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Friday, January 28, 2022

Liberland’s Second International Architectural Competition’s results announced – third place goes to team from China

Competition comes on the heels Liberland announcing an initial investment commitment of EUR 140 million 

Liberland announced the results of the second international architectural competition. Sergio Bianchi was crowned the winner with a talented team from China taking fourth place.

The Chinese entry was lead by professor Wenyi Zhu, lecturer at Tsinghua University where he is in charge of the architectural and urban design at the university. The students in the team are Yiwei Zhou, 1st year Doctoral Student, Yaobeilong Jiang, 1st year Graduate Student, Zeyu Huai, 1st year Graduate Student, and Yang Yue, 2nd year Doctoral Student, Tsinghua University.

The second Liberland Architectural Competition attracted more than 20 entries from architects, designers and engineers from many countries including teams from Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, China, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States.

The competition jury panel was led by President Vit Jedlicka and architect Patrik Schumacher, Principal of Zaha Hadid Architects, and included citizens, technologists and architects involved with Liberland. The judging took place in May 2021. 

The results of this competition come on the heels of Liberland’s announcement of an initial investment commitment of EUR 140 million from a number of key supporters.  These commitments demonstrate the tremendous interest in investing in Liberland. 

President Vit said “Back in 2015 we held out first Liberland Design Competition and witnessed great passion and architecture combined. This second competition has resulted in even more inspiring results.

“It is also hugely important that we are attracting interest around the world. The strong entry from Tsinghua University speaks to our reach.”

Wenyi Zhu speaks about the process of beginning this design:

“My major is urban design. In the past few decades, I have completed hundreds of urban design proposals or projects, from metropolitan area to small block area, and of course, many architectural designs. Since I got the competition information on the Internet in 2020, I have a strong interest in it. Because this is the design of a country. Although it is a micro country, it is the design of the whole country. I like to do things I’ve never done before. That’s why I took part in this competition.

“From my point of view, there are three main challenges in this competition: The first one is to explore the typology of human settlements for the future. The national form of Liberland must be futuristic. The proposal Cyberland designs a huge triangle-shaped building, Intensive land use like this creates the overall image of “one building, one country”. It can be imagined that a future human settlements in the universe may be like this.

“The second is the exploration of architecture and city in the digital age. Liberland itself represents the future social form such as blockchain. How to embody the digital age through architecture and urban design is very challenging. In the proposal, the service road network of residents’ daily work and life is planned on the rooftops of the buildings, and driverless vehicles are set up; Canopies with LED screens and translucent photovoltaic panels were also designed on the rooftops of the buildings. So, Liberland can be identified on the satellite map.

“Third, a country is extremely complex. How to summarize the main elements and express them through design is a huge challenge. The proposal designs healthy sports facilities, such as a 700-meter-long giant swimming pool and football fields, creating a good image of the country.

“There is a scratch in the north of the Liberland site, which is a mark left by history. The main building is just to the north of the scratch. In this regard, I would like to say: “this is a coincidence.”

“The actual situation is that I analyzed the site, especially the accessibility and mobility of the site. Accessibility and mobility are the main reasons for planning the main building in the north of the site. Most people arrive at Liberland by boat from the Danube River. The eastern part of the site, where the scratch is located, is the best location for the wharf and entrance.

“On the other hand, there is a road to the east and a road to the west along the Danube, which can provide good accessibility and mobility for Liberland. The northern part of the site is the best place to build roads along the east-west direction to realize external connection of Liberland, because taking the island as the midpoint can make it easier to build bridges across the Danube River. As for the hypotenuse of the huge triangle building is exactly the same as the scratch direction, which can be understood as ‘It is destined to happen.’ “.

The Design competition was curated and authored by Daniela Ghertovici, Director at ArchAgenda LLC. Launched last year, the competition requirement was “to translate blockchain concepts into urban and architectural design strategies”.

As Ghertovici explains: “The thesis of the Liberland Design Competition agenda posits that the infusion of decentralized blockchain logics into urban and architectural design, with its potential to radically disrupt and innovate social, economic, and political arenas, will ultimately transform the physiognomy and functionality of cities. 

“From a historical standpoint, I theorize blockchain as the 8th mass media after Print (1450), Recordings (1877), Cinema (1900), Radio (1910), Television (1925), Internet (1990) and Mobile phones (2000), with the crucial distinction that it is a decentralized mass media, and this attribute of decentralization is itself a transformative concept for urban design and development.”

When writing the 2015 brief for the first Liberland Design Competition, it was very clear to Ghertovici that “Liberland, the world’s newest micro-nation — a sovereign values-based minarchy — has unprecedented potential to radically disrupt and innovate in every facet of society (governance, economy, jurisprudence, sustainability, education, charity, peace and most importantly freedom), but especially urban and architectural design.”

“In 2021, through Liberland’s extraordinary vision and perseverance, it has evolved into a global phenomenon among emerging models for building new societies (charter cities, special economic zones, free private cities, seasteading, etc), but unlike other models, Liberland’s sovereignty as a microstate  means that is can build innovative urban systems without the difficulty of having to compromise and adapt to outdated urban planning and zoning restrictions,” she says.

Jillian Godsil
Blockchain Advocate, Founder, Conference Chair, Women in Blockchain Advocate, Keynote Speaker, Crypto Journalist, Broadcaster, CEO, Writer, Homelessness Advocate, Former European Parliament Candidate, Law Changer, Mother, Choir Member, Hill Walker, Dreamer

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