Architecture in the Fourth Dimension: International Student Competition


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The competition challenge is focused on two important functions of contemporary neighborhoods: housing and healthcare/wellness.

Category Idea Competition / Open to Students / Competition Result
Type International, Idea, Students, Single-Stage, Anonymous
Genre Urban
Country Boston, United States
RegDeadline 15 July 2011 GoogleCal iCal
15 July 2011 (via Online)
Eligibility All current students including students earning their degrees during the 2010-2011 academic year

The competition challenge is focused on two important functions of contemporary neighborhoods: housing and healthcare/wellness. In the Somerville site, the housing stock requires greater variety and levels of affordability. Furthermore, the current social structure demands conveniently located built spaces and open spaces to support health care and wellness. Both housing and healthcare, however, are expected to undergo constant change, and thus require architectural and urban infrastructures that offer a high degree of flexibility over time. The challenge is to conceive an urban architecture independent of specific functions - an ordinary high quality architectural typology with its own character, sense of place and morphology that can effectively and happily accommodate changing uses on the variable cycles of urban transformation. In considering this imperative, we expect that strong consideration will be given to natural illumination deep inside built space the result being that a narrow-floor-plate building morphology may be the dominant built-form theme.
The challenge asks entries to envision an initial scenario of uses and functions, and another that will gradually transform this site. One scenario will be implemented in the initial build-out of the site. The second scenario is envisaged for 30 - 50 years in the future. In the first instance, there will be a very strong focus on healthcare facilities (see details below), because the aging population is increasingly in need of a wide range of health and wellness services, not corralled in large stand-alone institutions but woven into the fabric of the everyday environment. In the second scenario, 30 – 50 years in the future, these healthcare functions will have been dispersed or consolidated to other locations, and housing and other urban uses will have replaced the healthcare functions in the same urban spaces and buildings. In this transformation of uses, the building stock itself will remain largely intact, mutating incrementally and partially to accommodate the changes of use. Boston’s Fort Point Channel district, the Wharfs along the Boston Harbor and Boston’s Back Bay in Boston are both excellent examples. Other examples in other countries include the fabric of Amsterdam’s historic center, the historic fabric of Paris, or Bern, Switzerland, or the historic fabric of Kyoto, all of which have been subject to incremental and piece-meal transformation while retaining their traditional, thematic characteristics.

Professor Andres Mignucci (Puerto Rico)
Professor Renee Chow (UC Berkeley, USA)
Paul Lukez (Paul Lukez Architecture, Boston, USA)
Professor Qian Qiang (Southeast University, China)
Professors Shigeru Aoki and Shinichi Chikazumi (Japan)
Professor Jaehoon Lee (Dankook University, Korea)
Phil Astley (UCL/Bartlett, London, UK)
Paul Strohm (HOK, USA)

The Eberle Open Building Award(First Prize): $3000
Second Prize: $1000
Third Prize: $750
Two Citations: $250 each
All student prize- and citation winners will be offered an $800 stipend to help cover the costs of attending the conference should they decide to attend.

Entry Fee

2 boards (A0) including 250 word project description

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: September 1, 2011

Past winners

The Boston Society of Architects

Official Website