Student Design Competition Winners Re-envision Healthy Urban Living

The eight winning entries in the 2022 Timber Competition share a common theme: an imaginative creation of a green, biophilic, and interconnected timber environment for modern mixed-use living.

Sponsored by the Softwood Lumber Board and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, the annual Timber Competition is a student design competition that challenges entrants to solve real-world design problems and innovate with timber construction to create a vibrant model of healthy, biophilic urban living.

More Than 600 Entries

With more than 600 entries, the 2022 iteration of the competition—themed Timber in the City 4: Urban Habitats—demonstrates the ever-increasing interest in advanced timber design and construction. Students were asked to come up with designs for a mid-rise, mixed-use complex that includes short-stay housing, a large community wellness facility, and an urban marketplace, all interlaced with a new urban transit center in midtown Atlanta.

“This year’s designs imagine a transformation of our cities through sustainable buildings, renewable timber resources, and innovative techniques to build and design healthy environments,” said Michael Monti, ACSA executive director, in a press release.


Pine Hill

The first place design, Pine Hill, was submitted by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) students Peter Koczarski and ZhongMing Peter Zhang, and was sponsored by Caroline Grieco, a professor in the Architecture department at NJIT.

The jury of educators was impressed by the students’ innovative timber structure and beautifully detailed drawings, diagrams, and sections. “The overall building form brings a unique approach to investigative timber expression and an interesting approach to a massive building,” the jury commented. “The elegant design respects and elevates the benefits of timber construction.” 


Spatial/Material Speculations: Timber

Second place winner Spatial/Material Speculations: Timber was submitted by City College of New York (CCNY) student Ahmed Helal and sponsored by faculty member Viren Brahmbhatt. 

“Spatial/Material Speculations: Timber is a selected winner demonstrating a holistic approach to timber structure through the exterior and interior system strategies,” the jury commented. “The relationship between the building layout and site topography is distinctive and well-planned. The design is an excellent model of community integration for sustainable urban living.”


Spatial/Material Speculations: Timber

The competition’s third-place winner, Hydro Habitat, was submitted by Evan Craig and Tiffany Velin of CCNY and sponsored by faculty member Suzan Wines.

The jury commented: “Hydro Habitat is a chosen winner with a compelling timber truss bridge, which provides accessibility to the public along with a new community cultural space. The modular housing units are elegantly designed, taking into consideration the inhabitants and a clear solution to environmental demands.”


Honorable mentions were given to five additional teams:

  • Savannah College of Art and Design student Sophia Rodriguez with faculty sponsor Michael Hill and collaborator Matt Barnett from LS3P for the submission titled Foster Atlanta.
  • Boston Architectural College students Madeline Esdale, William Evans, and Jeremy Tringale with faculty sponsors Tyler Hinckley and Jacob Werner for the submission titled Timber Arts.  
  • Harvard University student Miguel Lantigua Inoa with faculty sponsor Elizabeth Whittaker for the submission titled Breathing Timber City.
  • North Carolina State University students Maggie Kroening and Connor Schwartz with faculty sponsor Shawn Protz for the submission titled Diffusion: Revealing the Forest Within.
  • CCNY students Mingyao Chen, Mosammet Chowdhury, and Otabek Ochilov with faculty sponsor Suzan Wines for the submission titled Oasis in the City.

Full details of all the winners are available on the ACSA website. The Timber Competition will return for its fifth year in 2023. 

Check Out the Winning Projects

  • Pine Hill

    View the gallery
  • Spatial/Material Speculations: Timber

    View the gallery
  • Hydro Habitat

    View the gallery
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