UPTO35 competition shortlist


Five architects have been shortlisted for UPTO35, a competition to design an affordable student housing complex in Athens, Greece.


The five practices are: 101DESIGN of Japan; Solid Objectives – Idenburg Liu of the United States (above); Joao Prates Ruivo + Raquel Maria Oliveira of Greece (below); KUMS of The Netherlands; and Suppose Design Office of Japan (top image).


See our story from June this year announcing the competition.


Above: KUMS. Below: 101DESIGN.


Here's the announcement from UPTO35:


Press Release

OLIAROS announces the results of
the International Architecture Competition UPTO35

Athens, 14.09.2009

On June 29th 2009, OLIAROS, a young property development company, issued a call for architects up to 35 years old to submit proposals for the design and construction of a model, affordable student housing complex in Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio (KM), an area in the historic centre of Athens, Greece.

Participants were asked to explore new building typologies that can house 18 students on the 200 m2 lot at 34 Marathonos Street in KM, and can potentially sprawl in the neighboring properties owned by third parties, aiming at creating a contemporary student housing hub.

The deadline for entries of the Schematic Designs was September 7th, 2009. 245 proposals from 41 countries were submitted and reviewed by the Jury Committee between September 11th - 14th 2009 at OLIAROS’ premises in Athens, of which 242 complied with the competition rules.

The Jury Committee is comprised of a team of distinguished architects with diverse backgrounds, and an influential practice on contemporary architecture plus the organizer. The Jury members are: Bjarke Ingels, Andreas Kourkoulas, Marcel Meili, Iasson Tsakonas, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Yorgos Tzirtzilakis, and Elia Zenghelis.

The Jury Committee decided on the five finalists, which are:



Entry _ID U3778P: Joao Prates Ruivo + Raquel Maria Oliveira – Greece



The five finalists will receive €3000 each and were invited, to submit Design development propositions due on January 11th, 2010.

The final 5 projects will be exhibited on site on October 1-7 2009 alongside all 242 entries. During the exhibition, the public will be invited to vote for one of the five finalists via text messaging. The project with the most SMS votes shall be deemed to have obtained the public vote.

The final winner, whose project will be developed by OLIAROS, will be determined in January 2010 by the votes of the seven members of the Jury plus the one vote deriving from the public and will receive a €10.000 award as well as €30.000 commission.

Please find below more information on the competition’s theme, the Jury Committee, the submissions and the in-situ exhibition. Also please find attached an appendix with the Jury’s Report.

For more information on each of the finalist proposals and details on the competition, please visit: www.upto35.com

Posted on Monday September 14th 2009 at 11:01 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • SMS voting to build an actual building!???
    I hope we get an online exhibition of more than these 5 … after so much promise from the premise of this competition – feeling confused and underwhelmed.

  • masahiro

    very cool

  • a_not_chosen_scheme

    I’m totally lost with those choices at least 4 out of 5.
    They lost the chance for a sustainable scheme which will make a difference.
    Plus I cannot believe they accepted a team of 6 when the limit was 5 people. (answer 129 in the competition’s website).

  • eatcake

    Wow, I am very pleasantly surprised.
    On the contrary to the above comment I feel some of the results very promising in particularly the Suppose Design Studio’s entry that demonstrates great design and understanding of site specific and socio-economic specter.

    Less convinced by some of the other entry’s such as that of KUMS, perhaps a set of plans would help understand the idea where the rendering fails.

  • good to be an outsider

    …it seems that the 5 proposals wink naughtily at the building regulations and restrictions, which brilliantly have been forwarded in an significantly extensive manner.

  • wait a minute

    Omitting the neighbor to the south in scheme PARTY WALL from Solid Objectives is misleading. Adding the existing wall at 4.55 meter from that beautifully transparant facade compromises the basic move of the design. Not to mention this scheme could never work for lots 15 and 16, which are significantly narrower. And how about the zoning rule that said we had to leave a 4.55 meter backyard? Was that just a zoning suggestion?

