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Two OU Teams Honored in International Urban Design Competition Contact: Institute for Quality Communities 405.445.4577 firstname.lastname@example.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma joined Harvard University as one of only two universities with multiple teams honored in the 10thannual Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. One OU team received an “Honorable Mention First Place” and the other an “Honorable Mention Overall Merit” in the competition, placing them both in the top 10 percent of the field, which consisted of 139 graduate-level teams from 64 universities throughout United States and Canada. “This prestigious accomplishment demonstrates how the College of Architecture’s focus on collaboration helps our students develop unique perspectives and enhances their abilities to work with other disciplines. We are so proud our students are able to compete and excel at this level,” said Dr. Charles Graham, dean of the OU College of Architecture. “These competitions also give students the opportunity to creatively solve real-world problems, which will serve them well in the future.” The teams were honored for their urban design and development proposals for a 16.3-acre site owned by the U. S. Postal Service in downtown Houston. The USPS property is an important infill site that many stakeholders believe is key in reconnecting the Theater District, the Historic District and the greater downtown to the Buffalo Bayou. While based on a hypothetical situation, the competition gave students just two weeks to produce proposals that exhibit best practices in urban design and real estate development, while addressing specific concerns for connectivity and district branding important to local stakeholders. The competitions teams were made up of students from a variety of disciplines representing four different programs within the OU College of Architecture as well as the Price College of Business MBA Program. Serving as advisers were advised Blair Humphreys, executive director of the Institute for Quality Communities, and Associate Professor of Architecture Hans Butzer. According to Eddie Edwards, Director of the OU MBA Program, “Real estate development of this scale is incredibly complex. You can’t help but be impressed by the fact that these students were able to work together in creating a project that is both forward thinking in design and practical from a financial perspective.” “The Veranda” placed fifth receiving “First Place Honorable Mention” and featured a dynamic public space connected to the Buffalo Bayou trail network. The goal was to cultivate a “front porch” identity with downtown Houston and create a balance between the built and natural environments with various community amenities including eco-educational spaces and farmer’s markets. The team members were fifth-year architecture students Adelle York, who served as team leader, Aric Yarberry and Grant Hromas; regional and city planning graduate student Ty McCarthy, and MBA student Ohm Devani. York explained why the experience was valuable preparation with graduation on the horizon, “I think that students from all three disciplines – architecture, planning, and business – had preconceptions of the others based on their area of study. By collaborating we were exposed to a part of our futures outside of academia and were surprised by our compatibility.” The Foundry received an “Honorable Mention Overall Merit” for their proposal to create a district designed to empower startup entrepreneurs. Features of the proposal included small affordable retail and residential space as well as “collaborative community” office space. Members of the team were regional and city planning graduate students Phillips Walters, who served as the team leader, and Shane Hampton; landscape architecture graduate student Alex Tyler; architecture graduate student Grant Evert, and fifth-year architecture student Preston Kunz. Walters had a mixed reaction to the result, “Our design being named an honorable mention, or in the top 10 percent of submissions, is exciting news and the achievement of our team goal. It also posed the tantalizing question of what little change might have made us a finalist.” This year’s honorable mentions build on the success of last year’s OU team, which was one of four teams to make the finalist stage of the competition. The University of Oklahoma’s repeated success in this competition is not going unnoticed, as Butzer, who served as an advisor to both teams, explains, “This competition provides a venue for our students to showcase their work to a national audience of experts and professionals. Once again, our students demonstrated their ability to tackle the complex urban design challenges facing cities today. It is a great result for the students, and more evidence of the quality of collaborative urban design taking place at the University of Oklahoma.”
ULI Competition Press Release -- Norman, OK, 2012 (1 of 3)
“The Veranda”, received “First Place Honorable Mention” placing number 5 out of 139 teams from 64 universities · Adelle York, Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) – team leader · Aric Yarberry, Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) · Grant Hromas, Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) · Ohm Devani, Master of Business Administration (MBA) · Ty McCarthy, Master of Regional and City Planning (MRCP) · Faculty Advisors: Prof. Blair Humphreys and Prof. Hans Butzer
The Veranda: The Front Porch of Downtown Houston
` The Veranda features a dynamic public space connected to the Buffalo Bayou trail network.
ULI Competition Press Release -- Norman, OK, 2012 (2 of 3)
“The Foundry”, received “Honorable Mention” placing in the top 13 out of 139 teams from 64 universities. · Phillip Walters, Master of Regional and City Planning (MRCP) – team leader · Alex Tyler, Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) · Grant Evert, Master of Architecture (M.Arch) · Preston Kunz, Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) · Shane Hampton, Master of Regional and City Planning (MRCP) · Faculty Advisors: Prof. Blair Humphreys and Prof. Hans Butzer
The Foundry: A Complete Community Forging Creative Enterprise on the Buffalo Bayou.
The Foundry proposed building a community with space for entry-level entrepreneurs to establish new businesses.
ULI Competition Press Release -- Norman, OK, 2012 (3 of 3)