The Architectural Glass Institute (AGI) of Philadelphia, Pa., sponsored its second annual Architectural Glass Student Design Competition in January, where third-year Jefferson University architecture students competed to design glass learning pods.
The Architectural Glass Institute (AGI), a labor-management organization representing glaziers and glazing contractors in the greater Philadelphia region, sponsored its second annual Architectural Glass Student Design Competition in January. Third-year Jefferson University architecture students participated as part of required coursework in the D6 Tectonic Studio in which they explore structure, enclosure, and materiality.
Students were charged with creating mostly transparent glass-enclosed collaborative learning spaces for installation in Jefferson’s Gutman Library. Design of the learning pods fell at the intersection of architecture and interior design; competitors were challenged to explore the qualities of glass, from color, transparency, fritting, and films, to new technologies such as photochromic glass.
Students were encouraged to look to the future, beyond current best practices of what appears in a collaborative space, to envision ideas for technologically linked team meeting spaces. Integrated technology (at a minimum, flat screen or other shared viewing technology) was a mandated part of the design solution. Learning pods were required to be designed for prefabrication. They could be freestanding or affixed to library walls or ceilings. Each pod needed to accommodate up to eight people. Final presentation materials included detailed drawings, a model, and a design brief.
On Friday, 26 January, a jury of design and glazing professionals evaluated the proposals and awarded four winners based on the use of glass, glazing systems, and aluminum framing; structural integrity; materiality; successful response to the future of collaborative space, library context, and nexus learning culture of Jefferson; and appropriate investigation and integration of technology.
The jury included Joseph Bausano, Associate with architecture firm Foster + Partners; Terry Webb, Principal of AGI member glazing contractor Eureka Metal & Glass Services; Ron Kudla, President of AGI member glazing contractor Advanced Metal & Glass; and Matt Cleary, Territory Manager for SageGlass®, an advanced dynamic glass product of Saint-Gobain.
“What was shown by the students was exceptional based on only two weeks to produce,” said Bausano. “I think the body of work was very attractive in terms of graphic representation, and there were a number of proposals that aimed to push the boundaries of the material (glass) in terms of fabrication and installation. My hat’s off to the students and professors who assisted.”
“During conversation with the student designers, I was impressed with all of the facets of the pods they had contemplated during their design efforts,” said Webb. “I was most impressed by the students’ imagination regarding the use of glass to create the living space they deemed most beneficial within the constraints of the existing library.”
Enya Barquia took first place and earned a prize of $500. Hutten Moyer took second place and $400. Danielle Robertson and Solomon Newman tied for third place, each winning $300.
The annual design competition was conceived as a way to engage the design continuum – linking architecture students, the glazing community, and allied professionals to build long-term relationships that strengthen the industry through dialogue and collaboration.
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Stephanie Staub, CSI, CDT, LEED Green Associate
Architectural Glass Institute
2190 Hornig Road, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19116