Architecture Recreational Award

Young Visionary Architecture Competition 2023 - Winners


Mohsen Bokaei | Iran

Project Title: Makoko Vertical Amusement Park
Project Typology: Water Park

Project Description

In response to the pressing need for imaginative solutions to address the challenges faced by low-income communities in Lagos, our project, the Makoko Vertical Amusement Park, aims to create a dynamic and transformative space for the often-overlooked youth of Makoko. Recognizing the limitations of space and recreational opportunities in this water-centric community, our innovative design focuses on providing an engaging environment for children to play, connect, and thrive.

Concept and Inspiration: The driving force behind our project is the question: What do Makoko's children think about their city? With this query in mind, we conceptualized a vertical game tower that not only addresses the spatial constraints of Makoko but also seeks to empower its youth. The tower comprises eight levels, each dedicated to various games and entertainment facilities, fostering both individual and group activities.

Inclusive Design: Understanding the economic challenges and population density in Makoko, our project places a special emphasis on the inclusion of children. The vertical park is strategically located within the city, ensuring accessibility for all neighborhoods. By creating multiple towers, each community can have its own designated space for recreation, fostering a sense of local identity and pride.

Combining Play and Water: Realizing the potential of Makoko's waterfront location, we integrated a water park into the vertical game tower. This not only maximizes the use of available water space but also introduces an innovative approach to community-based recreation. The incorporation of water elements not only adds an extra layer of fun but also serves as a sustainable and refreshing aspect of the design.

Symbolism and Landmark Creation: Our project aspires to be more than just a functional space; it seeks to become a symbol for Makoko. The distinctive form and color palette of the vertical park are intentionally designed to stand out and act as a landmark, contributing to the transformation of the city's aesthetic. This symbolic structure aims to reshape perceptions of Makoko and instill a sense of pride and identity among its residents.

Child-Centric Features: The design incorporates divided circle pieces for creating levels, small-scale spiral slides for younger children, climbing walls to challenge physical strength, playing equipment, stairs for accessibility, and central pipes and facilities to pump and circulate water throughout the vertical park. Two exciting spiral slides connect the eighth level to the river, enhancing the overall experience while ensuring safety with protective caps.

In conclusion, the Makoko Vertical Amusement Park is more than just a recreational space; it's a catalyst for positive change. By providing a dedicated and accessible area for the youth, integrating water elements, and creating a symbolic landmark, our project seeks to redefine the narrative of Makoko, leaving an indelible mark on the city and in the hearts of its children.

1st runner up

Yagiz Atesoglu | Turkey

Project Title: Park [dynamo] _ As An Urban Unifier Chasing Water _
Project Typology: Rethinking spaces for learning, living and entertainment

Project Description

Due to its location, Istanbul (Turkey) is a city integrated with water and that is the one of the geographical elements that determine the symbol of the city. In fact, it is inevitable to say that ‘nature’ is not far from the city, and that water culture is an integral part of urban life. The water in Istanbul,  separates two opposite continents, as well as uniting them. Thinking of the urban heritage in the focus of ‘water’ is a main subject of the project. Bey(KOS), which can be described as a coastal town, aims to become a collective town again with a new integrated urban park story; although some aspects of spatial memory have been lost.

The project area is basically defined under three different zones with the context of the story. The first zone is water, which is a unifying force and can be considered an urban element. Another zone is the coastal region, where the movements are concentrated at the  ‘roundabout’. The last zone is the buffer area extending inland with the stream.

The project defines past and present dynamos. A dynamo is actually conceptualized as the revealer under the project. These dynamos contain traces of the past that are about to disappear and the formations we encounter in urban life today. Each dynamo, consisting of all the inputs, defines and contains certain movements and memories within itself. Movements reveal implicit memory. A transformation/recreation story takes place and each of them becomes a part of the urban life specific to Bey(KOS). There is a situation where the invisible is made visible and the existing is revealed again. In other words, the lost dynamos involving movement and memories are revealed. Urban, industrial, cultural, geographical, ecological and agricultural movements can be listed.

Cubuklu Petroleum Filling Plant Area and the campus structures, which are the industrial heritage in the project area; the coastal promenade forming an interface between the city and the water; the Cubuklu stream infiltrating into the urban space; the weirs/dalyans and sandal culture that are about to disappear as cultural heritage; can each be defined as dynamos of urban life.

The park, which is aimed to be constructed on the site, will include an urban story that brings together dynamos, which are defined as urban unifiers (a new additional dynamo). Water lies at the foundation of each of these dynamos because of its unifying power. 'Water', can be defined as an urban element that is included in the story as a base. For this reason, an experience park pursuing water will form the integrated urban scenario.

The Cubuklu Petroleum Filling Plant Area and the campus structures are no longer ‘places’ because of the disappeared story and the atmosphere they had in the past, which have been lost  today. Under the recreation story, each will be re-functioned in order to be re-used, given a new identity, taking its place in the holistic urban story. 

2nd runner up

Maria Onsina | Spain

Project Title: AUGE: Spa and rehabilitation space in Salinas de Añana
Project Typology: Spa

Project Description
  1. AUGE gives its name to the spa and rehabilitation space project located in the salty valley of Añana, in the province of Álava. This landscape is itself a complete heritage complex, with its own traditional processes and structural systems around brine and sunlight. The only way to project architecture in such a unique environment is to imitate what already exists, to give up all the prominence.

    The fundamental concept on which the intervention is based is to establish a symbolic parallelism between the salt ponds and the project; the new construction adapts and transforms the formal resources of the valley. These aspects can be summarized into four conceptual groups; light, water, land and salt ponds.


    Sunlight is one of the most valued resources in the locality to carry out the salt activity. The proposed program differs from the needs of the salt ponds, so the skylight is used as a central element to establish a direct relationship between the interior space, where the user is, and the exterior space. The skylights that accompany the visitor along their tour of the pools are inclined and oriented according to the time of day to emphasize the passage of time.


    Brine has been the origin of the salt tradition in the Añana salt valley and the beginning of the AUGE program approach. However, this precious resource depends directly on rainfall in the area, thanks to the diapir, so brine is not continuously available. The spa has a purification system to treat the brine and prolong its useful life.


    The landscape of the salt ponds changes depending on the time of year. While at the time of harvesting, white tints the platforms and takes over the valley, in the rainy and cloudy autumn months, the inability to maintain the platforms with brine makes the salt flats camouflage with the ochre of the earth. The project resorts to imitating the second and most common view during most months by means of exposed reinforced concrete walls, a material that covers the entire length of the construction, giving a sense of continuity. In order to obtain a color as similar as possible, natural pigments are added to the mixture.

    Salt ponds

    The basic structure that characterizes the valley of the salt ponds are the platforms. These are thin horizontal structures, usually rectangular in size, which are supported against the ground by retaining walls and wooden pillars. The spa copies the simplified image of this model and transforms it. In plan the intervention is seen as an irregular grouping of platforms, in which the skylights open on the roof stand out as well as the wells between the salt pans. In the elevation the representation of the vertical elements has been replicated with non-load-bearing wooden posts.