Architects for Urbanity (AfU) is a Rotterdam-based collaborative design and research office founded in 2015 by Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szóstkiewicz and Marina Kounavi. AfU’s work focuses on the analysis and design of cultural and mix-use buildings, as well as the research of the urban qualities that drive our contemporary cities.
The office covers a wide range of expertise; from museum design and architecture up to urban and landscape design. AfU is currently completing a book about the urban transformation of Tirana, to be published in 2016 by the Architectural Publisher B in Copenhagen. Among the ongoing projects of the office, the new Varna Regional Library is being further developed to be delivered by 2020, a project that was awarded the first price in the respective international competition.
In 2015 the office was short-listed and completed the second phase of the international competition to design the new Bauhaus museum in Dessau. Other competition projects of the office include the new Women and Family Complex in Seoul and the renovation of the Town Hall building of Prague district 7 in 2016, the Guggenheim Museum in Helsinki and the redesign of Freedom Square in Thessaloniki in 2014, the Visitors’ Center SNCC in Athens and the finalist Trimo Urban Crash competition in Ljubljana in 2013, a Bioclimatic School in Creta and Porifera Central Library in Helsinki in 2012, as well as the Metro Station 20 in Sofia in 2011 and the Solar Park South in Reggio Calabria in 2010.
The current AfU team includes Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Marina Kounavi, Antony Laurijsen, Alberto Salvador, Liana Sofiadi, Katerina Petrocheilou, Christos Bletsas and Charis Siaravas.
 

 
Irgen Salianji is an Architect Engineer and a researcher on issues regarding politics, contemporary culture and urbanity. He is a graduate of the Department of Architecture Engineering (2014), University of Thessaly in Greece and Facolta di Architettura (2010-11), UNIRC in Italy.
His professional experience includes collaborations with Mecanoo, Shift a+u and OMA_Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam. His academic involvement includes invited assistant positions in Design Studios at the Department of Architecture Engineering UTH in Greece.
He has been honored in several international architecture competitions such as the New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau (2015 shortlisted project) and the new Varna Regional Library (1st prize winner 2015). Other major competition projects include the Guggenheim Helsinki Museum/ Finland 2014/, PORIFERA Helsinki Library/ Finland 2012, Bioclimatic School in Creta/ Greece 2012, Sofia Metro Station 20/ Bulgaria and Solar Park South/ Italy 2010.
 

 
Karolina Szóstkiewicz is an Architect Engineer and an Urban Designer. She is a graduate of the Department of Architecture Engineering (2010), Warsaw University of Technology in Poland and UNIRC Facolta di Architettura (2010-11). In 2013 she recieved her Master Diploma in Architecture and Urban Planning from Politechnika Lubelska in Poland.
Her professional experience includes collaborations with MVRDV and Monolab Architects in Rotterdam, as well as Kengo Kuma and Associates in Tokyo.
She has been awarded in international competitions, such as the New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau (shortlisted project 2015) and the new Varna Regional Library (1st prize winner 2015). She is qualified in topics concerning the Energy Performance of Buildings.
 

 
Marina Kounavi is a registered Architect and Landscape Architect. She is a graduate of the University of Patras in Greece and TU Delft in the Netherlands.
Her professional experience includes collaborations with Mecanoo and Loop Landscape & Architecture Design in Rotterdam.
She has been awarded in international competitions, such as the New Bauhaus Museum in Dessau (shortlisted project 2015) and the new Varna Regional Library (1st prize winner 2015).
 

 
Antony Laurijsen graduated cum laude from the Faculty of Architecture in Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands in May 2014.
He has been active in the field of architecture, urbanism and architectural theory and has gained a finalist position at the Cambodian Future Sustainable Housing competition of Building Trust International in January 2012.
His work contains collaborations with renown dutch architects such as architectenbureau Koen van Velsen and atelier PRO architecten. He is specialised in housing, adaptive reuse and transformation projects.
 

 
Alberto Salvador Martin is an Architect and a graduate in architecture from the University of Navarra.(2011)
He has a diverse professional experience in cultural, commercial and mix-use buildings, as well as both low-tech urban installations and complex construction projects in Spain, Netherlands and Chile.
He is particularly interested in socially sustainable architecture, urban activism and the reuse of materials and resources.
 

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION PROJECTS LIST:
2016
- Seoul Urban Womb Women and Family Complex, Seoul, South Korea
- New Town Hall Prague District 7, Prague, Czech Republic
- Cyprus Pavilion for Venice Biennale 2016, Venice, Italy
2015
- Varna Regional Library 'Pencho Slaveykov' - 1st prize competition winner
- Bauhaus Museum, Dessau, Germany - shortlisted project
- British Pavilion for Venice Biennale 2016, Venice, Italy
2014
- GUGGENHEIM Helsinki Museum, Helsinki, Finland
2013
- 'INTERWAVING' Redesign of Freedom Square, Thessaloniki, Greece
- SPATIAL WOMB Visitors' Center SNCC, Athens, Greece
- ACT[IN]CONTAINES Trimo Urban Crash, Ljubljana, Slovenia - finalist
- 'INVERTED NATURE' Cruise Hyperdock, Geiranger, Norway
2012
- Bioclimatic School in Creta, Herakleion, Greece
- Porifera Central Library, Helsinki, Finland
2011
- Metro Station 20, Sofia, Bulgaria
- Trimo Urban Crash, Ljubljana, Slovenia - finalist
- PanAmerican Olympic Games 2015 Closing Ceremony Pavilion, Torondo, Canada
2011
- Solar Park South, Reggio Calabria, Italy
- Peireus Tower 'changing the facade', Peireus, Greece  


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