57th Alabama Forestry Student Design Competition

Wood Comp, the Alabama Forestry Student Design Competition, is one of many familiar traditions in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (APLA). Recently completing its 57th year, Wood Comp is traditionally the culmination of second-year architecture studio and prizes are sponsored by the Alabama Forestry Association. As Alabama is over 70% forested, forest products are one of the state’s primary economic drivers, it is imperative that architects understand this resource and educate themselves to be better stewards of its future. As part of this endeavor, students were asked to design a Forest Ecology Center at Auburn’s Kreher Preserve and Nature Center to help support their mission to promote a sense of stewardship towards nature through quality environmental education, recreation and outreach programs with Auburn University and the community. The Forest Ecology Center program included an indoor classroom (conditioned), outdoor classroom (unconditioned but covered) and an event space (open to the sky) using wood structures.

Second-year coordinator, Gorham Bird said, “Thanks to the support of the Alabama Forestry Association (AFA), Wood Comp is a rite of passage every year for second year architecture students. This year’s iteration of the competition explored the conceptual potential of wood structural technology by designing a Forest Ecology Center. Exploring both the traditions of wood structures as well as contemporary mass timber construction, the top projects were described by the jurors as innovative, restrained, and beautiful.”

The Competition jury  included Tom Chung, Principal Leers Weinzapfel Associates; Architect, research and author, Kiel Moe; and Greg Walker, architect and founder Houser Walker Architecture in Atlanta.

Competition results were as follows:
First Prize: Sophie Harward
Second Prize: Nate Taylor
Third Prize: Tri Nguyen

First Honorable Mention: Jenna Webb
Second Honorable Mention: Amy Kwon
Third Honorable Mention: William Tang
Fourth Honorable Mention: Michelle Davis

Student Choice Awards
Best Overall Project- Aynsley Norris
Best Drawings- Kristine Fernandez
Best Model-Zak Cverko


Related people:
Gorham Bird, Tom S. Chung