AIAS and Kawneer Select Design Competition Winners for “Crisis-Ready Stadium”

1st place winner

14 February, 2012
Students of Architecture and Design Use Knowledge of Building Materials, Sustainable Design, and Hurricane and Blast Resistance to Create Plan for Stadium, Civic Center or Arena

WASHINGTON, D.C. and NORCROSS, GA – The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and Kawneer Company, Inc. recently announced the winners of the “Crisis-Ready Stadium” national student design competition. Sponsored by Kawneer and administered by the AIAS, the competition challenged students to learn about building materials, specifically architectural aluminum building products and systems in the design of a crisis-ready stadium, civic center or arena. John Melby a fourth year student at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, was awarded first place and $3000 for his design, “Survivor One.”
The competition, now in its sixth year, required participants to select a city and outdoor sport of their choosing and design an environmentally responsible facility to serve the community for entertainment purposes, while seating a minimum of 25,000 patrons. Additionally, using a variety of Kawneer products, students were challenged to design an exterior façade that is resilient in all forms of weather including hurricanes and tropical storms while also creating a space that is crisis-ready in the event of a disaster. Objectives also included developing an understanding of materials and techniques that can help earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®*) certification points while creating a bright and fun atmosphere for learning.
A jury of four architectural professionals – Kelly Anderson, LEED AP and Sergio Gomez, from Lehman Smith McLeish; Kevin Fitzgerald, AIA, AIA Director for Emerging Professionals; and Eric Zaddock – evaluated the submissions for their ingenuity and originality, as well as their ability to address specific design elements as they related to the stadium’s response to the realities of climate change and natural disasters. Appropriate use of materials, original use of weather-resistant design elements and crisis-ready solutions for today’s modern facilities were also key factors in the selection of winning designs. Prizes were awarded as follows:
John Melby - University if Wisconsin - Milwaukee, “Survivor One”
First Place ($3000)
Set in Jacksonville, Florida, this stadium was designed one simple notion – safety. Melby notes “the angled columns represent the arms of the community as they are the ones who are truly responsible for holding up the metaphorical blanket of safety and the spirit of one another. “Survivor One” integrates Kawneer products, its 1600 Wall System®2 curtain wall on the North end and 350 IR Entrances, as well as unique design concepts of space, including an underground safety site.  
Dana Dimalanta, Brianna Silva, Remi Ziems and Miranda Mead - Advanced Technologies Academy, “The Surge”
Second Place ($1500)
This group of high school students selected Tallahassee, Florida as the site of their design, “The Surge.” With an aerodynamic shape to withstand winds from a class five hurricane, this facility offers a place of gathering for recreational activities as well as a safe haven for the community.
Rameez Munawar, Karl Sobel and David Ensor– University of Maryland, “Sun Life Complex”
Third Place ($750)
The “Sun Life Complex”, set in Miami, Florida integrates entertainment, tourism, and hospitality for a regional civic center. The project not only takes advantage of the city’s ability to attract tourists, but also links it with a hotel for convenience. The design incorporates curtain wall systems entrances, sun control products and interior sliding doors from Kawneer.

Honorable mentions ($500) were awarded to Joseph Podolski, Fred Lebed and Andrew Leung (“Aqua Haven,” Clemson University); Taylor Shumate and Bryam Wadia (“Hurricanes Stadium,” University of Miami); and Caleb Fisher (“Stone Sanctuary,” University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Total prize money awarded was $7,750. Winning entries may be viewed at and will be published in the Spring 2012 issue of Crit: Journal of the AIAS.  In addition, they will be displayed at the 2012 AIA Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C., May 17-19, 2012. For more information on AIAS, please visit  To learn more about Kawneer, please visit

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