University of Waterloo students recognized in global architecture competition

On October 16, 2010, the winners of the International VELUX Award for Students of Architecture were announced and celebrated. Three winners and eight honourable mentions were announced, which included a student team from the University of Waterloo. Claire Lubell and Virginia Fernandez were the only Canadian team recognized in the winning submissions, receiving an honourable mention for their submission entitled “Buoyant Light.”

The VELUX Award for Students of Architecture challenges students of architecture to submit projects that explore the theme of sunlight and daylight, and seeks to foster new thinking to how daylight, fresh air and quality of life can be realized through design, thereby providing insight into the evolution of ideas and potential trends in the development of VELUX products and solutions.

“The VELUX Award is a great platform for architecture students, providing them with exposure and opportunities to meet renowned professionals and aspiring students from around the world”, said Nels Moxness, President and CEO, VELUX Canada. “We are pleased that the work of two Canadian students was recognized at this international event; Claire and Virginia should be very proud of their innovative project.”

Claire and Virginia’s project submission proposes a new interpretation of daylighting for Arctic Inuit communities, where extreme conditions demand innovative solutions. The project proposes to harness the abundance of light from May to August, in order to offset the lack of light from November to February by the harvesting of summer light and subsequent storage of energy for the long winter season. “Buoyant Light” introduces a connection between light and the tracking of other environmental changes, to serve the needs of the local Inuit.

The International VELUX Award is presented every second year to promote and celebrate excellence in completed study works in any scale from small-scale components to large urban contexts or abstract concepts and experimentation. This year’s winners were chosen from 696 global project submissions, a record-high number of entries for the competition.

For more information on the competition, please visit