Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!
Become an A&B portal user and receive giveaways!

Results of the 11th edition of the "Best Diploma - Architecture" competition

16 of February '23

In February this year we settled the eleventh edition of the "Best Diploma - Architecture" competition . The competition included engineering and master's theses defended in 2020-2022. In this edition, for the first time, we invited the WXCA studio, where the winner of the competition will have the opportunity to serve a month-long internship. From among as many as thirty-three projects nominated for the finals, we selected the best in our opinion. The first prize went to Julia Wilkosz, the second to Klaudia Trębska, and the third ex aequo to Joanna Bokuniewicz and Paulina Pawlikowska. Two equal honorable mentions went to Dobrochna Lata and Alicja Nowak, and an honorable mention from the WXCA studio went to Marika Stanislawska. On February 12 this year, the online audience voting also ended, with Zuzanna Wozniak winning the largest number of votes.


The first prize, and thus 4 thousand zlotys and a month's internship at the Warsaw studio WXCA, was awarded by the jury to Julia Wilkosz 's master's thesis "Written History. Sustainable functional and spatial concept of a new typology of data centers as a holistic city-forming structure of the era of digitization" prepared under the supervision of Dr. Jan Kubec, and defended in 2021 at the Faculty of Architecture, Silesian University of Technology.



© Julia Wilkosz

The author of the awarded diploma faces the challenges and environmental burdens generated by the so-called fourth industrial revolution. She restores industry to urban structures, but in a completely new edition - in the place of abandoned factory sites in Lodz, she creates a centralizing space where, in addition to art galleries, a theater, a sports complex or a gastronomic zone, she planned a megasite gathering digitized archives.


cross sections

© Julia Wilkosz

Julia Wilkosz also thought through the use of the excess heat generated by the server center to heat the rest of the complex, and the cooled air to air condition the industrial function. The jury awarded the first prize for a good choice of the problem, its correct diagnosis and accurate solution ideas. The author, importantly, in trying to find a place for new industry, reaches for reuse, but goes beyond the mere substance and aesthetics of the existing buildings, reviving, in a way, a function lost years ago. Also important, in the jury's view, is the attention paid to the environmental aspects of data center operations, including the possibility of utilizing waste heat, which fits into the broader discussion of urban thermal sustainability. The project was found to be coherent, holistic and interesting.

aksonometria struktury

axonometry of the structure

© Julia Wilkosz


The second prize for the work entitled "Tjukula Jukurrpa. A rehabilitation center for Australian koalas on Mount Tamborine, Queensland" was won by Klaudia Trębska. Her master's thesis, defended in 2021 at the Faculty of Architecture at the Wrocław University of Technology and prepared under the supervision of Dr. Mark Lamber, involves the creation of a building in the form of a ring housing a veterinary clinic and a temporary habitat for injured animals to return to the wild after a period of rehabilitation. The diploma was awarded for its attempt to shape the building for non-human users, working with the regenerative potential of architecture, design courage and the use of ecological and innovative materials, such as fog catchers façade panels that acquire condensed water vapor.

ośrodek rehabilitacyjny dla koali schemat konstrukcji

rehabilitation center for australian koalas

© Klaudia Trębska

The third prize for a mature idea based on an empathetic understanding of an extremely difficult social topic, such as violence against women, thoughtful solutions, simplicity of the mass, versatility of the project and the use of wood in the construction was won by Joanna Bokuniewicz, author of the project "Architecture towards social problems. Shelter for women affected by domestic violence". Her master's thesis, defended in 2022 at the Faculty of Architecture at the Gdansk University of Technology and developed under the supervision of Dr. Justyna Borucka, is a response to the problem of the lack of shelters for victims of domestic violence in Poland and the mismatch between existing centers and the needs of the elderly or disabled.

aksonometria Schronienie dla kobiet dotkniętych przemocą domową

shelter project for women affected by domestic violence

© Joanna Bokuniewicz

The third ex aequo prize was awarded to Paulina Pawlikowska for her master's thesis "Modernist architecture as an environment for modernization activities. Revitalization of the brine baths in Ciechocinek". The promoter of the thesis, defended in 2021 at the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology, was Prof. Jan Słyk. The author attempted to revalue the modernist complex designed by Romuald Gutt and Aleksander Szniolis. And while her proposal refers to the main ideas of the architects, she also seeks answers to the problems of modern man, in particular information overload, creating a new generation spa. The jury awarded the work for acting in the spirit of re-use, making use of the existing fabric and attempting to restore the splendor of the existing building - a modernist icon - in a completely contemporary way. They also appreciated the inclination to the problems of today's man, the creation of a space in the climate of slow life and the search for new building blocks.

