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FEB - JUL 2019





Alex Bozikovic - Architecture critic for the Globe and Mail

David Clusiau - NORR Architects & Engineers (CAAJ Chair)

Elizabeth McDonald - BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

Michael Moxam - Stantec (CAAJ Law Enforcement Vice Chair)

John Pepper - RPL Architects (CAAJ Competition Chair)

Chief Mark Saunders - Toronto Police Service

For jury member bios click here


Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Student Design Competition: The Modern Police Station



Retying the Knot (Ciracas, E. Jakarta)


Vincent Phang, Hochschule Wismar

Valerie Layni Yosephine, Hochschule Wismar 



Vincent and Valerie are both from Indonesia and are currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in Wismar, Germany. Coming from Indonesia, their exposure to European architecture, German technology, and the guidance of their professor has given them a different perspective that allowed them to envision and conceive of their submission.

Although they are both from the same country and now study together, they received their bachelor’s degrees in different countries. Vincent graduated from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has professional work experience at both architecture and interior design firms. Valerie graduated from Surabaya, Indonesia. She was exposed to architecture through competitions and has also worked in furniture design.



This entry is a well-developed scheme that works on many levels to help repair relationships between the community and the police. A new station is proposed on the site of a previous police facility which had been destroyed by fire as a result of unrest. The massing and building position is composed to integrate the building into the surrounding context. A sports field strives to connect to an adjacent mosque. The building design is based on a contemporary interpretation of traditional residential forms and materials and is proposed as a repeatable typology reflective of specific communities.


The station includes publicly accessible space, such as a café and ‘chilling’ area which are separate from the police operational areas and accessed through a separate entrance. Transparency combined with appropriate separation between public and operational areas, fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability on the part of the police, working with, and not in conflict with, the community. While some layout details could be improved, the overall concept is well thought out. The secure prisoner holding area is located in the basement where direct police vehicle access can ensure safe transfer to and from the holding cells.


The objectives of the competition and space program are addressed thoughtfully. The quality of the presentation is excellent, including the graphic clarity, level of detail and supporting narrative.


Design for a Post-Revolutionary Era (Alexandria, Egypt)


Abdelhamid Zain Arisha, Alexandria University

Mohamed Saad Abobakr, Alexandria University

Salma Hesham Balbaa, Alexandria University

Mohamed Assem, Alexandria University


Abdelhamid Zain Arisha is an architecture student, digital artist, and entrepreneur. He is a founding partner and designer at Dibajah for leather arts, an Alexandria-based startup for digital fabrication. He wants to inspire Egyptian architects to be leaders in their society, and has a goal to establish an architectural firm based in Egypt. He has participated in several competitions, winning first place in the EDM Entrepreneurship competition organized by IEEE, and placing fourth in the Egypt on Mars Global Design Competition organized by Cube Consultants. He has also volunteered in many youth organizations including AIESEC Alexandria and Safwa Engineering (associated with Bibliotheca Alexandrina). He graduated in July 2019.


Mohamed Saad Abobakr is an architecture student who is interested in art and art history, particularly how it connects the past, present and future. He has participated in previous competitions, placing fourth in the Egypt on Mars Global Design Competition. He has also volunteered in student activities at his college, such as Safwa Engineering (associated with Bibliotheca Alexandrina).


Salma Hesham Balba is an architecture student who is passionate about digital architecture and advanced construction. She is a professional violinist who aims to combine architecture and music for a better quality of experience. She placed fourth in the Egypt on Mars Global Design Competition in 2019.


Mohamed Assem is an architecture student who is interested in post-modern architecture and humanities. His dream is to connect different cultures through architecture. He has worked as freelance graphic designer and video editor, and volunteered in Eagles sport academic teams as an organizer and media specialist. This is his first architecture competition, which he was interested to participate in because it was a chance for him to create new ideas for police stations in Egypt.


This entry, located on the site of an existing police station adjacent to a major street in downtown Alexandria, seeks to help repair damaged relationships between the community and the police in Egypt while addressing ongoing security issues that have caused existing police stations to become fortresses.  The concept for the police station features a highly developed public realm that includes a major public plaza that extends right through the middle of the station as well as an outdoor auditorium amphitheater at the end of one of the wings of the building.  This relatively open and transparent arrangement can  be closed off via movable barriers in the case of a mass protest if necessary but is intended to be kept open to allow the police and community to interact in a positive way during normal times.


