Architectural student competition for sustainable green spaces

WWF Greece with the cooperation and the scientific support of the Urban Environment Lab of the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, organised a competition, which was open to undergraduate students enrolled at the Faculties of Architecture and corresponding Departments in Greek Polytechnics and Universities.

Young students of architecture were invited to develop ideas and proposals for the creation or redevelopment of public sustainable green spaces, under low construction and maintenance costs.

On Tuesday, June 13th, Impact Hub Athens hosted the Press Conference for the Architectural competition, as well as the awards ceremony. Out of a total of 27 entries, the first three selected architectural proposals received a cash award, while the remaining seven finalists received honorable mentions. Of particular importance is the fact that the students’ proposals will be forwarded to the municipal authorities in order to provide solutions for immediate implementation, contributing to the improvement of the public urban green spaces in Greek cities.

The original competition was implemented as part of the WWF Greece program “Better Life”, which is made possible through a major grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the support of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation. The program features a series of open informational and recreational activities, focusing on mobilizing and raising awareness among school communities, as well as the wider Greek society for the benefit of the environment, economy and social solidarity.

Urban Beekeeping in Oslo

A project to build two apiaries on the roof of Mathellen Oslo, a food court in the Norwegian capital’s Vulkan neighbourhood, proves that urban beekeeping is not only feasible, but an effective way of raising awareness of the plight of bees and their important role in the natural ecosystem.

The initiative is being funded by the DNB Savings Bank Foundation. “The project has generated far more attention among the media and general public than we had ever imagined,” explains Marcus Christensen, grant advisor at the DNB Savings Bank Foundation.

Part of its success is due to the strong visual appeal of the beehives used. Each housing around 160,000 bees, the hexagonal birch wood hives, designed by Oslo’s best known architectural design studio Snøhetta, are a far cry from the standard commercial boxes normally used by beekeepers.

The beehives, which were built in 2014, produced some 80 kg of honey in their first year, with the bees travelling distances of up to 3 kilometres to collect nectar from flowers and trees. Du Rietz collects data on the humidity, temperature and quantity of honey but says that he was surprised by the results of laboratory tests run to test the quality of the honey.

“It contained no traces of pollution, it was as clean as the honey I collect on my farm in the countryside,” he observed

Text taken from an article by Vita Sgardello in the Spring edition of Effect magazine


The M9 project is the realisation of a cultural centre which might become a reference point for Mestre, a city located in the urban mainland of Venice.

The city of Mestre, characterised in the past by poor urbanisation and poor architecture, is nowadays becoming a city of compatible development and cultural integration. In fact, the M9 can be framed as an urban regeneration project designed, funded and implemented by Fondazione di Venezia to boost the modernisation of Mestre and its metropolitan area.

The M9 will be a museum focused on the “short twentieth century”, a cultural centre with an international, multi-faceted and multi-coloured atmosphere, flexible and eclectic, a “knowledge factory” which will provide a stage for the 100 years that have revolutionised the world. A centre in which architectural quality, innovative services and new collective spaces will crown a cultural institute of new conceptions, capable of offering a rich cultural schedule, both varied and aware of the requirements of diverse publics.

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