TERPS MAKE "THE FINAL FOUR"
University of Maryland interdisciplinary "dream team" places in the finals for the
ULI-Gerald Hines Student Urban Design Competition
A team of Maryland graduate students have clinched one of four finalist slots in the 2011 Urban Land Institute/ Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, beating out over 160 teams from some of the finest and most prestigious graduate-level programs in the United States and Canada.
A marriage of some of the top talent within the University of Maryland, the students who make up the team are: Fran Dohrety, (Master of Community Planning); Heather Howard (Master of Real Estate Development); Matthew Sickle, (Master of Landscape Architecture); Sean Douty, (Master of Architecture); and Emilie Rottman, (Master of Architecture). The team's primary advisor on the project is Architecture Professor Matthew Bell, AIA with Margaret McFarland, Director of the Real Estate Development program, serving as an additional advisor.
The competition, now in its 9th year, seeks interdisciplinary teams of graduate students to combine their talents to tackle a large redevelopment site in the United States, creating an exciting vision and proposing real design solutions to urban challenges. This year's site is the North Rainier neighborhood in Seattle, a 33.5 acre area surrounding one of the cities' transit stations, the Mount Baker Station. The site was chosen because it represents a specific challenge for Seattle; how city neighborhoods will in the future develop new transit stops that have the potential to not only encourage sustainable living, but offer surrounding space with unique identities.
A key to Maryland's entry is its resourceful and inventive approach to five basic elements: design and place-making; context analysis; land use planning; illustrations of new development; and development programming and financing.
"The team is developing an exciting mixed-use scheme that leverages the existing investment that has been made in the city's transit system, but also takes advantage of potential connections to the regional parks system," says Bell. "We seek to make a great place for this neighborhood."
Maryland's team will now go back to the drawing board to further develop their scheme. The team will visit the site in the next few weeks to provide more perspective, returning to Seattle in late March to present their final design to the jury. The winning team will go home with a $50,000 prize. This year marks the second year in a row that a University of Maryland team has been selected for the final four of the competition.
"This is a terrific achievement, and a good example of how Maryland students consistently set themselves apart in a competitive arena," says David Cronrath, Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. "We will be cheering them on as they head to Seattle for the finals."
While the competition is designed as an exercise, it allows students to engage in real-world scenarios dealing in responsible land use. Because the primary goal of the competition is to encourage teamwork and cooperation across a variety of professional fields, teams are required to represent at least three disciplines. The competition is open to graduate-level students pursuing degrees in urban design and real estate related fields.
The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland is home to four academic disciplines: architecture, urban planning, historic preservation and real estate development. Committed to educating its students and community about the importance of sustainability and smart growth, the School practices an interdisciplinary approach to education, research, creative work, and community and professional service. For more information, please e-mail us or call 301.405.8000.
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