The American Institute of Architects does its part to promote innovation and ingenuity, and the professionals who adhere to those concepts. Perhaps no group of individuals has those characteristics more than students of architecture.
That’s why the AIA hosts its Committee on the Environment (COTE) competition, and awards students whose projects meet specific criteria. The AIA explains that each project submitted by students and student teams were evaluated in the same categories:
- Design and Innovation
- Regional/Community Design
- Land Use and Site Ecology
- Bioclimatic Design
- Light and Air; Water Cycle
- Energy Flows and Energy Future
- Materials and Construction
- Long Life, Loose Fit
- Collective Wisdom and Feedback Loops
This year, 10 student projects were awarded by the AIA, according to Architect magazine. And in no particular order, here are five of the “COTE Top Ten” student winners for 2015:
Centennial Mills re[CYCLE]d
Gabrielle Steffel – University of Oregon
Jurors said: “An inviting space that the community would appreciate.”
This submission reclaims and revitalizes an existing abandoned location along a river, making it a space that the whole community to use and benefit from.
David Berry & Sierra Jensen, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Jurors said: “This project rises to the top for its clarity of addressing all ten measures.”
This student submission would create a headquarters for sustainable design professionals that allows the community to see the professionals at work more “clearly,” partly because of its extensive use of glass.
Sustaining Old North St. Louis
Brandon Fettes & Kyle C. Vanisce, Iowa State University
Jurors said: “This project is a contemporary interpretation of a historic context; it does a good job of honoring the urban character and it creates a new place in the city.”
This project is a self-contained apartment, cafe and grocery story unit, with apartments on the upper two floors.
Urban Market Park + Culinary School
Matthew Barnett & Sane Espinosa, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Jurors said: “This project is a well-conceived tall building that takes a clear, no-nonsense approach to addressing the design issues at hand and the ten measures.”
This project managed to transform a park into a building plus more park space than the footprint of the building used, and contains “mixed use public, market, culinary school, and park space.”
Oscillating Synergy: A mid-Rise Office Tower on the High Line
Natasha Chamilakis & Juan Tejedor University of Pennsylvania
Jurors said: “This project stands out for its fantastical aesthetics and strong graphic capabilities.”
Oscillating Synergy, which would be located in Chelsea,Manhattan, is probably the most unusual in appearance of all the entries. Its geometric design and webbed facade, with quasi honeycomb elements, is designed to maximize natural light for every office in the building.
The American Institute of Architects is immersed in the promotion and support of professionals and students who can make a real difference. Whether through ambitious student projects or real-life ones, architects design to benefit the immediate users and communities as a whole. And no place is that more apparent than with this year’s COTE winners.
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