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What we’ve learned from taking part in international architecture awards

Wrriten by: Redacción Sordo Madaleno | September 24, 2018

You can read this article in: Español | English

Taking part in international architecture competitions is one of many promotional tools for architects. This strategy is objectively valuable for architecture firms since it not only helps to enrich the archive of national architecture but becomes a way of winning recognition outside of your country.

There are local, national and international awards. Different categories that recognize different scales, uses, and themes. Thanks to the size of its audience and its prestige, the World Architecture Festival (WAF) has come to the fore among international awards in recent years. Its proximity to the best architecture practices around the world and the opportunity to present your project in person before well-known judges is a great reason to keep it at the forefront of your strategies.

For more than 10 years the WAF has helped to promote the architecture profession internationally while offering networking among peers, business strategists, and other interested parties. These awards, which are awarded in Amsterdam in November this year, are a window offering different points of view and ways of resolving different situations though architecture and interior design.

In terms of our own record of taking part, we have achieved 14 finalist projects on different scales. This year, 2018 has been the year with the largest number of projects presented, of which there are finalists in a total of five different categories.

We have competed in the same categories as major international architecture studios including MVRDV, BIG, Perkins + Will, UNStudio, Studio Gang, Zaha Hadid, studio mk27, WOHA Architects, Neri&Hu Design, and many more.

A landmark in our history occurred in 2009: thanks to the architectural solution for approaching children’s disabilities with consent, which responded with a new typology of hospital architecture, the Teleton Center for Child Rehabilitation in Tampico, Tamaulipas won in the Health category. This event opened up many new opportunities for us.

Following these achievements, we asked our Project Directors, who have represented us at this competition, about the significance and above all the lessons learned from participating in an event of this caliber.

Many ideas emerged. They discussed the importance and difficulty of making a formal presentation of a project in just 10 minutes, where the synthesis and syntax of the discourse employed to present it accurately are the principal challenges to consider.

We know that the guiding concept always has to be demonstrated in a visual, discursive manner. In the understanding that both the foundation and the solution to the concept in any project are what determine the possibility of winning the prize.

We conclude with a number of recommendations that help to make you eligible as a finalist: always speak through images; express the added value of each project; emphasize the concept and the context, and finally contextualize each presentation to further expand on the unique quality of the project.

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