Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 1 (January 2000)

Virtual Buildings

Through its sixth annual international design competition promoting the concept of virtual architecture, software vendor Graphisoft (Bud apest, Hungary) challenged artists and architects to produce imag inative architectural designs and visualizations using the company's ArchiCAD program. Relying solely on their imaginations and digital design tools, the participants constructed virtual buildings-such as The Blue Sky Mine and The Cheap Hotel-that had previously existed only in cultural themes from songs and books.

This year's competition, open to both architectural students and professionals, drew a record number of more than 400 entries, with the contestants submitting a 3D virtual building file as well as a series of virtual-reality scenes and computer renderings to convey their design intent. Cash and software prizes were awarded to the top projects in both student and professional categories by an international jury comprising members of the architectural press.

Ironically, it was the top two student submissions that caught the judges' attention, "marking a turning point in the way we perceive space, as their work merges with the machine without losing their dreams or spirit," says architect Francis Soler, who served as the jury's president.

A selection of images from the prize-winning projects are featured on the following pages. To see additional contest imagery, visit Graphisoft's Web site at
-Karen Moltenbrey

First Place, Professional: Peter Bach and Péter Hadadi, Technical University of Budapest, Hungary, "The Cheap Hotel"

Second Place, Professional: István Pölös and Marianna Ilyés, NANA Architects, Budapest, Hungary, "The Pharaoh's Palace"

First Place, Student: Erin Colgrave and Alex Phegan, University of Tasmania, Australia, "The Blue Sky Mine"

Third Place, Student: Yun Hun Ng and Jimmy Tan Soon Kiong, University of Tasmania, Australia, "The Cheap Hotel"

Honorable Mention, Student: Dorottya Máthé, University of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary, "The Pharaoh's Palace"

Honorable Mention, Professional: Martin Danak, Peter Osuski, and Branislav Loskot, Art Studio Joko, Tmava, Slovakia, "The Cheap Hotel"

Honorable Mention, Student: Jaimin Atkins and Ben Milbourne, University of Tasmania, Australia, "The Cheap Hotel"

Honorable Mention, Professional: Toshio Matsuzawa, Tecicobuilness Co., Tokyo, Japan, "The Zone"