On February 18, BLT Architects welcomed 16 teams of university students to its 8th annual Student Design Charrette. Hosted for the first time as an in-person event, teams traveled from nine colleges to compete for internships with the firm and $1,000 each.
The students were tasked with designing a mixed-use development adjacent to phase one of the new Rail Park in Philadelphia, including:
- 10,000 sf of Outdoor Open Space
- 100,000 sf / 50 units of Live / Work Residential Space and Gallery
- 100,000 sf of Innovative work / Makerspace.
- 20,000 sf of Retail / Food and Beverage space
- 5,000 sf of Loading / Trash Collection
- And 50,000 sf alloted for a program of their choice, complementing the development and community.
The winners, by unanimous decision, were Zhuoying Lin and Shan Wang for their project, “The Bend”. These two international students from Carnegie Mellon proposed a solution which impressed the firm’s principals with elements like its gradual slope from street level and a “floating” residential and gallery space that appeared suspended in midair.
The design, they said, “takes a welcoming gesture by connecting the public with the Rail Park.”
“Private design practices are really based on the skill of the team we have working at BLT. So it’s always important to recruit and groom young talent,” said Principal Michael L. Prifti FAIA. “They know the hot programs, they know the latest techniques, and we can share our building and design experience with them to that, together, we can combined forces to make some amazing architecture.”
Last year, BLTa was one of 8 firms (and the only firm in Philadelphia) commended by the AIA Intern Development Program. This means that the firm does an exemplary job of teaching young interns what they need to know to become registered architects.
Congratulations to both winners as we prepare to welcome Zhuoying to Philadelphia’s architecture community this summer. For more information on BLT Architects’ annual Student Design Charrette, visit https://www.blta.com/sdc2018/.