widok z lotu ptaka

bird's eye view

© Paulina Pawlikowska


In this edition of the competition, the jury awarded two equal prizes. They appreciated the master's thesis "New Geography: Anthropocenter. Museum of Unnatural History in Katowice" by Dobrochna Lata. In the diploma defended in 2020 at the Faculty of Architecture of the Wrocław University of Technology, prepared under the supervision of Dr. Ada Kwiatkowska, the author focuses on the consequences of the industrialization of Upper Silesia. She proposes to create a trail in Katowice topped by a building of the Museum of Unnatural History, whose function is to study and restore degraded land. The jury singled out the project for the comprehensive, architectural and landscape character of the premise, drawing fully on the local context, conditions and materials. The nature of the spatial interventions remains in harmony with the site and the function it is intended to serve. As the jury notes, the intriguing shapes are not a fad of the designer, but result from the program assumptions. What's more, the attractive form of both the design and presentation is further enriched by material studies, thus making the design and the way it is presented work very well together.

plan zagospodarowania terenu

site development plan

© Dobrochna Lata

The second of the awarded works is Alicja Nowak 's master's diploma "New Sound - Music Center in Bunker Flakturm IV" defended in 2021 at the Faculty of Architecture of the Cracow University of Technology and developed under the supervision of the main supervisor - Prof. Maria Jolanta Żychowska and assistant supervisors. The author of the work attempted to transform a historic air raid shelter in Hamburg into an inviting "musical lighthouse" that gives a new tone to its surroundings. In the opinion of the jury, Alicja Nowak, basing her work on a difficult foundation with an unusual structure, purpose, location and evoking rather negative associations, turned its flaws into advantages. The bunker adaptation project takes up the theme of architectural preservation, but is more than that, as it also proposes its superstructure, which, as the jury notes, is the most interesting element and adds lightness to the heavy mass. In fact, such a structure would have the potential to be an interesting dominant feature in the city's landscape and a popular place to visit.

wizualizacja z lotu ptaka

aerial visualization

© Alicja Nowak


Honorable mention from the WXCA studio went to Marika Stanislawska, a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at the Magdalena Abakanowicz University of Arts in Poznan, for her work "Touching the World. Air as a stimulator of the senses in physiotherapy and rehabilitation". In her master's thesis, prepared under the supervision of UAP Professor Slawoj Dreszer and defended in 2020, the author focuses on the sense of touch. He proposes various spatial forms that, through the element of air, become simulators of the senses helpful in physiotherapy and rehabilitation, among other things. The work was appreciated for its humanistic approach to the role of architects and for pointing out that we should not turn our backs on basic human needs.

stymulacja zmysłu przez deprywację symulacja zmysłów przez relaks

Sensory stimulation through deprivation and through relaxation

© Marika Stanislawska

Audience Award

After verifying the correctness of the votes cast in an online poll, the Audience Award was won by Zuzanna Wozniak for her master's thesis, defended in 2021, "Tropy historii. Cultural heritage of a small town on the example of Żychlin" (813 votes). The author completed her degree at the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology under the supervision of Professor Miroslaw Orzechowski of the Warsaw University of Technology.

pawilon od strony ulicy Narutowicza

The pavilion from the side of Narutowicza Street

© Zuzanna Woźniak


The projects awarded in the eleventh edition of the "Best Diploma - Architecture" competition raise extremely difficult and still disturbingly current issues. At the same time, they are distinguished by sensitivity and concern, both for people and non-human beings, the environment and the planet.

We would like to congratulate all the finalists and finalists of the contest, whose works we have published in the past year in the pages of A&B. The winners of the contest will receive commemorative diplomas and subscriptions to A&B monthly, and the winner of the first prize will receive 4,000 zlotys and a month's internship at the WXCA studio. All 2021-2023 architecture students and graduates are invited to participate in the twelfth edition of the competition, and we would also like to remind you about the second category of the competition, for which interior architecture projects can be submitted.

Ola Kloc

The jury was chaired by Marta Sekulska-Wronska (WXCA),
The jury consisted of A&B editors and editors Dobrawa Bies, Marta Kulawik, Wiktor Bochenek and Kacper Kępiński.

The vote has already been cast