Academy students win GVR design competition

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The design competition Grote Vriendelijke Reus (Big Friendly Giant, GVR) came to a close on 14 February during the Dag van de Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit (Day of Spatial Quality), organised by the province of Utrecht. Following an expert assessment of the designs, the professional jury announced the winner.

The design competition was created in mid-2018 in response to a recommendation from the independent spatial quality adviser Paul Roncken to the province. Utrecht Provincial Executive member Pim van den Berg provided a platform for the designs with this design competition. The results of the competition demonstrate innovative ideas about and perspectives on energy landscapes. As a result of this, it appears that possible solutions for the design of large-scale energy landscapes may be more varied than we currently think.

Design commission large-scale energy landscape
How can you generate 2 petajoules (PJ) of energy in the form of a large-scale and iconic landscape? Eight students from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture set to work on this design question in the autumn of 2018. After a few months of researching and designing, the students presented their visual designs to a large audience during the Dag van de Ruimtelijke Kwaliteit (Day of Spatial Quality). Following this, the jury presented the jury prize to the winning designer and the winner of the Wicked Problem Prize was announced by Paul Roncken.

‘De kracht van algen en insecten’ (The power of algae and insects) named best design
Lieke de Jong received the jury prize from the jury chairman Joris Hogenboom for her design study ‘De kracht van algen en insecten’ (The power of algae and insects). The design received praise from the jury for the beautifully visualised and inspiring design. The use of algae cultivation for energy generation is a very interesting idea. The decisive factor was the major conceptual leap that was made for the integrated approach to problems in the area. With her design study, she has won a study trip to an energy landscape of her choice and is allowed to take someone along.

Wicked Problem Prize awarded

In addition to the jury prize, an incentive prize was up for grabs, the Wicked Problem Prize. The focus of this prize was to effectively identify the social challenge of connecting current landowners in a historic yet declining landscape with new energy landscapes. With her design ‘Land van Successie’ (Land of Succession), Hester Koelman demonstrated an ability to make almost all aspects of this complex issue concrete.

An enthusiastic professional jury evaluated the eight designs. The jury comprised Saskia van Dockum, director-land agent Utrechts Landschap; Bob Duindam, alderman muncipality of Oudewater; Joris Hogenboom, director Natuur en Milieufederatie Utrecht (Utrecht Nature and Environment Federation); Gerda Kool, director LTO Noord and Anthony Tom, executive director Mooisticht.