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The W Award 2012 – biannual architectural design competition for European Students and newly qualified architects

The W Award is the biannual architectural design competition for European Students and newly qualified architects, promoted by the Fondation d’Entreprise Wilmotte. Created six years ago by the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the Foundation promotes and awards a prize for contemporary architetcural design in relation to architectural heritage.

This year’s competition is for the city of Venice, where the Wilmotte Foundation chose the site of the former Piazza d’Armi on the island of St. Elena in Venice, an industrial site of the twentieth century, used as a shipyard for the ACTV, the operator of the famous Vaporetto”, the naval public transportation company of Venice.

As part of the 2012 competition, it is planned to revalorize an industrial site in loss of function, to convert existing buildings for new use and to add contemporary buildings, reintegrating the whole back into the urban fabric in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The competition provides an opportunity to reinvent the typical building on water of Venice as modern housing, social and accessible. The project aims to establish a programme consisting of quality housing (70%), and artists’ studios with workshop and exhibition spaces (30%). Density and volume are left to the discretion of participants.

The city of Venice promotes approximately 20% of units as social co-housing, through participative construction  and design  with the space accessible to the handicapped with a mix of generations, containing common elements (places of meeting, leisure, services, outdoor spaces, nursery…). The co-housing is an initiative born in the 60s in Denmark. In its current form, particular attention is given to aspects of sustainable buildings. Residents are involved in the design process and in the funding. The daily management is also provided by them. It concerns an architectural and urban redevelopment; think the Venice of the XXI Century.

The competition is open to students and young architects of architecture schools from the European Union and Switzerland, who graduated after December 31st, 2008.  An architect interior designer is allowed to participate but only in an association with an architect or student in architecture.

1st   Prize: 7000 Euros
2nd   Prize: 5000 Euros
3rd   Prize: 2000 Euros

– Closure of competition registration: May15th 2012
– Project entry closure: June 15th 2012
– Jury: as soon as possible after submission of the projects
– Award ceremony: 2012

For additional information:


About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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