The International VELUX Award is a competition for students of architecture that runs every second year. We challenge students from all over the world to work with daylight as an ever relevant source of light, life and joy. The award is one of the most important global student competitions of its kind.

Submission is closed. The regional winners will be announced in August.

Juri Troy: Open your mind to find new solutions with daylight

The jury of the International VELUX Award is getting ready to review the daylight projects students will submit by the 15th of June. Juri Troy, architect and former stonemason, shares his own approach to new architectural tasks and talks about the importance of daylight and sustainability. He also sends a warm message to all the students participating in the competition.

Juri Troy, jury member for the International VELUX Award 2020.

The theme of the competition is Light of tomorrow. Students are asked to investigate, with an open mind and without boundaries, daylight in the future built environment. How important do you consider daylight to be in architecture?

As we are staying more and more inside our buildings - up to 90% - it means that in architecture, daylight is getting more and more important, to have the qualities we want to bring into our architecture - this is the one aspect.

Sunlighthouse by juri troy architects, photo © Adam Mork.

The other aspect is that we are also working a lot with untreated materials, and to bring the quality of these materials out, I think daylight is key. So, the better the light is, the more you are getting the sense of material and texture into your interiors. And that's what we are trying to do with our work.

Your projects concentrate on sustainable building concepts and the use of renewable raw materials - especially local woods. Can you tell us about your approach to architecture? Where do you start, when you begin to work on the project?

We start every project with the site. It is always important to see the qualities of the existing surroundings that we have, so every plot already gives us the starting point for every project.

We are trying to see what the light conditions are, trying to get out what we get out from the sun, in the energy aspects.

Haus mit Kirschbaum by juri troy architects, photo © Juri Troy.

We are also trying to deal with the material that is surrounding the site, that's why we are always trying to work with wood, because it's just here, around, quite a lot. But also, with the potential of companies that we can work together with, for example. As we are trying to reduce the footprint of each of our buildings, it is also very important where the materials are coming from, to use mostly natural and re-growing materials.

All these aspects we try to bring together, to make a really good project.

The competition is gathering students from close to 800 schools in more than 100 countries. What are you most excited about in the jury work ahead of you and what will you be looking for?

I am already quite excited to see what students can imagine, how they deal with light. I think it is very important to open up the mind, to find out new solutions how we can deal with daylight.

In our profession, we are getting more and more restrictions. Every year we have to fulfill a lot of things that are not really poetic but very realistic. Therefore, I think a competition like this is very good to show how we can focus on the poetic part of light, what we can bring out of these qualities. That's what we are looking for.

Detail © Juri Troy.

Students around the world are part of the universal lockdown, sitting at home and away from university, teachers and friends. Would you like to send them a message of encouragement?

I think the only thing we can do is to make the best out of it. We will have very special memories about this time, it will follow us through all our life, I guess. It will be very nice to connect these memories with something beautiful, like for example this competition and nice projects that are coming out.

Let me see what you bring out in these times.

Watch the entire interview:

By Jadrana Ćurković