The student prize is awarded by the Estonian Association of Architects to two talented young architects Merilin Kaup and Eneli Kleeman. Although with distinctive handwriting, there are common features in their professional activities and strengths and this became the deciding factor in why the award came to be shared between the two nominees. In their Master’s theses and other creative activities, they have greatly contributed to the conceptualisation of architecture and its more general role, adding several new ideas and topics to the local architectural scene.
Merilin’s Master’s thesis “Practical Utopias” (supervisors Katrin Koov, Kadri Klementi, Eik Hermann) defended at the Academy of Arts in 2022 explores the norms, practices and utopias related to homes. She also suggests her own vision of a collective residential space in Tallinn city centre illustrated by five micro-utopias integrated into the existing urban space. In her Master’s thesis “Home in the Office: A Community-led Housing on the Example of Maakri Business District” (supervisorrs Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa), Eneli similarly explores the changes in work and residential spaces, describing and featuring alternative forms of ownership but also alternative uses for monofunctional office buildings that are running dry of customers. Both projects rely on bottom-up design.