Architectural Masterplan Competition

Greening the
Industrial City

Houston ★ Texas

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

Greening the 
Industrial City

Official Partners

Greening the 
Industrial City Greening the 
Industrial City

Buildner is pleased to announce the results of the Greening the Industrial City competition.

Participants are asked to submit a masterplan proposal for an industrial park that was built over a natural waterway. The jury sought proposals that cleverly exposed the natural beauty of the waterway underneath the industrial park, as well as those that addressed neighborhood concerns.

The top entries from the competition will be critiqued during an in-person jury event that followed a TEDxHouston Countdown event. The countdown is a series of TED talks focused on innovative solutions and thought leadership in addressing the effects of global warming. Selected competition entries will be displayed in the auditorium of the TEDxHouston Countdown speaker series.

Buildner worked with an excellent regional jury that consisted of: Amna Ansari is founding partner of UltraBarrio, an urban design and architecture practice with a central goal to shape cities to be more civic, sustainable, and generationally connected by design; Juan José Castellón, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture at RICE University; Dalia Munenzon, who serves as the Boston associate for One Architecture & Urbanism, leading the firm’s projects in the greater Boston area; Marcus Martinez is a Partner at UltraBarrio where his experience in architecture and urbanism is dedicated to topics that foster resilient communities, repurposing infrastructure, and building types that relate to cycles of scarcity, surplus, and obsolescence; and Kirby Liu, a real estate developer focused on creative projects that have city wide impacts, who has led the development of POST Houston, the OMA-designed adaptive reuse of an abandoned post office in downtown Houston.

Buildner and its jurors congratulate the winning participants and thank all those that contributed to this ideas competition.

1st Prize Winner

Project name

Life Spiral

Authors

Pavel Nishchanka
Olga Dolinina
Yura Korolev
Yuliya Nesviatayeva

Company

Level 80

Belarus

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

As we said above, we’re happy to take up new challenges: new context, new problem-solution setting, and new continents:) Win is fun, getting known in the new markets is great for business, but the key is learning and getting stronger after every new case - the skills we later apply for our work with Customers.

Jury commentary

The jurors felt that this entry had the most sophisticated reading of the existing neighborhood context as well as a deep understanding of the neighborhood needs. The proposal was both a light touch and a radical reimagining of what is possible with adaptively reusing industrial structures. The jurors appreciated the inclusion of a “Memorial Wall” that connected to the adjacent historical cemetery for African Americans. The concept was also quite open ended, suggesting a degree of flexibility for the development process as opposed to a rigid masterplan. The project’s collage resonated with the radical visions of Archigram’s Instant City, as it suggested an almost guerilla do-it-yourself approach to urban cultural development. The jury also appreciated the gesture toward Buffalo Bayou and the site’s relationship to downtown, suggesting a sensitivity to urban context as well as positing a vision of the future that is multi-modally connective.

Buildner's architectural communication techniques review

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  • 8/10
    Linework
  • 9/10
    Quality of drawings
  • 8/10
    Balance of color
  • 8/10
    Layout
  • 8/10
    Hierarchy
  • 8/10
    Annotation
  • 7/10
    Text
  • 9/10
    Clarity of story
  • 9/10
    Clarity of diagrams
  • 8/10
    Quality of overall presentation

Buildner's commentary and recommendations

The author has chosen to layout sheets beginning with a higher density of diagrams on opening sheets followed by larger rendered images on later sheets. Though it is generally balanced by pages, there does not seem to be an overarching organizational system applied to all pages, which is always recommended for consistency and ease of reading by the jury. The color palette is also quite varied with use of purple, gray, orange and black headlines and images generally colored in yellow, orange and green tones. To further balance the sheets for consistency the author might consider finding a constant grid to apply to all sheets, even if the sizes and content of images vary. The text uses bold headlines which provide a strong hierarchy and readability to the major conceptual points of the project. However the font and text size do not aid in the communication of the project. It is recommended that the author reduce the amount of text, and find consistency in the horizontal dimension of the text columns, as the variation causes some challenges in reading. The use of all caps in this particular font also does not help the jury read the project easily. The renderings on sheets 3 and 4 would benefit from some basic annotation and descriptions. The sheets appear unfinished and unless the jury already has a clear understanding of the project, it is unclear how the project is organized and what one is looking at. The final aerial image in particular would be aided greatly by some additional text details. The submission has a good level of hierarchy in terms of details within imagery. As jurors always review a strong project more than once, it helps that upon deeper reading, one learns more about this project.

