Finalists Chosen for ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition

Washington – Four teams have been selected as finalists in the 21st  annual ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, an event that challenges teams of graduate students to devise a comprehensive design and development plan for a real-world urban site.

This year’s competition asked teams of five students representing at least three different disciplines to create a vision for a mixed-income, mixed-use community in North Charleston, S.C. Key considerations included housing attainability, equity, connectivity, sustainability, and resilience.

The four finalists are:

Knot Charleston by Harvard students Youngsoo Yang, Tomas Quaglia, Ben Parker, Emily Johansen, and Rachaya Wattanasirichaigoon. The Knot is a new vision for complete living in North Charleston tied together by food. Drawing on the highest aspirations of LEED, WELL, and the Living Community Challenge, this mixed-use project synthesizes these certifications with the city’s unique context to create a well-connected, affordable, and enriching place to live for generations.

The Quilt by University of Virginia students Vishal Jayan, James Williams, Andre Rezaie, John Ward, and Chinar Ravindra Balsaraf. The Quilt is a 1.62 million sq. ft., $850 million development that will be built in two phases over six years at a cost of $663.7 million. Based upon three pillars of community, ecology, and connectivity, The Quilt is a mixed-use development that creates an activated waterfront. This edge is plugged into by a series of landscaped, pedestrian-friendly areas that act as a sponge protecting the North Charleston community from the escalating threat of inundation.

Port Unity by Harvard students Alex Cardelle, Katia Krotova, Christopher Oh, Miguel Lantigua Inoa, and Somin Lee. Port Unity is a $2.2 billion mixed-use development that offers a place to work, live, and create along the water while helping rectify historic inequities. It is a 2.2 million sq. ft. development that will focus on residential living with creative industrial and retail serving as stabilizers. The project will deliver 2,488 residential units (24% affordable) along a dynamic waterfront while creating a more equitable development strategy for the community.

The Leveling Field by Berkeley students Yash Gogri, Srusti Shah, Sagarika Nambiar, Justin Thomas, and Mahek Chheda. ‘The Levelling Field’ initiative strives to mend a history of economic, educational, and environmental inequity and create a more inclusive future for the city of North Charleston. The city’s transformation from a former naval base into an industrial centre has only benefitted a few big actors, proving to be detrimental for its people and the environment. The 2.8 million sq. ft. proposed development thus creates a framework of equity that addresses these historic barriers, by providing opportunities of learning and working for a resilient future.

During the last phase of the competition, the finalists will have the opportunity to expand upon their original proposals. The four teams pitch their completed designs before the jury on April 6, which will declare a winner the same day. The winning team will receive a $50,000 prize and each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $10,000.