Architecture graduate students win national design award

“Landscape in Motion” is a design project to revitalize public green spaces, establish cohesive transportation networks and optimize urban functions.

CLEMSON — A studio project in the Clemson University School of Architecture has been selected as a winner of the 2017 COTE Top Ten for Students Design Competition. The award is given annually by the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment and the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Architecture in recognition of student work that displays sustainable design at the highest level.

The team won for “Landscape in Motion,” a design project to revitalize public green spaces, establish cohesive transportation networks and optimize urban functions.

“The competition’s goal of promoting and advancing an integrated approach to natural systems and technology in the creation of environmentally responsible architectural design is a priority we share,” said Kate Schwennsen, director of the School of Architecture. “We could not be prouder of the ‘Landscape in Motion’ team’s ability to seamlessly integrate innovative, regenerative strategies within broader design concepts.”

Clemson’s winning student team includes three Master of Architecture students: Chris Sandkuhler of Lititz, Pennsylvania; Elizabeth Widaski of Richmond, Texas; and Jimmy Woods of Summerville. Their faculty advisers for the project are: Ufuk Ersoy, assistant professor of architecture; David Franco, assistant professor of architecture; Ulrike Heine, associate professor and associate chair of the School of Architecture; and Henrique Houayek, lecturer of architecture.

In their abstract, the student team writes, “Landscape in Motion is about finding inspiration in the natural movement of our surroundings from nature to city. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage people to live healthier, more sustainable lives helping both themselves and the community.”

According to the COTE Top 10 competition website, entries are judged on their success in addressing an array of sustainability measures: design and innovation, integration with their community, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, approach to light and air, materials and construction, long-life considerations and feedback loops. Winning responses demonstrated creative and innovative integration of daylighting, materials, water, energy and ecological systems, through a cohesive and beautiful architectural understanding. Entries were also judged for the success with which the project has met its individual requirements, with particular emphasis on design excellence.

“Landscape in Motion” will be exhibited at the American Institute of Architects’ National Convention in Orlando later this week.

Jurors for the 2017 COTE Top Ten for Students Design Competition are Jessica Nutz, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; John Quale, University of New Mexico; Holly Samuelson, Harvard University; Lisa Matthiessen, U.S. Green Building Council; and Greg Mella, SmithgroupJJR.