  • It is slightly disturbing to see how a quite impressive jury is not taking Athen’s social, political or climatic into account (a fully glazed facade seems to be the opposite of what a residential building in Athens needs)-
    Looking forward to see the winning scheme next year though…

  • not_a_bad_looser

    apparently the client was over-ambitious about doing something right, so they asked for everything (and,in fact, being specific about nothing). This left enough space for those willing to take a chance, to simply do their own thing. And those are the results. No more-no less.

    I don’t think any of those projects has a chance to get built like they’re shown here, but yet, you never know what may come out of phase 2 and how those concepts are going to survive. The result might even be viable, against the odds.

  • not_a_bad_looser

    re/ waitaminute

    I aggree that one of the main flaws of the client was insisting too much on the building regulations (the other one being that completely absurd demand that all entries should be delivered at their premises by a specific date and time, regardless of the postmark). But we all aggreed to play by those mixed messages (…if not ‘rules’), didn’t we? Do you actually feel right now your own work was a waste? I don’t think so.

    Besides, it was done for a pretty good cause. There is both enormous shortage of student housing in Athens (or – housing for young people, generally), AND a set of building codes that KILL any interesting idea on architecture. Even if the actual building turns out to be a disappointment (…and right now nobody can really tell if this is actually going to be so), the exhibition is going to be a blast. 242 entries dealing with the shittiest plots in the area is very big deal in itself. I hope for those not sharing the pleasure of downtown living here (pun intended), Oliaros might consider uploading the whole exhibition online.

  • B

    The US entry doesn’t meet the requirements as Wait a Minute mentioned, so I don’t know why they were selected. Also I think it would be really hard to realize some of the shortlisted designes with the budget given. Anyway I’m a bit disapointed, especially some of the proposals are not reasonable at all. It would be nice if they published other projects as well.

  • gaque

    suppose’s proposal and so-il’s proposal are soo similar in the renderings. japanese copying japanese copying dutch copying japanese copying themselves? whats going on here. i think japanese architecture and those who are influenced by it need to branch out. dont get me wrong…i think the cutesy half-perspective/half-axonometric drawings are cool, but if everyone does them, its not cool anymore.

    sorry, i didnt give any comments about the actualy competition. i know little about it, but i have a feeling some entries were jipped.

  • fpc

    why does everyone think..that students want to live in shopwindows?????????

  • Arden

    suppose design office is fantastic – even if design and presentation remind of sanaa… a beautiful concept/design.

    over all: great – congrats to the jury!

  • Daidaloos

    We need to see the entire submission documents for all of the shortlisted projects and read how they resolve in their design all the competition requirements. From these images it is extremely hard to form a complete image about any of these projects. Ideally, for the benefit of the designers and of the competition organizers dezeen should request the competition panels and text and post them so that we don`t have to assume if they comply or not, what is their environmental strategy etc…

  • confused

    … very confusing. Indeed, the building regulations were not considered at all. the distance to the neighbours was not respected at all and the entries ignore any sustainability concept. Sorry to say but the party wall looks interesting but completely fails on the regulations. I’m very curious to see how 101 design works and how it gets natural light. I don’t get it. kums looks very disappointing. My favorite is definitely Suppose Design Office of Japan. However I would like to see some plans and see how things work and how they fit the 18 rooms in such a scheme while regarding the regulations. the greek design looks also nice but the overal view of the neighbourhood ignores completely the neighbourhood (no distance).
    I just disappointed that the jury are not respecting the building regulations and they should definitely show 10-20 more designs…

  • Jackie

    I am good friends with RYO OTSUKA! I’m so happy that he is in the final 5. I hope he wins!!

  • piloto 8

    I think I’ve seen these projects already. Perhaps too much “influenced” by Sejima ?
    Promoters: Please, next time do not put too much enphasis in giving overloaded rules, specially if what you are looking as output are images & ideas more than realistic projects. Just be clear from the beginnig and let help understand the real commitment.