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

BAYOU AS: COMMUNITY

Authors

Adam Scott
Olivia Pinner
Andrew Gresset
Robin V Hueppe

United States

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

It’s a necessary exercise, both internally and externally of the profession, for designers to participate in an imaginative disciplinary dialogue. Having the possibility of a platform to share our ideas with others is also a great additional opportunity.

Jury commentary

The jury commends Bayou As Community for its thoughtful representation techniques which suggested a degree of optimism about the potentiality of the site and architecture’s role in the built environment. The entry also showed a diversity of building types correlated to different types and scales of program which exhibited the designer’s understanding of both community needs and typology. The entry had a thoughtful approach to the landscape design of the newly revealed Slaughterhouse Bayou, although the jury believed that more work could be done to understand how this landscape design could be interwoven throughout the project. Finally, while some of the radical landscape moves such as lifting the site to create a hill were appreciated, such moves should be done with an understanding of how this could potentially create a waterfall of storm runoff in Houston’s hurricane prone climate. In conclusion, this is a beautifully represented and innovative concept that shows the suggestive power of architectural drawing.

Buildner's architectural communication techniques review

Got a presentation for us to review? Order your review here!
  • 10/10
    Linework
  • 9/10
    Quality of drawings
  • 10/10
    Balance of color
  • 9/10
    Layout
  • 9/10
    Hierarchy
  • 8/10
    Annotation
  • 8/10
    Text
  • 9/10
    Clarity of story
  • 9/10
    Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10
    Quality of overall presentation

Buildner's commentary and recommendations

The project has in particular pushed the boundaries to test and find a unique graphic method which is complemented by clear layout and annotation for ease of communication and to generate a strong immediate response from a reviewer. The project stands out among typical project submissions for its bold use of color, which is well balanced using a mix of pinks, greens and yellows. The use of an introductory page to describe three easy-to-understand generative concepts, followed by individual pages to describe each concept, makes for clear communication. The project is a master plan, and so it is expected that it will remain general in its nature. However, it would help to provide some level of detail to the architecture beyond block masses. This would also provide a range of scales to the drawings, pulling the jury into the project and convincing a reader that this proposal has been thoroughly analyzed as a design project. While the drawings are generally aerial in perspective, and while it provides a strong graphic statement it also lends to a slight difficulty in understanding scale. The change on the final page to a street-level view is welcome, and this project would benefit from additional views at this perspective. The author might also consider a sectional drawing to better communicate scale and the individual’s spatial experience within the site and project. The text generally uses bold headlines which provides easy readability to the major conceptual points. In this particular project, it does not help to change font sizes for introductory versus secondary texts. The secondary texts read far too long and could be abridged. The ‘public art’ component specifically does not need so much text to communicate a simple topic.

3rd Prize Winner

Project name

Water, Land, and People

Authors

Yoona Ahn
Peter Salim

United States

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Competition is a good way for us to test our thoughts and skills. It allows us to think outside of the box and envision how an idea can take off and be visualized in a short time-frame.

