The competition program is intended to engage students and recent graduates, working individually or in teams to imagine the repurposing of our existing cities with buildings that are made from renewable resources, offer expedient affordable construction, innovate with new and old wooden materials, and provide healthy living / working environments.

THE CHALLENGE   The competition challenges participants to design a mid-rise, mixed-use complex with affordable housing units, a job training/educational facility, a center for innovative manufacturing of wood technology, and a distribution center. The project site is in Red Hook, Brooklyn a neighborhood in some flux, cut off from much of Brooklyn geographically, yet increasingly vibrant.

Aspiring to regenerate a dissipating urban manufacturing sector and address the housing needs of New York City, entrants will be asked to design a place for the creation of originative vocational opportunities embracing new wood technology. Entrants will be challenged to propose construction systems in scenarios that draw optimally on the performance characteristics of a variety of wood technologies.

TIMBER   The competition will challenge participants to interpret, invent, and deploy numerous methods of building systems, with a focus on innovations in wood design on a real site. For thousands of years, solid wood has been used as a building material. Timber is an ideal green building material: it is well suited for a broad range of structural and aesthetic applications, it offers high performance characteristics; and wood is an economic driver to maintain forests and protect jobs in our communities.

PROGRAM   The diversified program proposes several spatial conditions, span distances, and environmental criteria in order to elicit a diverse group of architectural compositions and technological solutions that incorporate the use of differing structural, framing, and detail-oriented components. Such conditions may be: 

• Vertical mid-rise framing (i.e. Mass Timber Systems such as CLT and FFTT) 
• Interior partitioning (stud framing or modular panelized systems) 
• Exterior cladding (modular assemblies) 
• Long-span structure (glulam beams, truss joists, or other composite members) 

Following are the building program requirements:

• Residence (total: 109,725 sqft

Residences in this project are a mix of small units for single or double occupancy and larger, family-based units with more than one bedroom. All apartments must have exposure to natural light and air, as well as rooms that meet minimum size requirements of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

• Bike Share + Shop (total: 14,050 sqft)

As Red Hook has limited public transit and is somewhat isolated from surrounding neighborhoods of Brooklyn, a bicycle share hub and central repair shop is required as an integral component of this new building.

• Wood Production (total: 44,640 sqft)

The facility will host manufacturing equipment for assembly processes related to the fabrication of elements for the construction of wood buildings. The facility will also accommodate packing and staging areas in order to facilitate eventual shipping of this material, locally and regionally.

• Digital Production (total: 14,340 sqft)

Fabrication of wood or other associated componentry at a smaller scale will occur here. This facility will be a cutting edge, digitally-based laboratory for the exploration of manufacturing processes. While connected to and complementary of the larger scale workshop and manufacturing facility, this facility will also be a training and teaching facility with classrooms related to skill development in wood manufacturing.

GROSS SQFT: 182,755

SITE   Red Hook, South Brooklyn Waterfront, New York, is a mixed income, residential and industrial neighborhood, and an increasingly vibrant community. The project site is across from a big-box furniture store and proximate to Added Value, a major urban agriculture site. It is also a few blocks from the Red Hook Houses, a significant public housing development – one of the largest in the city. Nearby are several major public amenities, including the Red Hook recreational facility, the Red Hook ball fields, and highly trafficked commercial outlets, including a grocery store.




The projects will be on view at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons from October 24-31, and at the 2013 Greenbuild Conference in Philadelphia (November), the 2014 ACSA Annual Meeting in Miami (April) and the American Institute of Architects 2014 AIA Convention in Chicago (June).