  • sis

    Suppose Design Studio!!!!

  • Jelle

    I think it’s an interesting challenge to create something within the given regulations. All the winning entries are ‘nice’, but I can’t see how they match with the architectural and planning recuirements for the site. For example: the project of Solid Objectives has very thin floors and walls, which is very expensive or nearly impossible to make them environmentally and acoustically good, besides: how will a fully glassed facade without sunblinds respond to the living conditions for the students within (now is just seems a nice picture, but nothing more). To me, within the 242 submissions are lots of projects wich respond more to selection criteria, explained in the competition notice. I expected a lot more of this competition, but still I am looking forward how the five projects will evolve. Let’s hope we can have a jury review of the (winning) projects soon.

  • ecology man

    I totally agree with archi.pH.art. the american design with its fully glazed window is total wrong thing to do here. The climate of greece doesn’t allow for such things. This will heat up like crazy (btw, it is facing complete south). Also I don’t see the remaining designs being built with the tight budget they imagined (1200 euro/sqm). Nice student designs but reality will catch up on them and the whole competition becomes a disappointment.
    a big disappointment for all the entries that took the building regulations seriously and played by the “real” rules… it’s a shame.
    Oliaros needs to show the remaining entries so that everybody can see by themselves.

  • Adilbai

    you can download it at http://www.upto35.com/

  • tan

    well I think mine was the best One !!!

    hehe anyway . i d love to see the full A1 drawings with the estimation of the sqm !! some thing that gave me big! headache .

    the proposals seam ` A diagramatic approach` which is what they specified , BUT if it is so all the regulattions should have been a secondary face requirement.

    PLUS — what about living in the centre of Athens , within an area of disuded buildings n poverty , foreighrs …

    how is student living related to local situationand what does the building do for the area at large ?!!!

    proposals like that make young architects loose faith

  • eatcake

    having read more into the final 5 projects and I am compelled to ask:

    ‘ Is the Suppose Design Studio project description an anagram?’ Try as hard as you might to decipher and still you will fail. I think the online text translation sites have a lot to own up to here.
    The Greek entry on the other hand is very coherent in it’s idea and statement. I have very high hopes for the this duo!

  • not_a_bad_looser

    Suppose Design propose a strategy, not some finite plan (though it would also be very interesting to see their – required – proposal plans, sections etc). What they do initially is linking volumes to specific uses, and at the same time, they leave more unpredictable events for the spaces in-between. Such fragmentation is very flexible (there are various shapes and sizes for their tiny cubes), and this is appropriate to the deep and narrow plots provided for infill. Vertical circulation is done in simple towers naturally lit from above. I can imagine the building will remain completely white, probably plastered. And when they actually do have to deal with the building codes, they shouldn’t have an enormous problem.

    Of course, accessibility for the disabled seems to go down the drain, this is going to give structural engineers a nightmare, and I’m not sure how comfortable, private, well-lit or ventilated those rooms will be. Prefabrication (which is suggested by the double walls or floors) is scarce in Greece and it costs a lot more money than it might save, and if in the end there have to be columns all around, the whole idea is going to be wrecked.

    Taking a look at two of their recent projects ( http://www.dezeen.com/2009/07/15/house-in-nagoya-by-suppose-design-office/ and http://www.suppose.jp/works/nukushina/works_nukushina.html ) I think they will be able to provide something absolutely beautiful. And it’s going to be more than the dollhouse we saw here.

    My only question is, when you submit a proposal to a competition that is site-specific and stresses a lot on feasibility, affordability etc., just how abstract can you be without risking to blow it all?

  • Yah, I also like to see the A1 drawings..

  • jose jones

    what about the results?? there’s no post about it, BTW, first picture (proyect) is very interesting, who’s the author???
    greetings from peru =)

  • Projet tres formaliste- symbolique – espace stressant-egocenrique
    destine pour un autre site ou pays.
    je plains les futur usagers