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    MArch students win 2013 Merit Award from AIANWPR

    By amy.pinkston
    Oct 25, '13 11:33 AM EST

    AIA Regional Student Awards: Congratulations are in order for MArch students Robert Larson, Matthew Philbrook, and Amanda Wesely, whose project “Layers of Growth” has been selected by the AIA Northwest & Pacific Regional Student Design Awards jury for a 2013 Merit Award.

    The “Layers of Growth” project was developed in a spring 2013 intermediate design studio that took on the challenge of the “Timber in the City: Urban Habitats” competition sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The competition called for proposals for mixed-use development in the Brooklyn, N.Y., waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook that interpreted, invented, and deployed building systems employing innovations in wood design. Professor and department head Judith Sheine, DPACSA, taught the design studio, with the collaboration of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Professor of Civil Engineering Mikhail Gershfeld.  Gershfeld and his engineering students worked with the architecture student teams to develop and test structural concepts using mass timber.

    “The collaboration with Cal Poly allowed us to have a deeper understanding of the capabilities of the material we used (cross-laminated timber). Throughout the design process there was a back and forth on how far we can push the material strength and the best applications for the material,” said Wesely. “The entire experience was educational, but also fun at the same time. When the Cal Poly students came up we took them out and had a great time bonding a bit before we started working together.”

    The team’s design proposal called for creating layers of housing and manufacturing space, planned for their mutual benefit. The students’ research showed what makes a space great for manufacturing is very different from what makes one great for housing. The team created separated spaces for the programmatic functions and also designed public spaces that  created opportunities for interaction.

    Larson concluded, “It feels really good to receive recognition, especially because this is an important award. During school we all work so hard to pin up our best work, but it often seems looked over or forgotten. The award feels like validation for a lot of long hours and effort.”

    The award will be presented at the regional conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, on October 25, 2013.

    See project image gallery here.

    Story by Amy Pinkston

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