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International Velux Award 2022 felicitates designers conceiving daylight-focused projects
Announcement poster for the Velux Award 2022
Image: Courtesy of VELUX

International Velux Award 2022 felicitates designers conceiving daylight-focused projects

The award, decided by a jury of eminent designers and personalities such as Anupama Kundoo, Fuensanta Nieto and Lotte Kragelund, highlights the importance of harnessing daylight in everyday usage.

by Almas Sadique
Published on : Jul 26, 2022

VELUX, a Denmark based window and skylight manufacturer, recently announced the winners of the 10th edition of the International VELUX Award 2022. Held every two years since its launch in 2004, it is an international competition for students of architecture. Its most recent edition, held this year, was organised in collaboration with the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the World Architecture Festival (WAF), with a special recognition from the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE). Ever since its inception, students from 800 schools spread across 130 countries have submitted more than 6,000 projects altogether. Under the this year's theme of Light of Tomorrow, a renowned jury comprising the likes of Anupama Kundoo from India, John Ronan from the USA, Rainer Hofmann from Germany, Fuensanta Nieto from Spain, and Lotte Kragelund from Denmark convened in Copenhagen to shortlist ten winners from among 507 projects from 211 architecture schools. These ten winners will now present their projects at World Architecture Festival 2022, scheduled to take place in November in Lisbon, Portugal. Two final winners, one each from the category 'Daylight Investigations' and 'Daylight in Buildings' will be felicitated at the event.

“It is great to see such a fantastic response to the competition, from so many schools of architecture around the world. Our aim with this competition is to bring together teachers and students on the topic of daylight. It is rewarding to see so many beautiful, innovative and responsible approaches to the theme ‘Light of tomorrow,” says Tina Christensen, the director of the International International VELUX Award 2022.

‘Martian Light’ by Gray Burke from University of Miami, USA Image: Courtesy of VELUX
‘Under The Three Gorges’ by Yawen Qiao from Southwest Jiaotong University, China Image: Courtesy of VELUX

Over the years, the the award has immensely grown in popularity, and is now one of the largest international competitions that invites architects to plan and design for the future. By pushing students to explore the role of daylight in architecture, the award seeks to inspire conscious designing both during competitions and in real life. Its theme helps students delve deeper into the concept of daylight, both as an illuminating source and an energy source.

‘TIP - time indicate protection’ by Zuzanna Sazonow and Aleksandra Pytka from Politechnika Poznańska, Poland Image: Courtesy of VELUX

The majority of student projects oriented toward futuristic thinking, procedures, and techniques, as well as unique concepts to imagine a sustainable tomorrow. Their process involved the identification of a wide range of environmental, social, cultural and political issues, as well as their corresponding solutions. By presenting relevant answers to these problems, the participants were able to create mindful proposals that did not just focus on aesthetics and design trends, but sought to lessen the predicaments that complicate life in cities. Although the theme of the competition focused on light, the jury members were especially impressed by the proposals that tried to lessen the stratification in society.

“In essence, what we were looking for was projects that foreground daylight and directly address the theme, Light of tomorrow. There had to be a vision, but also there had to be technical support of that vision and concise explanation of the idea. The selected regional winners were good on all three of those areas. And I can speak for the whole jury when I say that we're all very excited to see the students present their work in Lisbon, the verbal communication of their idea,” says John Ronan, the jury chair.

‘Solar Hymnal’ by Jaan Gröndahl from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland Image: Courtesy of VELUX
‘Spotlight Tree’ by Zhao Liuxin, Liu Wanchen, Xin Guanbai and Dong Zhenbin from The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom Image: Courtesy of VELUX

The final evaluation of the projects were made on the basis of five criterias: working with daylight as the premise for architecture, research and documentation of the proposal, relevance of the project in countering extant challenges, the level of innovation and experimentation, and the graphical presentation of the idea. Elmarie van Staden from South Africa; Adrian Paocarima Herrera, Melissa Anabelle Ulcuango Merino and Kevin Daniel Arroyo Males from Ecuador; Feng Meiyin, Feng Yijun and Zhang Jinru from China; Zuzanna Sazonow and Aleksandra Pytka from Poland; and Zhao Liuxin, Liu Wanchen, Xin Guanbai and Dong Zhenbin from the United Kingdom were shortlisted from the ‘Daylight in Buildings’ category for their projects ‘Aqua Mart’, ‘24-Hour Daylight’, ‘Lighting up, Neighbourhood Hop’, ‘TIP - Time Indicate Protection’, and ‘Spotlight Tree’ respectively. On the other hand, ISHIMWE MUNYANDEKWE Augustin from Rwanda; Gray Burke from USA; Yawen Qiao from China; Sajjad Navidi, Mahya Mousavi Sadr and Elham Bahadori from Iran; and Jaan Gröndahl from Finland were shortlisted from the ‘Daylight Investigations’ category for their projects ‘Limitless Lighting’, ‘Martian Light’, ‘Under the Three Gorges Project’, ‘Flight’ and ‘Solar Hymnal’ respectively.

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