BK Master's student Jacopo Zani one of three winners Archiprix 2023

News - 23 October 2023 - Communication BK

On Saturday 21 October, the winners of the Dutch Archiprix 2023 were announced. Alumnus Jacopo Zani of the Master Track Architecture is one of the three winners with 'Gardens of Dialectics'. The Archiprix selects from the best graduation projects of Dutch master's programs with majors in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture and the master's programs in interior architecture. 

A story of decay and reconstruction

The Gardens of Dialectics project discusses the present and possible future of a former mining town in Belgian Limburg. The state of decay and depopulation is accepted, and latency is used as a site from which the future can be reconstructed. The project proposes to allow fragments of the surrounding nature to settle in the settlement, gradually removing the original rigid structure.

The jury on Jacopo Zani and his graduation project

"An in-depth study describes the history of a former mining area in Belgian Limburg. (...) The attitude developed is one of understanding and love for both building (in the same spirit of modernism and progress), landscape and its inhabitants (both human, animal and plant). The designer devises strategies to engage the various actors and positions the role of the architect as one who activates them."

The Director of Education MaartenJan Hoekstra about Jacopo: "In his graduation project, Jacopo Zani has very successfully tackled a number of current social challenges - giving cultural heritage a new future, redeveloping abandoned industrial areas, expanding and integrating nature into architecture, and strengthening social cohesion with architecture - and in doing so he has redefined the role of the architect. Not surprisingly our best graduate last year, and now also a first prize at the Archiprix. I am looking forward to his dissertation which he is currently writing in Zurich."

And during the BK Archiprix selection his mentor Leontine de Wit stated about his work and person: "Jacopo is passionate and socially very committed. He worked out his project from the large scale to the smallest detail, in both his research and the making of his design. In everything he does, I notice his intrinsic motivation to make the world a better place for people and nature."

Research qualities

The three award-winning designs and the honorable mention, the jury said, are characterized in a search for a new contemporary aesthetic to address the pressing issues of today and tomorrow. The projects not only seek to make society function better, but actively seek to change society.
The jury praised the graduates in their research quality and courage to defer to design. Their own methodologies, toolboxes and atlases are developed from the research. As a result, sometimes surprising solutions emerge that are not always buildable designs. Furthermore, the jury sees a search for a new beauty, often looking for ways to build less and work with what is already there. The Archiprix 2023 jury consisted of Janneke Bierman (architecture), Darius Reznek (landscape architecture), Lisa van der Slot (urban design), Bruno Vermeersch (interior design) and Johan de Walsche (theory/research).

The other winners are "Exhibition for Imagination" by Steven van Raan (first prize), "Choreographic Resilience" by Justyna Chmielewska (first prize) and "Learning from Slums, The New Vernacular" by Osarieme Isokpan (honorable mention).

More information

View the graduation project Gardens of Dialectics by Jacopo Zani.
His graduation mentors were Leontine de Wit, Mauro Parravicini, Daniel Rosbottom and Mark Pimlott.

The Archiprix 2023 exhibition can be visited from October 12 to December 15, Monday through Friday 8:00 - 19:00 at TU/e in the VERTIGO building, PLAZA (1st floor).

All projects of the Dutch Archiprix and those of previous years, can also be found on the Archiprix website

See also the BK selection 2024 competing for the Dutch Archiprix 2024.