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K-State Today

April 15, 2013

Students win urban design competition, $50,000 prize

Submitted by Emily Vietti

An interdisciplinary team of graduate students from Kansas State University, University of Kansas and University of Missouri-Kansas City won the Urban Land Institute's Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition with the entry "The Armory." The award includes $50,000 for the students.

The other finalist teams were from Harvard University, Yale University and a combined team from Ball State University and Purdue University.

The Kansas team, including three Master of Landscape Architecture students from the Kansas State University department of landscape architecture and regional and community and included: Kylie Harper, Hutchinson; Derek Hoetmer, Valley Center; and Kevin Cunningham, Denver, Colo., the Kansas team leader.

Other team members include Lauren Brown, architecture student  at the University of Kansas, and Tyler Knott, real estate student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The team was advised by Jason Brody, assistant professor of regional and community planning at Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning and Design.

"Winning the most prestigious urban design competition in the United States reflects the cumulative and individual strengths of these students' professional educations," said Kansas State's Stephanie Rolley, head of the department of landscape architecture and regional and community planning. "Jason Brody's masterful orchestration of the process resulted in a dream team of students ideally suited for winning. Kevin Cunningham's leadership of the team ensured that they could rapidly respond to a highly complex urban design problem with an innovative and comprehensive solution. The whole team showcases the power in collaboration between design and real estate development."

The competition started with 149 teams comprised of 790 students representing 70 different universities in both the U.S. and Canada. The task was to create a redevelopment proposal for the Downtown East area of Minneapolis. After the competition was whittled down to four teams, the students visited Minneapolis to refine their projects prior to the final review. On April 11, the students presented their plan in a public forum to a distinguished jury composed of national leaders in design and development.

"The students designed a cosmopolitan neighborhood centered on an iconic urban park space that sloped up from the ground plane to engage Minneapolis' skyway system," Brody said. "It is a tremendous vision -- contextually relevant, financially attractive and brilliantly executed. The award is a testament to the students' hard work, collaborative spirit and prodigious talent."

Advisers to the team include Rolley; Blake Belanger, landscape architecture professor, and Gary Stith, assistant professor of regional and community planning, both from Kansas State University; Genevieve Baudoin, architecture professor, University of Kansas; Walt Clement, director of the Lewis White Real Estate Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City; and Jerry Jones, Slawson Companies, Wichita, and a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture alumnus from Kansas State University.

In preparing for the final round, students received additional critiques from Kansas State University's Vladimir Krstic, director of the Kansas City Design Center, and Jessica Canfield, landscape architecture professor; and Urban Land Institute Kansas City members Lynn Carlton, director of planning for 360 Architecture; Robert Langenkamp, assistant city manager for the city of Kansas City, Mo., and a Kansas State University Master of Regional and Community Planning alumnus; Mike Van Epp of Dickenson Financial Corp.; Dan Musser, developer with Zimmer Real Estate Services and a Kansas State University Bachelor of Architecture alumnus; and Bill Johnson, senior principal at 360 Architecture.

The Hines competition strives to encourage cooperation and teamwork -- necessary talents in the planning, design and development of sustainable communities -- among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology and law. It is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate-related studies at universities in the United States and Canada, including programs in real estate development, urban planning, urban design, architecture and landscape architecture.