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Buell Center Paris Prize Winners Announced

Arch benjamin christopher gardner fa17 axonometric nologo
Culture Culture by Christopher Gardner
Advanced Studio
David Benjamin, Critic
The inaugural Buell Center Paris Prize recognizes the work of Columbia GSAPP students whose studio projects most successfully address the terms and spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement
Media Advisory
25 January 2018

Columbia GSAPP is pleased to announce the winning projects of this year’s inaugural Buell Center Paris Prize. Three prizes of $3,000 each were awarded to four students from the Master of Architecture and the Advanced Architectural Design programs whose fall semester design studio projects most successfully complied with, interpreted, and/or critically extended the terms and spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement, a global treaty adopted within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Special consideration was given to work that combined the social, technical, political, and symbolic implications of the climate accord in an architecturally specific fashion, at multiple scales. A jury composed of Buell Center Board Members selected one winning project and multiple finalists from each of the first-, second-, and third-year fall semester studios.

“As global urbanization invites us to think relationally across cultures and contexts, climate change urges us to re-imagine how we live, move, and share. New types of housing, new forms of infrastructure, new possibilities for urban ecology, and new preservation technologies can all converge to foster more just societies,” said Dean Amale Andraos.

“The Buell Center is dedicated to the study of American architecture in its many enigmatic and contradictory forms. When the United States withdrew from the Paris climate accords, the meaning of ‘American architecture’ changed. The climate question is a universal question, unconfined within national borders but nonetheless posed differently everywhere, at all times. In recognition, the Buell Center Paris Prize invites students to respond to its challenges not by solving preconceived problems, but by posing that question anew, right here and right now,” said Professor Reinhold Martin, Director of the Buell Center.

The Buell Center Paris Prize jury recognizes the following students for their compelling studio projects:

Arch solomonoff emily wincy po quentin yiu fa17 01 sectional model 1 1
Sharing Economy by Emily Po and Quentin Yiu
Core Architecture Studio III
Galia Solomonoff, Critic
Zevallos sm
Armadillo by Lizzy Zevallos
Core Architecture Studio I
Brandt Knapp, Critic

Paris Prize Winners

Culture Culture by Christopher Gardner
Advanced Studio
David Benjamin, Critic

“For my project, a research complex in the sugar cane fields outside Campinas, Brazil, I’ve employed the grown material of bacterial cellulose, the leathery by-product of the bacteria commonly found in Kombucha. While utilizing bacterial cellulose is environmentally positive, my goal with this project is to engage the non-quantifiable: the inherent politics, morality, and perceptions surrounding a new building materiality. To interrogate these manifold issues, I have created a series of narratives profiling seven different actors and their relationship to the research complex building. These narratives, each represented through their own unique media, define a scenario while also informing the design.”

Sharing Economy by Emily Po and Quentin Yiu
Core Architecture Studio III
Galia Solomonoff, Critic

“Through a series of studies on household objects, we have developed a concept of sharing based on usage and programming. This concept works towards reducing the overall construction area while increasing each space’s operational efficiency. Through sharing, this project reduces the carbon footprint by eliminating underutilized appliances inside each flat and relocating them into a common space, which is both more efficient and social. Recognizing food as a social construct, we introduced dine-in restaurants, cafes, and informal outdoor areas in the public plaza. Along with the community kitchens, these spaces encourage social activity.”

Armadillo by Lizzy Zevallos
Core Architecture Studio I
Brandt Knapp, Critic

“The Armadillo is located on the East River at 14th Street adjacent to the Con-Edison power plant. Barricaded within a concrete shell during the winter and extreme weather, it is an incubator space for art, dance, theater, and science. In the summer, it expands into six autonomous floating components, each with its own public programming potential as a stage, exhibition space, and more. The components dock around NYC and North Jersey, making art accessible to various communities. The Armadillo ensures its own longevity through its adaptive concrete shell that protects interior components during extreme weather. It also protects Con-Ed from storm surge. Lastly, it provides a model for forming a flood wall chain around lower Manhattan, which may otherwise be underwater within our lifetimes.”

Paris Prize Finalists

The Brine by Lincoln Antonio
Advanced Studio
David Benjamin, Critic

The Open Core by Mayrah Udvardi and Sarah Rutland
Core Architecture Studio III
Daisy Ames, Critic

Urban Farm by Gauri Bahuguna
Core Architecture Studio I
Iñaqui Carnicero, Critic

Forest Farms by Marc Francl
Core Architecture Studio I
Tei Carpenter, Critic

Instrument of Nature by Serena GuoGe
Core Architecture Studio I
Tei Carpenter, Critic

About the Buell Center
Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture was founded in 1982. Its mission is to advance the interdisciplinary study of American architecture, urbanism, and landscape. A separately endowed entity within the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, it sponsors research projects, workshops, public programs, publications, and awards. The Paris Prize forms a part of the Buell Center’s ongoing research project, Power: Infrastructure in America.
About Columbia GSAPP
Among the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York continuously seeks to advance the frontiers of scholarship and foster a campus community deeply engaged in the complex issues of our time. Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Columbia GSAPP) offers a range of programs in architecture, historic preservation, planning, real estate development, and urban design that bring together imagination, experimentation, and critical thinking towards new forms of practice. GSAPP is committed to shaping a more equitable, sustainable, and creative world by engaging architecture and the built environment from diverse and global perspectives. The school functions as an urban condenser of ideas and drives innovation and change through the leadership of its faculty, the excellence of its academic programs, the expansion of interdisciplinary opportunities as well as the richness of its research initiatives and events.