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Hawa Student Award 2020 – the winners have been announced

On 5 March, the three winning projects of the Hawa Student Award were awarded their prizes at the Kulturhaus Kosmos in Zurich. The aim of the competition was to find solutions for 200 to 300 micro-living apartments in a central location in Zurich. The winning proposals all focus on high-rise solutions.

Small apartments in city centers are in demand among young, urban singles. This form of living is called microliving. Private space is reduced to a minimum, while part of the infrastructure is shared with other residents – such as a lounge or a co-working space. A project involving micro-living apartments was also the focus of the fifth edition of the Hawa Student Award, which gave away a total of 12,000 Swiss francs in prize money. Under the title “Living alone together”, architecture students from Switzerland, Germany and Austria were invited to design a fictitious project featuring 250 to 300 small apartments on the area of the bus station in Zurich.

Sliding solutions create space
A particular challenge for all participants was to design apartments offering maximum living quality in a minimum of space. The use of sliding solutions helped them to succeed in doing so, enabling limited space to be used efficiently in many different ways. Micro-apartments can be quickly adapted to suit different needs, allow people to experience living together in different ways, and provide sufficient storage space despite their small size.

Swiss team in first place
Nathalie Birkhäuser and Roman Venzin from the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland finished in first place. “You have developed a proposal that not only represents a clever solution in terms of urban planning, but is also convincing in its internal organization,” commented jury president András Pálffy, professor of architecture at the Vienna University of Technology as he explained the decision. The team received prize money of 5,500 Swiss francs.

The second prize of 4,500 Swiss francs went to Christian Bischoff and Jonas Trittmann from Leibniz University Hannover. Jiahui Zou and Jiaying Zhu, who study at the University of Stuttgart, came third. They received prize money of 2,000 Swiss francs.

Further information about the Hawa Student Award and the prize-winning projects can be found at

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