[THEME] London is among the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in Europe, following the course of the Thames for about ten kilometers. It is made up of numerous neighborhoods, each with its own identity, and recognizes in its architecture – Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge – some of the best known symbols in the world. At the end of the Second World War a reconstruction was urgent which transformed the morphology of the British capital; the Shared and Swiss Tower are some of the skyscraper that dominate the skyline today. In this heterogeneous scenario we want to imagine an architecture capable of integrating the instances already present in the territory within which poles such as the British Museum or the Saint Giles Complex signed by the architect Renzo Piano manage to live in perfect balance. The New Conference Hall will find a place in Bloomsbury, in the Camden district, it will be a place of culture in which residents and tourists can go to take part in public gatherings. Debates and shows will be an opportunity to meet, they will create moments of aggregation in a building designed to be a further element in a scenario in continuous transformation.



“…..Surrounded by historical and cultural buildings, the site exists as a sunken garden. The building does not exclude the memory of the site, rather it aims to enhance the identity of the place. Inside the square, a large staircase flanked by a bookshop and a restaurant leads visitors into a hidden courtyard that becomes a setting for public events. An arched structural system made of exposed concrete lets the light penetrate inwards: these arches – each distinguishing a different function – gradually curve upwards, becoming cones of light that end at the level of the roof. The auditorium is designed to be a solemn place, a hollow concrete shell into which light gradually penetrates to create an intimate atmosphere…..”


SECOND PRIZE: William Sevilla Penaherrera (ESPANA)

“…..the strategy to develop this project was to study the environment and understand how three places make up important reference axes: the British Museum, Rusell Square Gardens and the University area. The complex develops below street level so as not to alter the hierarchy of the buildings surrounding the area; the idea takes shape by building volumes protected by a metal skin that emulates the shape of the existing vegetation in Malet Street Gardens. Three different volumes are generated, each with its own auditorium, developed at the ends of the three previously identified axes. A large roof that characterizes the central courtyard projects its shadow on the ground, identifying the connecting paths between the different blocks…..”


THIRD PRIZE: Christian Araya (CHILE)

“…..the building is an open place that intends to strengthen the relationship with the site. The green configuration of the area is not altered and becomes an access filter to the new complex. The volume develops horizontally to give visual continuity to the façade and not to detract from the surrounding buildings. Light is the fundamental element: the transparent facades are protected by wooden shielding systems that allow the rooms to enjoy excellent natural lighting. The double internal heights connect the spaces while maintaining a functional distinction between them. Walkways connect the hall and the square, giving continuity to a place that aims to be an extension of the public space…..”


THIRD PRIZE: Maria Milagros Cortinas, Maria Milagros Pradelli (ARGENTINA)

“…..the building must be useful for students and for the intellectual circle that founded the neighborhood, while at the same time functioning as a public and urban link between all the institutions. The best way to meet these needs is to design a complex that is a point of reference for the community. The square on the west side merges with the open expanse, leaving room for the flow of people that brings the British Museum. The central nuclei allow the connection with the different levels interrupting the strong horizontal sense of the elevations. The building stands in the square as a neutral volume built with materials – steel and glass – which do not seek to compete with the surrounding environment but to reinterpret its needs through a contemporary approach…..”


MENTION: Pedro Mendes, Alfredo Carvalho, Luis Silva (PORTUGAL)

“…..the proposal focuses on two fundamental values: an underground walkway that has the double function of passage and the development of the rooms below street level, making the upper roof a green space at the service of the local community. The two areas, separated by the central path, are distinguished in public areas – with a library, exhibition halls and dining areas inside – and service areas reserved for office staff. The facade in glass panels completed by vertical steel slits that filter the light inwards. The goal is to compose a building with spaces that convey a contemporary atmosphere of the built to users…..”


MENTION: Orlando Sica (ITALY)

“…..the complex is designed around three key objectives: transparency, architectural identity and sustainability. Conceptually composed of a green platform base with a building on top, the transparency and flow of the design facilitate and encourage interaction. The common internal area looks like a large multi-storey winter garden where the main services are located. To obtain a better functional distribution, it was decided to position the main entrance to the larger auditorium and the location of the other two auditoriums on the ground floor. This solution ensures that the journeys are articulated in a fluid way. The chromatic range of the brise-soleils that make up the shading system on the facade is deduced from the chromatid palette of the typical red brick walls. The building aims to be an autonomous organism aimed at promoting the meanings brought by the tradition of the place through a new vision…..”


MENTION: Agustina Victorica, Francisco Fernandez, Micaela Benchoam (URUGUAY)

“…..the project develops around the process of creating three different bands. Taking into account the pre-existence of Georgian houses on the same block, the purpose of the first strip is to respect the privacy of the neighboring buildings. The second band reinterprets the original park, a new hub of aggregation. The third band materializes in a building that attempts to reconstruct the urban facade, obeying the height and giving continuity to the constructive limit of the surrounding environment. The building is organized on five programmatic levels connected by a series of elevated walkways accessible from the main staircase. The functions contained inside converge in a central square in the basement that allows visitors to experience this new place feeling part of it…..”


JIPC92: Carlos Gondola, Ivan Otero, Jose Delgado, Pierre Garrido (PANAMA)

“…..the building intends to integrate harmoniously with the urban fabric by offering people a meeting place. The theoretical framework of the proposal raises the following question: how to return the space for recreational use to the city? The main volume is the only one emerging above street level: it houses spaces for formal use such as auditoriums, exhibition rooms and dining areas. In the design of the conference room, the intention is to pay homage to the architectural language of the immediate context by drawing inspiration from the geometry of the British Museum dome. The three underground squares become an area of aggregation that isolates itself from the urban chaos and are an access filter to the rooms located below street level – laboratory and book shop – which require a greater level of privacy. The dynamic use and contemporary image of the building make the Conference Hall a new reference area on an urban scale…..”


MENTION: Flavian Basile, Mariarosaia Savoia, Flavio Maio, Mirka Maio (ITALY)

“…..the Conference Hall is an introverted architecture, whose main objective is to isolate itself acoustically to create a wall box that contains all its functions. The project is based on the morphological dialogue in which form follows function: diagonal cuts that underline the prospectus denounce the presence of the auditorium and the rooms from the outside by making a connection between the building and the site. The heart of the building is a public agora, an open, democratic, inclusive place from which all other functions start. The structure has a vertical scan with steel pillars that extend along the entire height of the elevation alternating with transparent, translucent and opaque walls. The verticality of the volume is rebalanced by the horizontal roof consolidating the footprint of the building on the ground…..”

Click here for read evaluation form