Anna Puigjaner, cofounder of Barcelona-based MAIO Studio, wins 0,000 travel grant for her proposal Kitchenless City: Architectural Systems for Social Welfare Puigjaner’s winning proposal, Kitchenless City: Architectural Systems for Social Welfare, takes as its starting point a historic housing type—housing blocks with collective kitchens, as well as other shared amenities such as dining rooms, lounges, and service areas.
Puigjaner proposes to study exemplars of collective housing in Russia, Brazil, Sweden, China, Korea, and India, which reflect a variety of approaches to organizing and distributing domestic spaces.
She seeks to endow architecture with the power to alleviate the burdens of our domestic life.
The lightness, subtlety, and cleanliness that is always present in Puigjaner's work allows us a glimpse of how she imagines this architecture should be, and anticipates the lines of investigation she will pursue on her travels with the Wheelwright Prize.” —Rafael Moneo, 2016 Wheelwright Prize Juror The 2016 Wheelwright Prize jury praised Puigjaner for the relevance of her topic today, as rapidly urbanizing cities struggle to provide adequate affordable housing for their growing populations.
The jury emphasized the importance of awarding a research project that could produce new forms of architectural knowledge, and noted in particular the pertinence of Puigjaner’s research to new housing development models as well as the rise of alternative sharing and resource-pooling economies.
As in previous years, the competition received nearly 200 submissions from roughly 45 countries, and applications touched on a range of spatial, technological, and social issues.
The research builds on work Puigjaner initiated several years ago, while pursuing her Ph. She has published articles on the subject, contributing essays to Space Caviar’s SQM: The Quantified Home (Lars Muller, 2014) and Volume (2013, #. Kitchenless City also reflects MAIO Studio’s particular interest in flexible systems and the potential of variation, ephemerality, and appropriation.
Its finalist submission to the Mo MA PS1 Young Architects Program in 2014, Rooms: No Vacancy, designed with Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, consisted of a grid of rooms offering a succession of different atmospheres and moods.
For the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, MAIO created Floating, a series of inflated columns that traveled throughout the Chicago Cultural Center.
This drew from previous MAIO projects, Floating: Urban Activator (Barcelona, 2011) and Urban Space System (Barcelona, 2014), which utilized flexible devices to delineate new gathering spots or “monuments” in public spaces.
The firm’s first building is, fittingly, a residential block that puts many of its ideas about open systems and changeability into practice.