SPINN on Competitions

The partners and staff at SPINN Arkitekter are well versed in architectural competitions. James and Leif have both played important roles on winning teams for national and international competitions. The majority of our collective built-square-meters are the result of competition wins. Mesterfjellet School is a recent example of a competition submitted in 2011 and completed in 2014. Behind every success there are always a few projects that didn't win for one reason or another. (let's not say failures okay?) 

We look at our participation in competitions as a chance to collaborate with interesting people and try new things. We generally avoid open competitions, but can be talked into participating depending on the competition and team involved. In 2014 SPINN participated in two open competitions and one invited competition where friends and respected colleagues from as far away as Hong Kong and New York asked us to join their teams. Our role in each of these projects varied, but was more along the lines of architectural-consultant instead of lead-architect. This suited our otherwise busy workload in 2014, and allowed us to have some fun along the way.

The Guggenheim Helsinki is already known as the "largest architecture competition in the world" with 1715 entries from around the globe. Our entry, which was led by Viviano Villareal of MASS OPERATIONS in Hong Kong (formerly of OMA), Will Prince of PARC in NYC (also former OMA), and Mitchel Squires (MSA) also in Hong Kong. The design process was high-spirited and fun with a working schedule that triangulated the globe due to our 3 very different time-zones.

The green-roof for Danmark's Plass, europe's largest electric-car charging station was a project that appealed to us. We got our friends from Format Engineers and Ramboll UK excited about it as well, and then took a bit of a back seat to see what they would come up with. SPINN served as translator and local partner for their dynamic Catmull-Clark wooden-hybrid roof with Stephen Melville and John Harding doing most of the heavy lifting.

The BAN Educational Landscape masterplan was a great opportunity to work with our office-mate and collaborator Kirstin Bartels. Kirsten was invited to the competition based upon her work with the foundation “Montagstiftung” i Bonn, where she is involved in the pilot project “Schulen planen und bauen”. Kirstin and her partners at Cityförster led the design, along with landscape architect RMP Stephan Lenzen Landschaftsarchitekten. The project was awarded 3rd place in the two-phase competition with over 20 competetors involved in the first phase.

Thanks for the great collaborations, and we look forward to the exciting new projects that 2015 will bring!