The exterior materials are selected to reflect the local context. Future expansion of the facility is considered. The planning is comprehensive and  includes consideration of natural light and views for the prisoner holding areas.


Police Station Re-Imagined (East Vancouver, Canada)


Brandon Joseph Da Costa, University of British Columbia

Stephanie Janeiro, University of British Columbia

Micah John Lund, University of British Columbia


Micah Lund has a bachelor’s degree in visual communication design from Seattle Pacific University and is currently in his final year of the Masters of Architecture program at the University of British Columbia. 


Stephanie Janeiro has a double bachelor’s degree in fine arts and liberal arts from Bishops University in Sherbrooke, Quebec. She is in her final year of the Masters of Architecture program at the University of British Columbia. 


Brandon DaCosta has a Bachelor of Arts degree in architectural design and environmental geography from the University of Toronto and has just earned his master’s degree in architecture from the University of British Columbia.  



This is a very credible solution that fully addresses the programmatic and conceptual ambitions of the project in a very competent manner. The concept envisions a very positive stage for community inclusiveness offering the East Vancouver street community of East Hastings  a ‘we care’ message. The concept describes an ‘Urban Living Room’ as the main approach to the facility. The entrance lobby, connecting two sides of the  neighbourhood, has a clear organizational strategy with all of the police functions on the upper levels, while the ground floor is entirely devoted to publicly accessible programs. The concept provides both interior and exterior space for the community, making them feel welcome, yet provides safe and secure areas for the police. While conceptually strong, the jury felt the exterior expression was not developed to the same level of thoughtfulness.


Community Station (Haiti)


Katarzyna Przybyło, Cracow University of Technology

Michał Kołodziej, Cracow University of Technology

Tomasz Obara, Cracow University of Technology

Dawid Piórecki, Cracow University of Technology

Michał Pyc, Cracow University of Technology


Katarzyna Przybyło was born in 1996 in Zakopane, Poland. She is a master’s student in the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. She graduated from the General School of Fine Arts in Zakopane with a specialization in furniture. Her passions include cycling, horse riding and painting.  

Michał Kołodziej was born in 1995 in Tarnobrzeg, Poland. He is a master’s student in the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. He gained his experience during an exchange at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. He has participated in many national and international workshops. His passions include drawing, traveling and art.  

Tomasz Obara was born in 1996. He is a master’s student in the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. He has been crazy about drawing and making various forms of art since childhood, and uses pen or pencil with a sketchbook to understand how the world is built. His dream is to be a good architect in the future who helps people to make their lives happier.


Dawid Piórecki was born in 1996 in Cracow, Poland. He is a master’s student in the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. His passions include cycling, climbing and traveling.  


Michał Pyc was born in 1996 in Lublin, Poland. He is a master’s student in the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. He is also a dancer in the oldest polish student song and dance ensemble, "Krakus". His passions include dance, history, literature and drawing.  




This entry  generated much discussion amongst jury members. Many intrigued by the concept of a multi-storey building in the midst of a refugee camp comprised of temporary tent structures. The idea of creating a vertical public realm and landscape was eagerly debated. In that light it was seen as a positive symbol of the arrival of justice in an otherwise lawless environment -  an easy to reach ‘beacon of safety’ offering oversight and protection. Community-access spaces on the lower floors provided space for the public and opportunity for positive interaction and transparency.


While some jurors saw the positive aspects of a protective police presence, other jurors felt the tall structure only served to symbolize the idea of  the police dominating and observing the people they are to be protecting. From a practical sense the solution has many operational challenge but the jury considered it a thoughtful and well-presented concept.


Micro-Policing (Melbourne, Australia)


Johnray Lee, RMIT University



Johnray is an architecture student from Singapore who is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in architecture in Melbourne, Australia. His previous internships helped spur his interest in architecture. While on site, he was able to see how concepts that are represented as lines on paper would eventually become built form. He believes that, through architecture, we can tell the stories of the past and provide a hopeful future for the generations to come.

