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The International VELUX Award is a biennial competition for students of architecture. We challenge students from all over the world to work with daylight as an ever relevant source of light, life and joy. More than 600 student teams have submitted their daylight project to the International VELUX Award, and the jury has elected nine regional winners. See all winning projects here.

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Regional Winner Western Europe - Daylight Investigations

Students: Brice Lemaire, Xiaolan Vandendries, Julien Obedia
Teacher: Gérald Ledent
School: Université Catholique de Louvain
Country: Belgium

The project challenges, questions and raises awareness of the phenomenon of desertification, which affects 25% of the global land area − including the region of Almeria, Spain. It proposes creating a new monumentality as a landmark in the territory, where the soils and ecosystems are regenerated by setting up a water cycle based on atmospheric water. A mesh acts as a filter or a veil, designed to create a light and shadow scenography that evolves during the day. Thus, threatened and usually neglected spaces can become places with remarkable spatial, poetic and luminous qualities where people can gather.

The project is a truly interesting investigation. In addition to the challenges of desertification and the questions it raises, this project attempts to investigate the problem and find simple and realisable solutions. Its goal is to regenerate the soil with a special mesh or net that collects moisture from fog, dew and rain. The associated helium balloons also create spectacular and shaded places, and the way it works with humidity as a medium of expression of the light is truly appealing. The jury applauds a really good investigation that is very thoroughly researched and well presented.