University of Waterloo student duo wins 120 HOURS architectural competition

Antariksh Tandon and Jennifer Tu Anh Phan of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture are the winners of this year’s edition of 120 HOURS, the world’s biggest competition for and by architecture students.

The Canadian students’ idea for a new meeting point and icon for the Øya music festival in Oslo, Norway was voted the top project from a total of 610 approved submissions – which were drawn from 2,959 participants from 83 countries who registered to enter this year’s competition, making it the most popular edition so far in the competition’s four-year run.

“We are extremely happy and a little bit surprised that our project came in first place. This competition was a great opportunity for us to try and match our thoughts on architecture with our passion for music,” said Antariksh Tandon.

“We tried to link the experience of a festival to the way we live and how intense it is to live in a city. Sleeping is a huge contrast to a festival of light and sound, and this structure acts as a way for people to be able to take a kind of reflective pause, said the second half of the wining team, Jennifer Tu Anh Phan.

A jury consisting of architects Nanne de Ru, Eva Franch adn OMA partner Ellen van Loon, along with representatives from the festival and student member Martin Brandsdal (Oslo School of Architecture) assessed the students’ contributions. Jury leader Ellen van Loon said the jury was impressed with the number of creative projects. She hopes that the winning proposal will be built this summer.

The structure only uses materials that are already present at any large music festival, so it is easily built. But what we found most exciting was that the way the structure is designed opens up for endless possibilities for further development, says van Loon.

The competition organizers have already started development talks together with the project winners and the Oya Festival. Project manager Fredrik Mortensen at 120 HOURS is positive that they will find a way to build the new meeting point at this year’s festival. “Everyone is very excited about the project. This structure could potentially become a new icon for the festival, and we’ll do everything we can to get it built. It is not only a great opportunity for the winners to get an actual physical structure in their portfolio, but also for us to showcase our competition. In the end, it only comes down to finding a partner that will help us realize this dream,” said Mortensen.

120 HOURS is an arena where students can introduce themselves to the architectural industry. The competition aims to challenge, motivate and promote the most skilled, most innovative and committed students in the architectural profession. The innovative competition format gives students just 120 hours to solve a complex and socially relevant assignment. By addressing topical discussions in both public and architectural debate, the competition aims to be a contributor of new thoughts and discussions within both social and cultural discourse. 120 HOURS is an independent competition organized on a non-profit voluntary basis without the involvement of a school administration. 120 HOURS aims to give the students a voice in the current architectural discourse. It is challenging and fun to participate in, and gives students a relevant first encounter with architectural competitions. As of 2014, 120 HOURS has become the world’s largest and most prestigious student-driven architecture competition, created for and by architecture students.

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