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Life Saving - First Step Against Disaster

Earthquakes and the events generated consequently to them, like the tsunami, are the major causes of loss of human lives. In recent years there have been ten devastating tsunami that caused between 300.000 and 400.000 victims. Tsunami are large, powerful waves caused by sudden displacement of large quantities of water in the sea / ocean. Common causes for the displacement of large quantities of water are: earth quakes, volcanic activity and landslides. They can also be caused by detonation of nuclear devices under water, or by the impact of an asteroid. As the wave of a tsunami moves into shallower water, it gets much higher, so they can be very big and very destructive when they hit coastal areas. The most affected coasts are those of the Pacific Ocean.

Japan is the most afflicted country in the world in terms of the number of such events, approximately 195 events have been recorded, with four waves generated by earthquakes of magnitude higher than 6.5.On March 11, 2011 large areas of Japan's northern Pacific coast have been swamped by a devastating tsunami, engulfing entire towns following a major 8.9 offshore quake, causing massive floods that killed hundreds and displaced many thousands more. Unfortunately, today there are still no proven scientific techniques that can anticipate this type of disaster. Recent natural disasters have prompted research by governments and private sectors, and the design and planning can improve the current conditions aimed to reduce the impact of future disasters.

Can Architecture make the difference? Over the years technological advancements have improved construction techniques for buildings, drastically reducing the number of deaths. The impact of earthquakes, natural disasters, typhoons, tropical storms has decreased from the viewpoint of constructions. The tsunami is still a danger to which man has not identified the defensive strategies yet. In fact, the current disaster management strategies are inadequate to protect people from the waves. In this way the number of victims in this kind of emergency is destined to grow.



AWR - Architecture Workshop in Rome proposes "LifeSaving - First Step Against Disaster", an ideas competition, with the aim of developing tsunami-proof strategies that could lessen the impact of these events on human lives. Architects, engineers, designers and students, around the world, with passion and creativity, can deal with this sensitive issue.

Eng. Renato Masiani  - Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of SUR Sapienza University of Rome  Jury president   


He was born in Genoa in 1955. Graduated in Civil Engineering in 1979. University Researcher since 1984. Full Professor of Solid and Structural Mechanics since 2003, at the Faculty of Architecture of the University La Sapienza of Rome. Since 2007 he is the Head of the Department of Structural Engineering and Geotechnics

His main themes of research, documented by more than eighty scientific publications, are:
- Study of the seismic behavior of buildings in masonry and in masonry-r.c.
- Continuous models of heterogeneous linear and non linear materials: masonry, composite.
- Dynamics of systems with nonelastic constitutive behaviour, and in particular of hysteretic systems.
- Non linear dynamic behavior of slender impact elements.
- Dynamic simplified models for masonry buildings.
- Characterization of the seismic input.
Coordinator of research teams and responsible for grants on different research themes. Since 2010 he is the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of SUR Sapienza University of Rome.


Arch. Kent Jackson - Design Director SOM London

Kent Jackson is a Design Director in the London office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. His experience encompasses a wide range of scales and uses, including corporate offices, airports, residential developments and large mixed-use urban schemes. Mr. Jackson leads an architectural team in developing innovative approaches to design which respond to individual context and enable integration of both the natural and built environment. In collaboration with his clients, Mr. Jackson focuses on developing creative solutions that meet both aesthetic and pragmatic requirements, allowing buildings to positively impact the environment, whilst addressing the specific needs of inhabitants. Prior to joining the London office in 1999, Mr. Jackson was based at SOM’s Chicago office and played a key role in complex projects such as General Motors Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.


Arch. Yasemin Kologlu  - Associate Designer SOM London 

Yasemin Kologlu is an Associate Designer in Skidmore Owings & Merrill’s London Office. Yasemin received her Bachelor in Architecture from Cornell University, and joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 2004. She has worked in both the New York and London offices of SOM. She has worldwide experience with a wide range of mixed-use, residential and commercial developments of various scales. With a professional interest in sustainability, she has recently lead the design of unique, sustainable projects such LEED Platinum mixed use developments in Abu Dhabi and Istanbul, LEED, CASBEE and Minergie Headquarters building in Geneva, Switzerland. She currently leads SOM London Sustainability Focus Group.

Arch. Paolo Rossi - Senior Designer SOM London

Paolo Rossi studied architecture at La Sapienza University of Rome. He has been a senior architect for n!studio international Italian firm based in Rome leader in exhibition and Museum design, he has worked through all design stages. With n!studio was involved in international competitions and several exibithion such as the  Musee Archeologique De La Breche Et De La Noye, The New Museo degli Innocenti in Florence,  Xi’an Western Market Museum and Uneternal City section of the 11th International architecture exhibition in Venice. Early 2010 He joined  the London office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he has been involved in the design of several international projects in Switzerland, Turkey and UK.

