UO students win first place in national architecture contest

Working all night together on a project can make or break a relationship, but that dedication paid off big for UO Architecture undergraduates Benjamin Bye, Alex Kenton and Jason Rood.

 They won first place in the “Timber in the City: Urban Habitatscontest, which called for proposals for mixed-use development in the Brooklyn, N.Y., waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook.

More than 1,000 architecture students and young professionals entered the competition, organized by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Binational Softwood Lumber Council, and Parsons The New School for Design.

Jason Rood.

“The winning submissions for the 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.

The UO students’ winning submission attracted the jurors with its use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) as a new building technology to create a cost-effective,

Ben Bye. environmentally friendly solution for creating livable and recreational areas that support a wide range of daily activities for residents. Kenton said the team worked so well together that “every step along the way to success was full of energy and creativity.”

Bye said working with the other students taught him the value of collaboration. He also gives credit to Judith Sheine, UO architecture professor, and Mikhail Gershfeld, Cal Poly Pomona professor, and his students, who taught the UO students about the structural possibilities and limitiations of CLT.

Alex Kenton.“They made an elegant, contemporary and very sustainable design,” said Sheine, adding the students had a deep knowledge of sustainable design principles and a commitment to understanding the technology.

 “The team dynamic allowed us to bounce ideas off each other and really focus on making the best design for the unique competition requirements,” said Kenton. “Winning this award really proves our achievements as a team.”

Aria Seligmann, UO Office of Strategic Communications