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Student idea for the White House

05 of August '22

Antoni Grześkowiak and Aleksandra Szymczyńska from the Faculty of Architecture at Poznan University of Technology received a special prize in the competition entitled Design a new White House platform Arch Out Loud. The challenge of the competition was to design a new White House in Washington, DC. The Polish students built their concept around four assumptions: functionality, sublimity, exposure and the development of new interiors. They also proposed a multimedia facade.

The object of the competition was to answer, through the new design of the White House, such questions as: what would the residence of the President of the United States look like if it were designed today? What elements of the building should be redesigned? What ideals should the buildingreflect? What should such an iconic building look like? The competition design was to respond to current social, political, but also architectural issues affecting the United States.

The designers were also asked to think about and define what values the White House represents. The proposed building could be of any size and located anywhere on the lot within the boundaries of the land where the White House currently stands. Participants could introduce new features or use existing ones, and propose additional elements and facilities. Importantly, they were to create as if the current presidential residence did not exist.

Nowy Biały Dom

The new White House

© Antoni Grześkowiak, Aleksandra Szymczyńska

special award for students of Poznan University of Technology

The submitted projects were evaluated by a jury consisting of: Kristy Balliet (Bairballiet), Sekou Cooke (Sekou Cooke Studio), Felecia Davis (Felecia Davis Studio), Sarah Dunn (UrbanLab), Craig Dykers (Snøhetta), Jia Yi Gu (Spinagu), Daimian Hines (Hines Architecture + Design), Jason Pugh (The National Organization of Minority Architects), Nick Roseboro (Architensions), Pascale Sablan (Beyond the built enivironment), Marc Tsurumaki (LTL Architects). They awarded four grand prizes (the winner was Eric Meyer with his Park House project), ten honorable mentions and four special prizes, among which was a project from Poland - The White House by Antoni Grześkowiak and Aleksandra Szymczyńska.

Projekt Białego Domu, aksonometria

axonometry of the White House

© Antoni Grześkowiak, Aleksandra Szymczyńska

four, key points

Our design was based on four key points - sublimity, exposure, functionality and interiors. We wanted the created building to relate to the context. The new White House was to harmonize with the traditional, representative buildings of Washington, D.C., as evidenced by the south façade formed of variable, monumental columns spaced in a circular arc. The north side was to respond to the second problem posed, that of accessibility and exposure. Opening up the entire space through a kind of arena and a clean, uniform façade brought the needed interaction with the public into the inaccessible building, the authors say.

Autorzy zaproponowali multimedialną fasadę

The authors proposed a multimedia facade

© Antoni Grześkowiak, Aleksandra Szymczyńska

multimedia facade

The aforementioned wall has another key function - thanks to a special lighting system, relevant current topics on American society can be displayed on it. Through such a solution, the authors believe that the project will remain relevant even in the face of further changes, not only political. The organizers also asked to include the interiors of the building, which were remodeled in accordance with the new spirit of the White House.

W projekcie należało uwzględnić również wnętrza

The project also had to include the interiors

© Antoni Grześkowiak, Aleksandra Szymczyńska

We tried to make our project an interesting addition to the politicized and rather abstract architecture of the United States. Our idea was to create a kind of laure l for a disheveled but still powerful country. We created a White House that, while referring to its rich history, harmonizes with current political and architectural thought," Anthony and Alexandra conclude.

Dobrawa Bies

The vote has already been cast