winners and their projects in the enclosed fact sheets.

The jury's evaluation
At the jury meeting in Paris in September, each jury member went through all 258 projects and selected the entries that he found to be the most interesting. This individual evaluation resulted in a shortlist of 56 projects. A thorough review of the 56 projects narrowed down the list to 19, and among these the jury selected the first and second prizes as well as the honourable mentions. When the ten winning projects had been found, the sealed envelopes were finally opened by the jury and the names and nationalities of the winners were revealed.

The International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture is biennial and is scheduled to take place again in 2006.

There is more information about the International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture as well as photos of the jury, winning projects, etc. on