TIMBER IN THE CITY: Urban Habitats Competition

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) is pleased to announce TIMBER IN THE CITY: Urban Habitats Competition for the 2012-2013 academic year. The competition is a partnership between the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons The New School for Design (SCE).

The program is intended to engage students and recent graduates, working individually or in teams to imagine the repurposing of our existing cities with buildings that are made from renewable resources, offer expedient affordable construction, innovate with new and old wooden materials, and provide healthy living / working environments.

The Challenge

The competition challenges participants to design a mid-rise, mixed-use complex with affordable housing units, a job training/educational facility, a center for innovative manufacturing of wood technology, and a distribution center. The project site is in Red Hook, Brooklyn a neighborhood in some flux, cut off from much of Brooklyn geographically, yet increasingly vibrant.

Aspiring to regenerate a dissipating urban manufacturing sector and address the housing needs of New York City, entrants will be asked to design a place for the creation of originative vocational opportunities embracing new wood technology. Entrants will be challenged to propose construction systems in scenarios that draw optimally on the performance characteristics of a variety of wood technologies.


The competition will challenge participants to interpret, invent, and deploy numerous methods of building systems, with a focus on innovations in wood design on a real site. For thousands of years, solid wood has been used as a building material. Timber is an ideal green building material: it is well suited for a broad range of structural and aesthetic applications, it offers high performance characteristics; and wood is an economic driver to maintain forests and protect jobs in our communities.

Criteria for Judging

Criteria for the judging of submissions will include: timber/wood as the primary structural material, creative and innovative use of timber/wood in the design solution, successful response of the design to its surrounding context, and successful response to basic architectural concepts such as human activity needs, structural integrity, and coherence of architectural vocabulary.


March 6, 2013: Registration Deadline May 22, 2013: Submission Deadline July 2013: Winners Announced


Winning students, their faculty sponsors, and recent graduate/emerging professionals will receive cash prizes totaling $30,000. The design jury will meet July 2013, to select winning projects and honorable mentions. Winners and their faculty sponsors will be notified of the competition results directly. A list of winning projects will be posted on the ACSA website (www.acsa-arch.org).

  • First Prize: Student / $7,500; Faculty Sponsor / $2,500
  • Second Prize: Student / $5,000; Faculty Sponsor / $1,500
  • Third Prize: Student / $2,500; Faculty Sponsor / $1,000
  • Recent Graduate: Award $10,000

Find more information here.

About this author
Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "TIMBER IN THE CITY: Urban Habitats Competition" 20 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/284597/timber-in-the-city-urban-habitats-competition> ISSN 0719-8884

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