UMD Team Wins First Place in ACSA Timber in the City Competition


UMD Architecture Team Wins First Place in International Urban Habitats Competition

A design project created by two architecture students from the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (UMD) has won First Place in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture TIMBER IN THE CITY competition. The student team of Eric Bos and Trevor Wood took top honors this week, along with a $10,000 prize in a competitive field of 238 entries and over 900 participants worldwide.


TIMBER IN THE CITY 3: Urban Habitats Competition, a partnership between the ACSA, the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) and the School of Constructed Environments (SCE) at Parsons School of Design, focused on the interrelationship between housing, health, climate and early childhood education.


Students worked individually or in teams to imagine the transformation of an existing city—for this competition, a vacant waterfront site in Queens, New York—complete with affordable housing, a large community wellness facility and an early childhood education center. Entrants were also challenged to integrate multiple wood materials for construction.


Aperture, as the winning entry is titled, “presents a clear understanding of urban context as it thoughtfully uses a variety of techniques with timber construction to create a protective plaza linking buildings to a community,” noted the design jury.


Aperture envisions a dense waterfront promenade that provides a unique public space and a development impetus for the Queens riverfront. The program is broken up into two buildings, creating a pedestrian street that connects the public to waterfront amenities and a new ferry terminal bridge connecting housing with the wellness center. The Education Center classrooms provide play areas for students and views to Manhattan for pool-goers.


“We are thrilled with our win in this international design competition,” said Bos. “The design prompt was complex and required close attention to urban design, housing and public building typologies along with technical assembly details. We are grateful for the recognition of our hard work and development of a cohesive concept and design strategy.”


The UMD team’s project was developed under the guidance of Professor of the Practice Peter Noonan who brought the competition idea to his ARCH 601 Topical Studio that focused on housing and mass timberduringthe 2018-2019 academic year.


“After a great semester with a committed set of students, I knew we had some very strong contenders in this important competition that focused on mass timber, housing and community building,” Noonan said. “I think the strength of Eric and Trevor’s winning entry beautifully exemplifies and combines our school’s strengths that stretch back decades: a concern for urban design and the city, coupled with knowledge and care for building craft.”


Interim Dean Donald W. Linebaugh commented, “We are very proud of this great showing by our architecture team. Their winning entry is an thoughtful and contextualized design for a community—something we strive for throughout our school.”


The projects will be on view at the March 2020 ACSA Annual Meeting in San Diego and the May 2020 American Institute of Architects Convention in Los Angeles.


The design jury met in July to select the winning projects and honorable mentions. For full details on the competition and the winning submissions, visit


To see the team’s winning design, visit the website

-By Christine Hinojosa and Dan Novak.


View the project boards in the attachments below.

File Info Abstract:

File size: 3.82 MB
Bos-Wood_TIC2019_1_s.pdf (Bos-Wood_TIC2019_1_s.pdf)
File Info Abstract:

File size: 9.53 MB
Bos-Wood_TIC2019_2.pdf (Bos-Wood_TIC2019_2.pdf)
File Info Abstract:

File size: 17.4 MB
Bos-Wood_TIC2019_3.pdf (Bos-Wood_TIC2019_3.pdf)
File Info Abstract:

File size: 12.86 MB
Bos-Wood_TIC2019_4.pdf (Bos-Wood_TIC2019_4.pdf)
Posted on August 16, 2019 by Jelena Dakovic