First created in 2018, the $10,000 prize “celebrates emerging architects who create visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component while exploring ways to increase project speed.”
This year’s winners Christopher Taurasi, Lexi White, and Jeffrey Lee of LVL (Level) Studio successfully presented a concept called Electric Oasis that inserts “treelike” steel canopies into gas stations while simultaneously enacting a bio-remediative aeration system that helps to mitigate the ground soil contamination that ordinarily renders such sites unusable for generations.
Jurors were impressed by the concept’s ability to provide entertainment, dining, and retail options for the often lengthy EV charging process. Photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof of each structure, which also double as shade canopies for EV motorists lingering in the hot Southern California sun.
The AISC added: “The design takes advantage of steel’s unique modular potential to facilitate economical, rapid erection — and steel’s unique recyclability and circular supply chain add an additional layer of sustainability while reinventing the existing infrastructure.”
“This is a vehicular kind of society,” current AIA California president Rona Rothenberg said finally, speaking of the concept. “This is a great way to reuse what we already have and transform it into a resilient, sustainable, and lasting solution.”
Junior Carbajal and Masamichi Ikeda (both of JRMA Architects Engineers) were named as the first runners-up for the Prize over their concept for a vertical micro-city in Portland, Oregon. It was followed by Then Le of the Huntsman Architectural Group for his Trans-connect concept.
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