2020 Edition of the International VELUX Award for students of architecture

The VELUX Group has announced the global winners for the 2020 Edition of the International VELUX Award for students of architecture. This biennial competition, endorsed by the UIA since 2004, invites participants to explore daylight in one of 2 categories: Daylight in Buildings and Daylight Investigations.

The jury, consisting of UIA Representative Nóra Demeter (USA/Hungary), Martin Pors Jepsen (Denmark), Juri Troy (Austria), Sebastián Adamo (Argentina) and Odile Decq (France), selected the winners from among the 10 regional winners chosen  at their first round meeting in July 2020. A total of 579 daylight projects were submitted by students from 250 schools of architecture in 60 countries. The final round of the competition, consisting of presentations by finalists to the jury, was postponed twice due to the pandemic.

Solar Desalination Skylight by Henry Glogau (Denmark), 2020 Winner in the Daylight in Buildings category

Solar Desalination Skylight, a project by Henry Glogau from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, (Denmark), under the supervision of Professor David Garcia, was selected winner in the Daylight in Buildings category.

This project provides a “holistic approach to providing Chile’s informal coastal settlements with water, light and energy” using solar energy and seawater to create a solar desalination skylight, which emits natural diffused light to produce drinking water and uses leftover salt brine for energy creation.  “The jury was impressed by the proposed solution to an important societal issue,” according to Nóra Demeter, jury chair.

The Theatre of Light by Julia Giżewska, Dominik Kowalski and Paweł Białas, Winner in the Daylight Investigations category.

The Theatre of Light, a project by Polish team of Julia Giżewska, Dominik Kowalski and Paweł Białas from the Silesian University of Technology (Poland), under the supervision of Professor Jerzy Wojewódka, was declared winner in the Daylight Investigations category.

The project, set in Poland’s Izera Dark Sky Park, one of the last darkest places in Europe, addresses the problem of artificial light pollution and the disruption of the diurnal cycle for humans, animals, and plants.  The students sought to create a circular theatre of light over a kilometre of land, symbolising cyclicality: earth, sky and eternal connection.

The jury admired the elegance, coherence and sensitivity of the project’s ‘dialogue’ between natural light and nature and addressed the modern problem of not experiencing the dark night sky. The project demonstrated convincingly that “big architecture” isn’t necessary to make a clear architectural statement. “This project informed us about the value of our proximity to nature, which resonated strongly with us,” according to jury member Martin Pors Jepsen.

For more information, visit the competition website.

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