The 2015-2016 Lesley Lynn Design Competition: Designing a Sustainable Student Housing

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2015-2016 Lesley Lynn Design Competition: Designing a Sustainable Student Housing: “Treasures from the Field” by Vu Nguyen Le and Vu Anh Tuan Le, First Prize ($10,000); “Tree House” by Emma Haberman and James Kermond, Second Prize ($5,000) and “Roseworthy Village” by Hayley Edwards and Nicole Wilksch, Special Commendation ($1,000). This competition has been held since 2014 by The School of Architecture and Built Environment, in collaboration with Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, with prizes supported by Ms Lesley Lynn.

This competition seeks for creative and innovative ideas to develop a design for sustainable housing for university students living at the University’s Roseworthy campus. It is imperative that the design proposal responds to the site potentials and constraints and that the spaces to be designed, both outdoors and indoors, will accommodate various spatial needs of the students. Exploration of new materials, construction and structural systems are encouraged while providing comfortable and liveable spaces and minimizing environmental impact from the development is a must.

The Awards were presented to the winners by Ms Lesley Lynn during the Awards Night on 1 April 2016. Also present in the ceremony were the Executive Dean, Faculty of the Professions, Professor Christopher Findlay, Development Officer for Faculties of Arts and Professions, Mr James Litt, the judges: Industry Professors James Hayter, Phil Harris and Steve Grieve, staff and students of the School of Architecture and Built Environment, as well as family and friends of the participants.

Comments from the Judges
The judges considered all six submissions this year to be of high quality. It is apparent that the students/designers have taken the site constraints and potentials into consideration as each design responds fairly well to the local context, climate and environment. The judges are pleased to see that all entries have different characters and none of them is a particularly weak proposition.

“Treasures from the Field” has been awarded the First Prize, as it shows a clear concept that can be developed into something exciting and fitting with the agricultural purpose of the place. Further, it manages the arrangement of the buildings very well by thinking about spaces between buildings so that the positive spaces between them can be used for a variety of activities. The design also successfully deals with the permeability of the site and cross ventilation through the approach for the site planning and the architecture of the building. There is sense of continuum between the overall idea and the details, although one weakness of this entry is that it does not connect particularly well with the buildings and activities around the site. The judges see the potential of this scheme to be further developed and realized.

“Home Tree”, which has been awarded the Second Prize, shows that the architecture (of the design) is well managed and the judges applauded this group for the retention of the existing tree and the creation of common spaces around it. It is a pity that the site plan idea did not extend further from there and the arrangement of the buildings also did not create positive spaces between them. Nevertheless, the judges praised the scale and form of the buildings and the way they have been developed.

“Roseworthy Village” was awarded a Special Commendation for its attempt to create a less formal village. Although the architecture of the buildings does not particularly seem to suit the context, this is the only entry that deals with landscape and planting design in a great detail with carefully selected plants that suit the site.

As a general comment, the judges suggested that in the future each group should include landscape architecture students as the design will benefit from their input particularly in relation to site planning and landscape.

Veronica Soebarto
Competition Organizer

Faculty Executive Dean: Prof Christopher Findlay with Ms Lesley Lynn.

Industry Professors (L to R): Prof James Hayter (Oxigen), Prof Phil Harris (Troppo Architects) and Prof Steve Grieve (Grieve Gillett Dimitty Andersen) with Ms Lesley Lynn.

Rob Cheesman with Ms Lesley Lynn

1st prize winner – Vu Nguyen Lee

2nd prize winner – Emma Habermann and James Kermond with Ms Lesley Lynn.

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