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Winners of the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats Competition
Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 |

Two winning entries as well as four Honorable Mentions were just announced in the Timber in the City: Urban Habitats competition. Organized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), and Parsons The New School for Design, the competition attracted more than 1,000 architectural students and young professionals to develop proposals for a mid-rise, mixed-use complex that addresses New York’s urban housing needs.

First Place: “Grow Your Own City”, University of Oregon

Click above image to view slideshow
First Place: “Grow Your Own City”, University of Oregon

More info from the official press announcement below:

The winning entrants, with prizes totaling $30,000, were chosen by a panel of leading architects and professors based on the design’s ability to integrate wood as the primary structural material while meeting the needs of the Brooklyn waterfront community. 

The competition focused on a site in the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook, with a population of public housing residents and working artists and designers, and a number of new residential and commercial developments. With a focus on regenerating the urban manufacturing sector and addressing housing needs, entrants, working individually or in teams, were tasked with incorporating affordable housing units; a bike sharing and repair shop; as well as a vocational, manufacturing and distribution center for the innovative use of wood technology.

“Today, timber is being used in new, innovative ways to help address the economic and environmental challenges of the build environment,” said Cees de Jager, executive director of BSLC. “This competition brought to life the way the design community is recognizing the benefits of wood – from reduced economic and environmental impact to enhanced aesthetic value and structural performance – to design buildings and communities of the future.”

The projects will be on view at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons from October 24-31, and at the 2013 Greenbuild Conference in Philadelphia (November), the 2014 ACSA Annual Meeting in Miami (April) and the American Institute of Architects 2014 Convention in Chicago (June).

“The winning submissions for the Timber in the City competition embraced advances in timber and building technologies to address the economic and environmental considerations of the challenge in remarkable ways,” said Andrew Bernheimer, director of the Master of Architecture program at Parsons. “By situating the competition in Brooklyn, our goal is to catalyze the design community and government agencies to better recognize the potential of larger-scale wood design and construction in cities.”

Awards, totaling $30,000, were presented to teams of students and faculty and recent graduates for their unique celebrations of wood products.

First Place: “Grow Your Own City”

The University of Oregon’s winning submission attracted the jurors with its use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a new building technology to create a cost-effective, environmentally friendly solution for the Red Hook community. The team addressed the community’s need for livable and recreational areas that support a wide range of daily activities for inhabitants.

Students: Benjamin Bye, Alex Kenton and Jason Rood from the University of Oregon
Faculty Sponsors: Judith Sheine, University of Oregon and Mikhail Gershfeld, Cal Poly Pomona, Civil Engineering Department

First Place: “Grow Your Own City”, University of Oregon

Click above image to view slideshow
First Place: “Grow Your Own City”, University of Oregon

First Place: “Grow Your Own City”, University of Oregon

Click above image to view slideshow
First Place: “Grow Your Own City”, University of Oregon

Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”

The University of Texas at Austin also leveraged CLT as the primary building material for their design. In working to reduce greenhouse gasses and embodied energy accompanied with transporting materials, the team proposed to bring the manufacturing equipment to the site and develop the CLT panels locally. Overall, designing a community that demonstrated the use of timber in an urban environment and worked to provide residents with sustainable living options.

Student: Christopher Gardner, University of Texas at Austin
Faculty Sponsor: Ulrich Dangel, University of Texas at Austin

Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”, University of Texas at Austin

Click above image to view slideshow
Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”, University of Texas at Austin

Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”, University of Texas at Austin

Click above image to view slideshow
Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”, University of Texas at Austin

Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”, University of Texas at Austin

Click above image to view slideshow
Second Place: “Cultivating Timber”, University of Texas at Austin

Additionally, two student teams were selected as honorable mention winners:

Honorable Mention - Students: "Swamp Machine"

Students: Benjamin Ahearn, Kristin Karlsson and Carey Moran, University of Washington
Faculty Sponsors: Richard Mohler and Elizabeth Golden, University of Washington

Honorable Mention - Students:

Click above image to view slideshow
Honorable Mention - Students: "Swamp Machine"

Honorable Mention - Students:

Click above image to view slideshow
Honorable Mention - Students: "Swamp Machine"

Honorable Mention - Students: "House of Wood"

Student: Emily Hagen, Virginia Tech
Faculty Sponsor: Heinrich Schnoedt, Virginia Tech

Honorable Mention - Students:

Click above image to view slideshow
Honorable Mention - Students: "House of Wood"

Honorable Mention - Students:

Click above image to view slideshow
Honorable Mention - Students: "House of Wood"

As well as two individual recent graduates were selected as honorable mention winners:

Honorable Mention - Graduates: "Courtyard Cathedral"

Timothy Olson, Jan 2012 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honorable Mention - Graduates:

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Honorable Mention - Graduates: "Courtyard Cathedral"

Honorable Mention - Graduates:

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Honorable Mention - Graduates: "Courtyard Cathedral"

Honorable Mention - Graduates: "The Habitat @ Red Hook" (previously featured on Bustler)

Sam Pitnick, May 2010 graduate of University of Southern California

Honorable Mention - Graduates:

Click above image to view slideshow
Honorable Mention - Graduates: "The Habitat @ Red Hook"

Honorable Mention - Graduates:

Click above image to view slideshow
Honorable Mention - Graduates: "The Habitat @ Red Hook"

The winning projects were chosen by a panel of distinguished jury members in the architecture community, including the following:

  • Mark Cruvellier, Cornell University
  • Michael Green, MGA | Michael Green Architecture, Vancouver
  • Abby Hamlin, Hamlin Venture
  • Alan Organschi, Yale University
  • Tricia Stuth, University of Tennesee, Knoxville
  • Andrew Waugh, Waugh Thistleton Architects, London

“We are exceptionally pleased with the turnout for the competition which is in its first year,” said Norman Millar, ACSA President.  “Both the jury members and the involvement of more than 1,000 students and recent graduates created a very engaging dynamic for the future of timber construction. These young designers were challenged to examine the benefits that wood can offer for urban design projects.”

The competition ran from August 2012 through May 22, 2013 and included 1,082 student and recent graduate participants. The design jury met in July to select the winning projects and honorable mentions. For full details on the competition and the winning submissions visit http://www.acsa-arch.org/timber.



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