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TSPA architecture intern Sophie has won the Van Hove Award with her graduation “Adaptive architecture and flood permitting cities – urban flooding as incentive for positive incremental change”. The prize is awarded by the UPA-BUA (Royal Professional Union of Architects in Belgium) to a graduating design and is open to all students who obtain a degree in architecture or architecture-engineering at a Belgian faculty of architecture, during the academic year of the prize. The proclamation took place at the Architects’ House in Brussels on November 20.

Sophie’s graduation project was developed as a flood permitting strategy for the neighbourhood Brederode in Antwerp, Belgium. The project wants to showcase the opportunities and positive effects of allowing water near our habitats (again). In this way, urban flooding becomes an incentive for incremental positive change in terms of climate adaptation.

A jury, consisting of Belgian and foreign architects who are fully in practice, assesses the submitted designs based on the following criteria:

  • the quality of the design, its coherence and development in relation to the research question and the assignment
  • the graphic quality, readability and communication skills
  • the interpretation of contemporary needs, the social added value and the anticipation of future needs
  • the spatial qualities
  • the experience value and the command of the formal language
  • the sense of reality and the feasibility.




The 2019 jury decided to respect the diversity of five selected projects without giving priority to a particular aspect with a unique prize and unanimously decided to award the five laureates five honorable mention, without special ranking. The laureates’ projects are exhibited at the Architects’ House in Brussels and will be published in the magazine of A+ Architecture in Belgium in 2020.

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