Magnificent Metal Monday – 2023 Forge Prize Finalists

The American Institute of Steel Construction’s (AISC) annual Forge Prize competition celebrates emerging architects who create visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component while exploring ways to increase project speed. AISC recently announced the three finalists, who will each take home $5,000 from the first round, will now have the opportunity to work with a steel fabricator before presenting their final concepts to the judges during a live YouTube event in late March. The winner will take home a $10,000 grand prize and be invited to present before an audience of the industry’s best minds at NASCC: The Steel Conference in April.

AISC’s senior structural specialist leading the competition, Alex Morales, says, “The Forge Prize is particularly exciting because it gives the next generation of great design innovators a chance to dream big and imagine how steel can bring about a bright future.”

The three finalists include: a groundbreaking idea to convert gas stations to electric charging stations, a self-sustaining micro city concept, and a transit center designed for a future that includes rideshare by electric airplane.

Electric Oasis” is a rapidly deployable concept that reimagines existing gas stations as charging hubs for electric vehicles. Treelike steel canopies provide shade from the hot California sun at a site outside Los Angeles–and they house a bio-remediative aeration system to clean up ethanol contamination from old fuel storage tanks, too. LVL (Level) Studio collaborators Christopher Taurasi, Lexi White, and Jeffrey Lee will work with Schuff Steel Senior Vice President Christopher Crosby to refine their idea.

Adaptive Micro Cities” envisions a self-sustaining, vertical micro city to revitalize a small island in an industrial zone in Portland, Ore. The building has separate zones for the fundamental parts of everyday life–spaces in which to live, work, and play–brought to life with a series of modular boxes. Steel allows for a simple design with strong bolted connections for easy assembly and disassembly in a confined space. Masamichi Ikeda and Junior Carbajal (both of JRMA Architects Engineers) will work with Alpha Iron President and CEO James Buchanan in the second phase of the competition.

Envisioned for a site in San Francisco, the “Trans-connect” idea embraces the future of transportation with a multi-modal transit center for everything from high-speed trains to electric airplanes. The station features a skyport as well as terminals for bus and rail service, restaurants, and Airbnb spaces. Then Le of the Huntsman Architectural Group will partner with Zimkor President Casey Brown to further develop the technical aspects of the design.

Source: American Institute of Steel Construction

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