Arch. Takeshi Ito - Doctor of Engineering, Professor Tokyo University

Takeshi Ito is Professor, Doctor of Engineering. He received his degree at the University of Tokyo, Japan, in 1977 and in 1979 he took a master’s degree. From 1987 he is a Doctor of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, Japan. In 1999 he is Visiting Scholar of Columbia University, United States. In 2006 he became trustee of Tadao Ando Cultural Foundation and in 2007 a member of Board of Directors of Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ). In 2008 he is Executor of Global COE (Center of Excellence) Program of Japanese Government and in 2009 became a member of Institute for Academic Degree and University Evaluation. Currently he is Chairman of Research Committee on the History and Theory of Architecture, Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ), Vice President of the Society of Architectural Historians of Japan (SAHJ) and Core member of Advisory Council for Urban Reconstruction of Tohoku Disaster-stricken Area.


Arch. Satoru Yamashiro - Dalian University of Technology - China

Satoru Yamashiro is a Japanese architects born in 1969 in Izumo city, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. He is graduated in 1993 from Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Engineering, the University of Tokyo. In 1993 he has established media art unit 'Responsive Environment'. Completed the Master Course and Graduate School of the University of Tokyo, he worked from 1995 to 2002 at Maki and Associates in Tokyo. In 2002 he has established the architectural office “buildinglandscape”. From 2002 he became  Research Associate at the University of Tokyo. For two years he as Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo, and in 2010 is Visiting Professor of the school of Architecture and Arts at the Dalian University of Technology. In the same years he is Part-time Lecturer at Nihon Women’s University. He has won may prize like the GOOD DESIGN AWARD (Y-HOUSE/ spread, STEPS) in 2005 and in 2009, the Interior Planning Award (Y-HOUSE) in 2006, the 33rd Tokyo Architecture Prize, Grand prix of Single house design (Slanting CAVE) in 2007, the 3rd WOODEN ARCHITECTURAL SPACE DESIGN COMPETITION, Special Prize (House H), and the second prize for the Nobeoka Station area Regeneration Master Designer Proposal competition in 2011.


ma0 - International Architecture Firm 

ma0 born in Rome in 1996; the working field has, during these years, broadened up thanks to the idea that architecture is a knowledge in-between various disciplines and geographies of the territory. The studio’s architectural vision is defined as a system of spatial rules - a playground - that are able to modify the relationships between space and its inhabitants, between public and private, interior and exterior, artificial and natural. ma0 has realized in Bari the library for the Lombardi school, the Risorgimento square and a public garden, a multi-functional complex in Perugia; the M.G. Cutuli school in Herat, Afghanistan (with Ian+, 2a+p/A e M.Cutuli), works published in Detail, Domus, Abitare; ma0 has taken part at the first Bejing Biennale in 2004, the V Biennale of Architecture of Brazil, the X, XI, XII Biennale d'Architettura di Venezia; in 2008 realize “Borderlines” personal exhibition inside the cycle London-Rome: Work in process. Piazza Riorgimento in Bari has shortlisted for the Mies Van der Rohe Award 2001.


2A+P/A - International Architecture Firm

2A+P/A is an architectural practice based in Rome directed by Gianfranco Bombaci and Matteo Costanzo. The office is involved in architecture, urban planning and landscape design, developing projects such as public and private buildings, housing settlements, urban spaces and installations. The two partners participated to international design competitions, receiving prizes and honourable mentions, and they have presented their work in several conferences and workshops. They have won the design competition organised by IVe-Immobiliare Veneziana for a housing masterplan in Venice Mestre and they realised a primary school in Herat, Afghanistan. They are going to realise a pavilion in collaboration with the italian artist Carla Accardi inside the Parco Nomade in Rome. They recently received a special mention in the restricted competition for the House of Memory and in the AAA competition for a new housing settlements, both in Milan. Their texts and projects have been published in international books and magazines. They are co-founders and editors of the architecture magazine San Rocco. They have shown their projects in several international exhibition such as the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture, in their solo exhibition The Pop Out Show in Rome.


Arch. Franca Bossalino - Professor at S.U.R. Sapienza University of  Rome

Franca Bossalino is an Italian architects living in Rome. She is a Researcher and Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Faculty of Architecture "Ludovico Quaroni". From 1981 to 1986 she is Visiting Professor at the “Centro di studi architettonici in Europa” of the University of Huston, Texas (based in Rome). From 1994 to 1996 she is Member of the Degree Board at the College of Technology, Department of Architecture, Dublin and in 2003 she became the president of the Degree Board. In 1995 she is Representative of the University 'La Sapienza' mission aimed at defined conditions and programs for the renewal of the cooperative relationship and cultural cooperation between the University of Rome and the University of Tokyo, (Todai). From 1972 she is Professor in many courses at the University of Rome, Faculty of Architecture “Ludovico Quaroni”.

First Prize



Ben Devereau


United Kingdom

Second Prize

Second: SAKURA


Alec Singh



Third Prize


Team: MHD


Florence David Bougeard

Nicolas Hefti

Cedine Morlon




First Mention



Luk Yin Lun

Chan Ching Yuk

Chu Wing Nga

Chan Wing Shuen




Technological Innovation Mention

Second Mention



Ken Sei Fong





Sustainable Project Mention

Third Mention



Hee Jae Lee

Ja Eun Kim

Han Sol Chae

Young Jin Hwang


South Korea



Visionary Concept Mention

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This competition is closed for other registration, the Deadline was: 2012-02-15