Jury commentary

This entry had a minimalist approach to the site which was felt to be a refreshing counterpoint to concepts that maximized every square foot of the site with buildings. Instead, what remains is a vision for a vibrant woods area with multifunctional architecture that serves the community at a variety of scales. The jury was most impressed with the project’s rendering of interior spaces and the sense of intimacy and diversity those views offered. However, with such a large amount of the site devoted to woodlands, the jury believes it is extremely important for that portion of the site to be designed. The project could improve by programming the woodlands more intensely and drawing this area in scale. Indeed, the pedestrian bridge rendered by the project seemed out of context given the fact that the site is in urban Houston. In addition, the jury believes the project could be improved by providing more variability in the architectural massing to suit each of the suggested programs. Nevertheless, the entry provoked thoughtful discussion about the future of development, the transition from urban fabric to landscape, and a designer’s sensitivity to the people the designs are supposed to serve.

Buildner's architectural communication techniques review

Got a presentation for us to review? Order your review here!
  • 9/10
    Linework
  • 9/10
    Quality of drawings
  • 8/10
    Balance of color
  • 8/10
    Layout
  • 8/10
    Hierarchy
  • 9/10
    Annotation
  • 9/10
    Text
  • 10/10
    Clarity of story
  • 9/10
    Clarity of diagrams
  • 9/10
    Quality of overall presentation

Buildner's commentary and recommendations

The layout of the four sheets is crystal clear for easy reading, with a primary image that spans the entire page in the horizontal, consisting of 75% of each sheet in the vertical. Below, spanning the base of each sheet, details and text provide additional supportive information. This layout provides simple reading, allowing jurors to easily find required text and descriptive diagrams that in conveying the concepts established in the larger and visually more important image above. The color palette is a well-balanced mix of yellows, purples and greens as well as shades of skin colors for the scale figures. The primary site plan on the first page appears overly uniform. While the simple pedestrian loop within the project is clear, the author might consider some variation in graphics for the trees as well as the landscaping. The project is sophisticated, but this specific drawing is rather banal in terms of the information it yields, and does not fully reflect the project’s intent as it is shown on subsequent sheets. The use of annotation is advanced and communicates the correct amount of information to understand the project. However, the use of bold black-highlighted texts visually detracts from the otherwise accomplished graphics. This is especially the case on sheet 3, where the annotations are the most visually heavy elements on the page. While annotations should be clear and easy to find, they also would benefit from being secondary to the drawing content. The submission has a strong level of hierarchy in terms of details within imagery. The use of large imagery with significant detail urges a juror to spend additional time to fully read and appreciate the level of thought given to such a submission.

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

Houston Habitat Oasis (H2O)

Company

Placemaking architects (pma)

Country

Indonesia

Project authors

Susanto Soenjoyo
Reyhan Frumentius layrenz
Zen Zhang
Nevin Yu

Project Name

New Central City Metropolitan Park

Country

Chile

Project authors

Matías Griffiths
Nicolás Iza
Sebastián Alarcón
Kevin Johnson

Project Name

intensify/densify

Country

United States

Project authors

Burck Schellenberg

Project Name

Meridian

Country

United States

Project authors

Joel Mbala-nkanga

Project Name

PULSE

Country

United Kingdom

Project authors

Milen Neshev
Velislava Valcheva

Project Name

EVERGREEN YARDS

Country

United States

Project authors

Joel Samuel
Yelena Vieyra
Chris Blahuta
Gassan Nasr

Shortlisted projects

VIEWclose Shortlisted projects

United States

adam scott
olivia pinner
andrew gresset
robin v hueppe

Chile

matías griffiths
nicolás iza
sebastián alarcón
kevin johnson

United States

SUNY Delhi

+8 points!
jacob weiner
jonathan walch
gabriel monterossa
john paris

United States

SUNY Delhi

+2 points!
amaira hill

United States

SUNY Delhi

+2 points!
aubrey phillps

United States

SUNY Delhi

+6 points!
justin eckhardt
terence hallinan
siyanie christopher-brewley

United States

joel samuel
yelena vieyra
chris blahuta
gassan nasr

Belarus

Level 80

pavel nishchanka
olga dolinina
yura korolev
yuliya nesviatayeva

United Kingdom

milen neshev
velislava valcheva

Indonesia

Placemaking architects (pma)

susanto soenjoyo
reyhan frumentius layrenz
zen zhang
nevin yu
 

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