His idea of the modern police station was derived from how the island nation of Singapore is policed back home. This gave him the idea of unpacking the traditional police station and distributing the programs around the suburb. This resulted in increased police presence through patrols, which tackles the issue of drug crimes in Richmond, yet remains sensitive towards the existing site condition. Johnray hopes that he can create purposeful architectural designs that evoke emotional thoughts towards history while remaining sensitive to the context.



Set in the troubled and high-crime neighborhood of Richmond in Melbourne, Australia, this entry proposes a different policing approach, and an innovative accommodation strategy to support it. Various urban locations, many currently run down or vacant, would be developed as part of a series of small police interventions. Each ‘mini-station’ would be placed to fulfil a particular policing function, and, through providing a badly-needed local police function and presence, create an opportunity for revitalization and displacement of criminal activity. A key to the concept is breaking up the traditional police station into its constituent components and distributing them across the neighborhood. The jury felt this was a strong concept that needed further architectural development.



Thirty eight competition entries were received from sixteen different countries. The largest number of submissions came from Poland and Iran followed by Canada and India and then Italy, Tunisia and Egypt. The global response was also reflected in the winning entries which came from Germany (for a site in Indonesia), Egypt, and Canada with honourable mentions from Australia and Poland (for a site in Haiti).


The collective responses to the objectives outlined in the competition brief was wide ranging, from pragmatic to the visionary, and from fully developed buildings to schemes that were more notional expressions of an idea.  Of particular interest was the number of entries coming from parts of the world that have experienced, or are experiencing, difficult social times and the proposition that a law enforcement facility could play a part in repairing or facilitating improvement in community-police relations.


In reviewing all of the entries, some observations can be made about common themes and strategies.


The competition brief asked competitors to propose public program elements that might bring the community and the police together. Specific community programmes proposed included indoor components such as a medical clinic, museum, gallery, library, grocery store, classroom, computer lab, restaurant/café, as well as a Brazilian Ju-jitsu studio… Exterior public programme elements included a children’s play area, amphitheatre, community garden plots, public plaza, urban living room, basketball courts, as well as a futsal (football) court. The Jury in general saw this as progressive and potentially very successful ideas focused on integrating the police station into the community and breaking down barriers.  


The most successful entries had a very developed site strategy that was integral to their design solution A number chose highly charged contexts that heightened the issues being addressed; a slum; a refugee camp; rebuilding a riot destroyed police station; a major urban piazza and numerous urban infill sites. A few submissions did not present a specific site and typically the jury found this lack of context problematic given the community building focus of the competition.  



A wide range of typological solutions were pursued. The majority were low rise but four submissions were multi storey towers Seven submissions included some kind of public route through the police station, either at grade with the station spanning over, a raised walkway through the middle, or a route over the station roof. A number featured an L-shaped plan arrangement defining a public urban space. Typically, this space was presented as an amenity for the community. One submission stood apart from all the other schemes in that it divided the police programme into a number of components and distributed them throughout the district being served. 


The internal programme distribution between public and private areas of the station was often reflected in the massing or stratification strategy. Some involved the creation of an inner courtyard. Others proposed the layering of building programme between a publicly oriented ground floor and a police organization on the upper floor(s), and parking and support functions below.




An initial independent review of the entries by each of the Jury members established a short list of  eighteen These were then reviewed in more detail by the jurors in an animated afternoon session on July 2, 2019. The projects were  discussed and debated until a short list of six emerged. Each juror then ranked the shortlist from one to six and the top three were awarded first, second and third prizes. The remaining three were discussed further and two were selected for Honourable Mention.



Michael Moxam


CAAJ Law Enforcement Vice Chair

John Pepper-Photo_edited.jpg

John Pepper

RPL Architects, Police Facility Consultant

CAAJ Competition Chair

Chief Mark Saunders

Toronto Police Service

Alex Bozikovic

Architecture critic for the Globe and Mail


David Clusiau

NORR Architects & Engineers

CAAJ Chair


Elizabeth McDonald

BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group




The Canadian Academy of Architecture for Justice reserves the right to publish entries on the CAAJ website, or to distribute to other architecture or justice-related publication media (websites, magazines or exhibitions). Credit for authorship will remain with the individual (or named individuals in the case of a team submission). By submitting material individual competitors and teams acknowledge this right.

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