Immortal Architecture- Competition Winner

The concept of ‘Immortal Architecture’ certainly sparked our imagination, and it seems it inspired some other people too- there were a lot of really great entries to this competition. It was quite a hard brief to grasp, with a tension between designing something to face the steady march of time, and still maintaining a social significance. Some of the entries captured this tension beautifully, and you can take a look for yourself- all the entries were shared on our facebook page. For Hi-Res versions please refer to the original article on our competition site.

Here is the winning design from Robert Kane, Florence, Italy.

We felt his design really captured a strong meeting of an immortal, monumental architecture with a timeless human necessity. The structures he describes in his entry are significant throughout time, from the impact they have every time it rains, every season and harvest, and over hundreds of years as they become landmarks more and more melded with the landscape. The drawing is particularly crisp and attractive, and although we may never know if it could work it’s a great example of designing to consider a span of significance far vaster than our own lives.

 Here are some comments from Robert-

The idea came from the program, where it mentioned to consider how your building would decay over time. I had a strong impulse to design something huge and monumental, an architecture that would become more like a geologic formation. And then I thought about how to exaggerate the natural processes; in this case, erosion and accumulation of runoff; and make them into something that people could benefit from. I had a hard time thinking of a better way to alleviate social problems than to ensure that everyone is well fed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are the honourable mentions, which we thought were too good to be missed. Both are very different and very intriguing ideas…

Ruben Caldwell and Leigh Salem of Studio TACK, Brooklyn, NY. (

Some of the greatest monuments to past civilizations are infrastructural.   We wanted to continue this tradition while including an additional layer of community service.  By providing a place to find clean drinking water, we hoped to allow members of the community to free up time during their days for educational pursuits.  We were also inspired by Homeric notions of immortality, that somehow if our stories survive we do as well.  To this end the wall is intended as a repository for the stories of the generations of community members who have collected water, worked and been educated there. Their stories become a cross-section through time, revealing to the hopes and aspirations of successive generations.

Simon Hicks and Holly Lang, from London.

Sealed within a limestone structure a time-lapse camera preserves a record of the growing city. Viewed from a specific perspective steel studs embedded within the limestone align to mirror the view across the city at the time of construction, forming a window into the past. Over time as the body of recorded images grows conversely the structure erodes until a time capsule is released to future generations.


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