Lobos turned out in force at the inaugural Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) Student Design Competition, claiming six out of the nine finalist positions and walking away with $11,000 in prize money. The contest for undergraduate and graduate architecture students challenged each participant to create an innovative metal building design for a one- or two-story elementary school housing approximately 200 students.

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Brittney Sawyer

UNM student Brittney Sawyer (M. Arch. ’22) took first place for her project, titled Placed Play. Using Zia Elementary as a footprint, the project focused creating dynamic hallways in place of traditional school corridors.

“This project extends the classroom learning environment to connective spaces otherwise programmed for circulation,” the project brief states. “In these dynamic corridors, moments are organized to varying areas of active and quiet play underneath the exposed prefabricated metal steel structure.”

Sawyer, advised by UNM School of Architecture + Planning faculty member Kristina Yu, took home a $5,000 prize for her presentation.

“I am pleased to congratulate Brittney Sawyer and her advisor Kristina Yu on winning first place in the 2021 MBMA Student Design Competition,” said Tony Bouquot, MBMA’s general manager. “With a total of 64 entries, the contest was a great success. All nine finalists presented impressive designs, leading us to add two awards of merit to our program to recognize these stand-out scholars and their faculty advisors.”

Jade Altheide

Second place, with a prize of $3,000, was awarded to Jade Altheide (M. Arch. ’22), also a UNM student advised by Yu. Altheide’s project focused on the integration of internal and external spaces at Zia Elementary, inspired by the metamorphosis of growth children experience during K-5 grade.

“Students learning through collaboration and hands on activity was a driving factor in this buildings design process, alongside personal growth and development,” Altheide said in the project summary.

Altheide says she plans to use her prize money to cover living expenses and buy tools to complete several other ongoing art projects.

UNM student Devon Adams (M. Arch. ’22) received a Merit Recognition in the contest. Three honorable finalists were also from UNM: Jethro Swavely, Jaziel Cervantes Carreon, and Estevan Atencio – all M. Arch. ’22.