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Settlement of the ninth edition of the competition "Best Diploma ARCHITECTURE"

Ola Kloc
08 of January '21

In December 2020, we settled another, the ninth edition of the "Best ARCHITECTURE Diploma" competition for the best student diploma. The competition included engineering and master's theses defended in 2018-2020. From the twelve projects nominated for the finals, we selected four, in our opinion, the best. The first prize went to Karolina Jankowska, the second ex aequo to Kinga Butlewska and Kamil Szymanski, and the third to Filip Jakubczak.

architects in times of climate crisis

The first prize was awarded to Karolina Jankowska's master's thesis entitled "The Teddy Bear Bastion in the Lower Town in Gdansk as a place for pro-environmental activities. Design of a New School of Arts and Crafts based on the idea of upcycling," prepared under the supervision of Dr. Agnieszka Blazko, associate professor at the Gdansk University of Technology, and defended in 2020 at the Faculty of Architecture of the Gdansk University of Technology [see A&B 12/2020]. The concept proposed by the author concerns the adaptation of a complex of five 19th-century buildings located on the site of the Teddy Bear Bastion in Gdansk. The largest of the premise's buildings - a former factory - has been earmarked as the headquarters of the New School of Arts and Crafts, where students will use used everyday objects during classes in the school's workshops, giving them a second life.

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1st prize, proj.: Karolina Jankowska

AUTHOR: Karolina Jankowska
(Faculty of Architecture, Gdansk University of Technology)
PROMOTER: Dr. Agnieszka Blazko, Associate Professor, PG.

© Karolina Jankowska

The extension and superstructure of the building by one floor, allowing to equalize the heights between the two wings of the building, was proposed in a minimalist glass form, clearly distinguishing the new part from the existing one. The author has allocated the remaining brick buildings for a catering function, an exhibition, a "Po-dzielnia" function - sorting of used materials and exchange of used items, the function of a kindergarten for the children of employees, and a cafe with a bicycle service. Among other things, we awarded the work for raising difficult issues related to the climate crisis, a multifaceted reach to the idea of upcycling, both in the architecture itself, which the author is trying to restore to its former glory, and in the proposed function inspired by the Bauhaus school.

in care of nature

The works awarded ex aequo second prize are the master's degree projects of Kinga Butlewska and Kamil Szymanski. Kinga Butlewska, drawing attention to the impending environmental catastrophe and, consequently, the need for changes in urban processes and the way cities are managed, proposed a project prepared under the supervision of Professor Slawomir Gzell entitled "ReCITY. Redefining the concept of "urban quality of life" in a post-industrial city on the example of Lodz," defended in 2019 at the Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology [see A&B 7-8/2020].

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Second prize(ex aequo), proj.: Kinga Butlewska

MASTER'S DIPLOMA WORK (YEAR OF DEFENSE: 2019) - "ReCITY. REDEFINITION OF THE CONCEPT OF "URBAN QUALITY OF LIFE" IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL CITY ON THE EXAMPLE OF BOAT". AUTHOR: Kinga Butlewska (Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology) PROMOTOR: Prof. zw. dr. hab. Slawomir Gzell

© Kinga Butlewska

The work, as the author writes, is intended to contribute to preserving the importance of a high quality of life in the city and to direct attention to the conscious process of urban revitalization in a way that is compatible with nature and in harmony with the needs of residents. Kinga Butlewska seeks solutions to the problems of cities, especially post-industrial ones, working on the example of Lodz on both a macro and micro scale. For the purposes of the project, the author formulated a set of postulates that can help create a model of the city as a friendly environment for living, working and resting, and taking care of the ecosystem. The award was given for a well-thought-out, holistic urban planning concept, in which the comfort of residents and ecology are important.

An equal award was given to Kamil Szymanski's project, prepared under the supervision of Dr. Andrzej Sobolewski, titled "Prince Henry's Hostel in Karkonosze," defended in 2019 at the Faculty of Architecture, Wroclaw University of Technology [see A&B 03/2020].

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Second prize (ex aequo), proj.: Kamil Szymanski

MASTER'S THESIS (YEAR OF DEFENSE: 2019) - "PRINCE HENRYK SHELTER" AUTHOR: Kamil Szymański (Faculty of Architecture, Wrocław University of Technology) PROMOTOR: Dr. Andrzej Sobolewski

photo in background: Karol Nienartowicz © Kamil Szymański

Situated by the Great Pond in the Karkonosze Mountains, the building is intended to combine the advantages of a classic mountain hostel with the quality of contemporary standards of accommodations. The author of the project, wanting to reduce the visual impact of the building on the landscape, lowered its body in relation to the hiking trail and placed it in a gully. As a result, the hostel has only one façade, with the remaining walls sunk into the rock. The project was awarded for, among other things, its respect for the mountain landscape and its bold and modern concept that allows close contact with nature.

futuristic vision

The third prize for a surprising futuristic vision and crossing the mundane design boundary went to Filip Jakubczak for his master's thesis, defended in 2019, entitled "Space Habitat for 2,000 Astronauts. Space Station "Lem"" [see A&B 09/2020]. The thesis, prepared under the supervision of Professor Janusz Rębielak at the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology, concerns the design of a station for two thousand astronauts - a large-scale space facility - which was created as a response to the problems of civilization facing the Earth.

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Third prize, proj.: Filip Jakubczak

MASTER'S THESIS (YEAR OF DEFENSE: 2019) - "SPACE HABITAT FOR 2000 ASTRONAUTS. SPACE STATION "LEM"" AUTHOR: Filip Jakubczak (Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology) PROMOTER: Prof. Janusz Rębielak

© Filip Jakubczak

The station, thirty-six thousand kilometers from Earth, was designed to achieve both resource and functional self-sufficiency. The project, as its author emphasizes, is a bold prediction of life that could be a daily reality for many of us, thrust into the stars by the specter of global catastrophe.


The projects awarded in the ninth edition of the "Best ARCHITECTURE Diploma" competition, on the one hand, touch on the problem of climate change and the search for pro-environmental solutions, and on the other hand, are visionary, intriguing and bold concepts. We congratulate all the finalists of the competition, whose works we have published in the pages of A&B in the past year. The winners of the ninth edition will receive commemorative diplomas and subscriptions to A&B monthly. You can indicate your favorites by voting for the Audience Award on our website. The next anniversary edition of the "Best Diploma ARCHITECTURE" competition has already started - all architecture students and graduates of 2019-2021 are invited to participate, and we also remind you about the second competition category, which gathers the best interior architecture projects from October 2020!

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Illustrations: © Authors | A&B archives

A&B editors Małgorzata Tomczak (editor-in-chief), Dobrawa Bies,
Marta Kulawik and Katarzyna Mikulska participated in the jury deliberations.

The vote has already been cast

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