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Architectural rendering showing the main entrance to a proposed residential complex including a community farm

The BA/MA Architecture students won the accolade in a competition that is part of the 2022 Tallinn Architecture Biennale.

Four third-year students at ESALA (Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) have been awarded an honourable mention in their submission for the Circular Block Competition, part of the Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2022.

The students are Michael Kan, Tanya Lee, Kelly Tanim and Jade Wu, from our BA/MA (Hons) Architecture programme. The group’s work has been exhibited near the Tallinn Architecture Museum in Estonia.

ESALA teaching fellow Ana Miret Garcia congratulated the group saying, “The result is truly impressive since all of the other prizes were awarded to professional practices from UK and Europe.”

“The participation in international architecture competitions gives students an invaluable opportunity to circulate their work among audiences beyond academia, and to situate their ideas intellectually within a critical international context. Competitions offer a platform for active, critical and sustainable involvement with the architecture profession and meaningful engagement with the current planetary climate conversation.”

We asked the group for some background information on their successful proposal. On behalf of the group, Michael Kan said:

“Despite the rapid development of Tallinn in the recent decades, the Soviet-planned district of Lasnamäe remains as one of the most deprived areas of Tallinn. Among many underlying social issues, including high unemployment rate and food affordability, our primary focus was to tackle ‌the segregation between residents of Lasnamäe caused by the difference in language.

“With the cultural segregation formed by the language barrier, we want to tackle this problem by designing a community farm that encourages communication and interactions between native Estonians and Russian-speaking residents, which accounts for 60% of the district. This allows for the interconnection between residents through the language of food.

He continued, “The community farm will capture the concept of a circular economy where residents will grow and process their own crops and engage in trading activities within the neighbourhood.

 “We are really glad to have reached such high achievement in an international architecture competition, given the fact that most of the award nominees are professional architecture firms from UK and Europe – the honourable mention demonstrates the judges’ recognition of the high standard of our design proposal. The competition has been a valuable lesson in time management skills as we have managed to complete the competition in a short timeframe during our reading week while also engaging in studio work.”

You can see the group’s full submission on the Tallinn Architecture Biennale website.

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