1st Place Selva Gudogan Southern California Institute of Architecture
2nd Place Steven Thomas Southern California Institute of Architecture
3rd Place Brent Pfister University of Cincinnati
Citation Elita Seow Southern California Institute of Architecture
Merit Kevin Kasparak Rhode Island School of Design
Merit Putipol Sipaton Southern California Institute of Architecture
Merit Greta Tanya Tso Southern California Institute of Architecture

The Architectural Language of Work

Deborah Berke, Author

...There has been much talk about the high tech workplace recently, but I am interested in the workplace where actual things are made. This project asks you to consider what the architecture for that workplace should be, and what the working conditions within it should be like.

Project Description:

The workplace you are being asked to design is a small factory for a hand-woven rug manufacturer. The facilities include dyeing, weaving, assembly areas, shipping and receiving, and the necessary support facilities.

The client produces custom woven rugs using natural dyes and fibers only. She wants her building to reflect this; and therefore, although your design may not be driven solely by environmental concerns, it should evidence an awareness of them. Among the considerations important to the client are: 1) due to the custom colors and the sensitivity of vegetable dyes, natural light is essential; 2) because wool and cotton fibers can be irritants, air circulation is of utmost importance.

The factory will be in an old manufacturing neighborhood in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The client employs 50 people, many of whom come from the immediate area. City zoning allows a maximum footprint of 20,000 square feet, and requires 33 parking spaces. The building cannot exceed two and a half stories, or 35 feet to the parapet.

Participating Schools:

Arizona State University

The Boston Architectural Center

McGill University

Rhode Island School of Design 

Southern California Institute of Architecture

University of Cincinnati

University of Oklahoma