On Friday, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) plans to announce the winners of its “Green Community” international competition, which drew 260 entries from 15 different countries.

The competition was conducted in collaboration with the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C., whose current exhibition of the same name (on display through October) features examples and analysis of 14 green communities located throughout the world. Taking its cue from the exhibition, the competition’s call for entries asked students to reimagine a specific area in their towns, considering issues such as reuse, remediation, conservation, sanitation, and water management, among other elements in contemporary sustainable planning. 


The entries submitted represented 1,322 students and 200 faculty members from 76 universities. U.S. teams won the first, second, and third place awards. The jury also named two honorable mentions and nine citations.

The first place project was created by Dylan Barlow, Kyle Belcher, and Geoffrey Gregory from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Their project, titled “Urban Reef,” re-imagines San Francisco’s Pier 70 as a public showplace for green energy and sustainable food production. The jury applauded the project for “a dramatic analysis” and “visionary form,” adding that the team “marries a big idea directly related with the topic with an architectural solution.” 

The second place winner is “edgEcology: Change the Edges, Change the City,” by Chris Hardy, Tomoki Takebayashi, Chris Gruber, and Rachel Kunreuther of Cornell University. Their proposal features a series of environmental interventions in Buffalo, New York.

Third place goes to Amalia Bamis, Kristen Dahlquist, and Li Yu of the University of South Florida for “Urban Green Community: Revitalizing the South Nebraska Distract” —a reworking of an area of Tampa, Florida, into a walkable community.

All three teams will present their projects at an event scheduled for July 28 at the National Building Museum. 

The Green Community competition is the latest in a tradition of competition planning that extends back 50 years, according to ACSA project manager, Eric Ellis. ACSA conducts around four competitions a year, and recent projects have tended to focus on sustainability, but from a smaller-scale, architectural perspective.

Green Community, says Ellis, was an opportunity to “focus not just on a single discipline,” but to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. Though not mandatory, the brief suggested that projects be produced by teams, promoting dialogue between the sometimes insular fields of architecture, planning, and landscape architecture.

“We encouraged students to think about sustainability as it relates to their community, but it was done in a collaborative fashion, one that breaks down the barriers between disciplines. And that mimics what is happening in the field right now,” explains Scott Kratz, the NBM’s vice president of education.  

The jurors for the competition were Ivan Harbour, of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; Robert Ivy, editor in chief of Architectural Record; Rachelle Levitt, of the Urban Land Institute; and Harry Van Oudenallen, of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ivy was impressed with the global scope of the submissions, noting that he and other jurors were "heartened to see so many students from around the world engaged in a topic of vital importance for our future."



First Place: "Urban Reef"
Students: Dylan Barlow, Kyle Belcher, and Geoffrey Gregory
Faculty Sponsors: Mona El Khafif and David Fletcher
California College of the Arts
Juror comments: A dramatic analysis, visionary form, well-assembled ideas, and beautifully illustrated. Marries a big idea directly related to the topic with an architectural solution. Deals expressly with how to deal with high-rise density.

Second Place: "edgEcology: Change the Edges, Change the City"
Students: Chris Hardy,  Tomoki Takebayashi,  Chris Gruber,  and Rachel Kunreuther
Faculty Sponsors: Jamie Vanucchi
Cornell University
Juror comments: This project is future thinking and develops a methodology for growth and change. The system design deals with water and land, allowing the city's waterfront to thrive. Stunning level for student work.

Third Place: "Urban Green Community: Revitalizing the South Nebraska District"
Students: Amalia Bamis, Kirsten Dahlquist, and Li Yu
Faculty Sponsors: Vikas Mehta
University of South Florida
Juror comments: This project offers an alternative for walkability, and is realistic because it addresses the car and connectivity between the neighborhood. Relationship to the river’s edge, sustainability of using that edge, soil quality. The building construction offers much higher density with single-family homes next to multi-family homes.

Honorable Mention: "The Virtually Customised Community"
Students: Andrew Cook
Faculty Sponsors: Colin Pugh
Manchester School of Architecture
Juror comments: This project is very inventive and thought provoking. It proposes communities created by those who have chosen to live together via virtual customizable communities, a 21st-century commune. There are many pre-existing structures that will eventually need to be re-inhabited (i.e. malls, factories) and this project addresses that.

Honorable Mention: "The Greenest Brick"
Students: Alex Libengood, Eric Six, John Simenic, Sylvia Piszczor, and Lauren Wetula
Faculty Sponsors: Thomas A. Dutton, Scott Johnston, and John Blake
Miami University
Juror comments: This project used a highly innovative idea, transforming an abandoned subway line into a bike path.

Project Citation: "ANYTOWN UK—A Green Community is a Social Community"
Students: Emma Ramsbottom
Faculty Sponsors: Colin Pugh
Manchester School of Architecture

Project Citation: "Green Community: Urban Agriculture + Transit"
Students: Nicholas Alexander
Faculty Sponsors: Harry A. Eggink
Ball State University

Project Citation: "Jambalaya Co-Op"
Students: Emily Chia Ying Lin, and Scott Ling
Faculty Sponsors: David Lieberman
University of Toronto

Project Citation: "Kazimierz: Completing the w/hole"
Students: Katarzyna Kapuscinska, and Conrad Surowka
Faculty Sponsors: Anna Palej
Cracow University of Technology

Project Citation: "North Industrial Area Redevelopment. Los Angeles, California"
Students: Laura van Batenburg-Stafford, Nicole Davis, and Cristianne Peschard
Faculty Sponsors: Ronald Sakal and Sallie A. Hood
University of Notre Dame & Design Center for Building Communities

Project Citation: "Pieces in a Framework: Green Design Initiative"
Students: Andrew Putz,  Luke Smith, Jessica Forsythe, Maxwell Edward Szewczyk Streeter, and Grace Harter
Faculty Sponsors: Thomas A. Dutton, Scott Johnston, and John Blake
Miami University

Project Citation: "Reclaiming"
Students: Lidiya Angelova, Monika Blazenovic, and Thao Nguyen
Faculty Sponsors: Vikas Mehta
University of South Florida

Project Citation: "Reclaiming Pittsburgh
Students: Emily Vogler
Faculty Sponsors: Rebecca Kainer
University of Pennsylvania

Project Citation: "With Time: Retrofitting Suburbia"
Students: Kris Kelly, Andrew Bramm, and Anita Gunther
Faculty Sponsors: Graham D. Livesey
University of Calgary