2015-2016 Steel Competition


The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce the sixteenth annual steel design student competition for the 2015-2016 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. 


“As the location’s most endemic factor, climate provides the designer with a legitimate starting point for architectural expression in the endeavour to design in relation to place, because climate is one of the dominant determinants of the local inhabitants’ lifestyle and the landscape’s ecology.”  
Dr. Ken Yeang, 1996

“Regionalism is not simply the nostalgic privileging of the vernacular form, but a synthesis of the vernacular with modernism. It is a way of thinking about architecture which is culturally regenerative – not a style, but a search for a cultural continuity...... It implies the embracing of modernism whilst simultaneously maintaining links with traditional forms and practices”  
– Robert Powell, 1993


The Categories
The 2015-2016 Steel Design Student Competition will offer architecture students the opportunity to compete in two separate categories. A total of $14,000 will be distributed in cash prizes. Students may not enter both categories of the competition.

Category II   OPEN


January 2016 Registration Opens
March 30, 2016          
Registration Deadline (free registration)
May 25, 2016 Submission Deadline
August 2016
Winners Announced 
Fall 2016 Publication of Summary Book

Advantages of Steel    

Structural steel offers a number of benefits in building design including the capacity to bear great loads in tension and compression, high resiliency and performance under harsh and difficult conditions, (e.g., earthquakes and hurricanes) and the ability to span great distances with minimum material. Steel can be shaped by many processes, ranging from standard rolled sections to custom castings and digitally generated components. It can be prefabricated and delivered for site assembly, and it can be erected quickly under almost any weather condition to meet tight construction schedules. Similarly, steel’s wide use for building cladding highlights its durability, technical capabilities and aesthetic versatility.

Steel can be easily modified during the life cycle of a building to accommodate changing occupant requirements. As the most recycled material in the world, steel is an environmentally sound building material choice. Today, structural steel is 97% recycled with the primary source being automobiles. Architects praise the natural beauty of steel and are excited about exposing it in the design of their structures to emphasize grace, slenderness and strength, and in their building envelopes to enhance environmental performance and aesthetic character. 


Antony Wood, Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat
Jon Magnusson, Magnusson Klemencic
Gail Borthwick, Gensler
Doris Sung, University of Southern California
Lee Su Huang, University of Florida
Elizabeth O'Donnell, The Cooper Union



+ Download the full 15-16 Steel Competition Program (PDF)
+ Category I: Tall Buildings
+ Category II: Open
+ Guidelines & Rules
+ Registration & Submission
+ Resources
+ Steel Video Resources
+ Competition Organizers



For questions please contact: 

Eric Wayne Ellis
Allison Smith
Director of Operations and Programs
Programs Coordinator
eellis@acsa-arch.org     asmith@acsa-arch.org
202.785.2324 202.785.2324



Image Credit

2013-2014 Steel Competition  |  Open Category 1st Place
Searching for Daylight in a Diagonal Urban Grid

Student: Zahra Hosseinabadi
Faculty: Jeffrey Wayne Place
University: North Carolina State University