Fentress Global Challenge 2013: Upcycled Architecture Student Competition

Fentress Global Challenge is an international competition created to stimulate students worldwide in the exploration of future design possibilities in public architecture. In its third annual competition, students are invited to envision Fentress Architects’ concept of Upcycled Architecture.

Upcycled architecture is defined as the art of redesigning an existing structure for purposes other than those for which it was originally intended. Upcycled architecture additionally advances an existing building’s sustainable, dynamic, and programmatic uses.

Social and economic changes are not only demanding but they foster phenomenal possibilities to upcycle existing structures. Buildings typically outlive their original purposes and today’s architects face the challenge of creatively bringing new life and function to them. This innovative competition offers tomorrow’s architects the opportunity to embrace the world’s past designs while looking to the future for more sustainable and adaptive uses.

Repurposing a building is a time-honoured and extremely effective method for achieving sustainability. Demolishing an existing structure to build a new one from scratch requires an unnecessary use of resources such as time, materials, labour and capital. However, preserving and repurposing an existing building can enhance both resource efficiency and sustainability. In many cases, retaining older buildings – especially those of architectural or historic character – has a transformative and positive impact on local communities, economies, and cultures.

This competition is intended to encourage design students to envision and articulate innovative concepts for upcycled architecture. Entries need to respond to the changing environment and context surrounding a given site while engaging its history and existing limitations to create a new architectural destination. Participants must develop a new program for the building that is for public use. 

“We want participants to use their imaginations and submit visionary proposals with inspiring ideas that could play an important role in the redevelopment of not only the chosen site, but the greater community,” said Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, Chairman and Principal-in-Charge of Design at Fentress Architects.

Evaluated in areas such as creativity, sustainability, program, and response to site, the winning student or team will earn a prize valued at $10,000 USD, which includes $3,000 USD cash and a paid internship at Fentress Architects during the summer of 2014. Winning designs will gain international exposure while being exhibited at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, California. 

The deadline for online registration is December 19, 2013, followed by a submission deadline of January 16, 2014. The shortlist notification will be issued on February 13, 2014, the same day that the People’s Choice Award online voting takes place. Winners will be announced on March 13, 2014, and the internship at Fentress Architects follows in the summer of 2014.

For more information, please visit www.fentressarchitects.com/edge/global-challenge.