the winners of the fourth annual fairy tales competition have been announced, including stories that depict monumental landscapes of sci-fi megastructures and a sentient species of architecture. all depicting fictional architectural scenarios, the winners were chosen by a jury of more than 20 leading architects, designers, and storytellers, including marion weiss, michel rojkind, and dan wood.

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1st prize — last day by mykhailo ponomarenko (also main image)

 

 

the winning entries in this year’s competition include oblique references to current events, mundane daily activities and human emotions that we all easily relate to — they make visible how we shape space, and in turn, how space shapes us,’ says chase w. rynd, the executive director of the national building museum, and a jury member for the competition. ‘the images and narratives are so wildly outlandish, and yet, so grounded that it seems like we could mistakenly stumble into any of them. they are personal and powerful — a testament to the power of architecture as a world-builder.’

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1st prize — last day by mykhailo ponomarenko

 

 

the winners of the competition — which is organized annually by blank space — were announced at the national building museum in washington DC. the contest calls for entries that explore current events and the creative process through short stories and artwork. this year’s jury selected three prize winners from over 60 countries, an AIAS winner, and 10 honorable mentions. see each of the awarded projects below.

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1st prize — last day by mykhailo ponomarenko

 

 

first prize was awarded to mykhailo ponomarenko for his entry ‘last day’. the ukrainian-trained architect utilized classical painting techniques to create monumental landscapes that include a range of megastructures derived from sci-fi. ‘landscapes have always inspired me to put something weird, unreal and out of human scale into them,’ explains ponomarenko. ‘something not feasible and not practical that contrasts with the natural surroundings, but also exists at the same scale. these satirical interventions lead to new ideas and feelings about nature — they make the viewer more aware about the environment and our harmful impact on it.’

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1st prize — last day by mykhailo ponomarenko

 

 

terrence hector, an architect from chicago, was awarded second prize for his entry titled, ‘city walkers’ or ‘the possibility of a forgotten domestication and biological industry’. the images tell the story of a sentient species of architecture that moves slower than humans can perceive. ‘the city in this story was an exploration of civilization and urbanism as humanity’s relationship with natural and biological systems that exist on a vastly longer timescale than the human lifespan,’ says hector.

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2nd prize — city walkers by terrence hector

 

 

creating a closer relationship time-wise between human and natural timeframes let me derive a new urban typology, which also acts as a parable of over exploitation,’ continues hector, who has an M.arch and BS in architecture from the university of illinois at chicago. ‘I was trying to work through an inferred genealogy from the USS monitor to hayao miyazaki, working through a tradition of humanizing massive, aggressive machines.’

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2nd prize — city walkers by terrence hector

 

 

third prize was given to french architects ariane merle d’aubigné and jean maleyrat. ‘up above’ tells the story of refugees who build shanty towns on thin stilts, high in the clouds, to escape oppression, regulations, and inequality on the surface of the earth below. ‘the short narrative takes a look at reality through the marvelous and the fantastic,’ explains ariane merle d’aubigné and jean maleyrat. ‘we have tried to highlight contemporary issues and concerns by letting the supernatural burst into reality.’

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3rd prize — up above by ariane merle d’aubigné and jean maleyrat

 

 

migration, the accumulation of wealth, overpopulation, the terrorist threat and pollution are some of the issues with which we live every day,’ says the duo, who met in architecture school. ‘we highlighted these concerns and our love of art through this poetic tale. our generation often aspires to an ‘elsewhere’, in our ‘elsewhere’ the rules of the game have changed.’

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3rd prize — up above by ariane merle d’aubigné and jean maleyrat

 

 

a prize was also given to the highest scoring entry from an AIAS member (the american institute of architecture students). this was awarded to maria syed and adriana davis for their story titled ‘playing house’. ‘playing house embodies the idea that architecture can eclipse the personality of its occupants, where the character and style of the architecture dictate the mood of the inhabitants,’ says syed and davis. ‘the loud textures and discordant angles of the home sparked the idea for the story: transitioning from room to room manifests itself in drastic physical and psychological change.’

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AIAS prize — playing house by maria syed and adriana davis

 

 

the drawings, the genesis of our submission, address architectural conventions of projection drawings, merged with the unconventional appearance of the home to create friction,’ continues the pair, who met while studying at the new jersey institute of technology. ‘this act is mirrored in the story, where a typical visit from a neighbor turns peculiar. the two creators of this project worked closely throughout their undergraduate career, creating an inseparable partnership for their first collaboration.’

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AIAS prize — playing house by maria syed and adriana davis

 

 

the jury also awarded 10 honorable mentions to: minh tran, alan ma, & yi ning lui: xinran ma; jun li, joris komen, yuxing chen & yina dong; carly dean & richard nelson-chow; aidan doyle & sarah wan (wandoy studio); dakis panayiotou; julien nolin; michael quach; janice kim & carol shih; chong yan chuah, nathan su & bethany edgoose.

 

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  • Very cool drawings, and reminds me of work by Simon Stålenhag

    sean says:
  • Good to see that it’s already been mentioned, the winner owes a lot to Simon Stålenhag and his work. Even the brushwork seems familiar.

    Renze Rispens says:

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