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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Liberland’s Second International Architectural Competition’s results announced – with an honourable mention going to a professional architect team from the US

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 professional team from the US gaining an honourable mention.

The team was led Timothy Brochu who is an architect from Adra architecture LLC and host of the Anarchitecture Podcast. He was joined by Joe Brochu, Engineer, Goshe King, Mechanical Engineer, Angineering Tech Podcast, Joe Green, Mechanical Engineer, Angineering Tech Podcast, Andrew Messer, Civil Engineer, John Ellis III, Architect and Palmer Ferguson, Architect

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.

“The standard of entries was so high we were honoured to present honourable mentions to four teams – this bodes well for the future.”

Timothy Brochu talks about the design process:

“What’s compelling about this design competition is that it forces you to look at Liberland as a real place with real challenges and opportunities. Our focus was on an analysis of the site, ecology, and regional infrastructure to propose solutions to the real world problems that Liberland will have to solve to develop an autonomous city on this site. Plus we have a podcast about libertarian approaches to developing the built environment, so how could we not participate?

“There are good reasons why Liberland has never been developed. Seasonal flooding inundates as much as half of the land area. The soils are not good for building, and a lot of soil may need to be removed and replaced with imported fill.  

“Liberland is also bordered by two “Wetlands of International Importance, suggesting that the wetland ecology and hydrology of Liberland should be carefully protected. Between the flooding, wetlands, and poor soils, it may be difficult to achieve Liberland’s desired density of 120,000 residents. But since the next best option for a building a free city is the middle of the ocean, this site looks pretty good.

“We also thought it was important to avoid dependence on any one other nation for infrastructure and transportation connections. With proximity to Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, and the international water of the Danube River, there are some interesting opportunities to create resilience through redundant systems.

“By investing in regional infrastructure, creating economic opportunities, and modelling environmental stewardship, Liberland can create win-win solutions for itself and its neighbours.

“We started with some wild architectural concepts, but as we learned more about the site, we focused more on organizing the design around the specific constraints and opportunities that we had identified. Our final layout ended up being a rather traditional city plan, built on the few areas of high ground above the maximum flood elevation with designated parcels for critical infrastructure and transportation facilities

“Our design submission was heavy on site analysis and infrastructure concepts. 

We would have liked to have developed the architectural design beyond our simple organizational diagram. 

“We also proposed a system of blockchain-based costs and credits to incentivize developers to prioritize goals for density, open space, environmental mitigation, and infrastructure investment without prescribing a rigidly designed master plan. It would be interesting to study how this could work in a simulation or gaming platform.”

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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