BUFFALO, N.Y. — A sculptural wall and minimalist dining
set designed by University at Buffalo architects are finalists in
the international Architizer A+ Awards competition — a
prestigious recognition in the world of architecture and
The public can help the local projects win by voting online in a
Popular Choice Award contest until March 21.
The projects, and how to vote for them:
- Project 2XmT, a sculptural wall that sits at the gateway
to Silo City, a cluster of grain elevators along the Buffalo River.
The structure is crafted from more than 150 pieces of super-thin
steel folded into geometric patterns. Nicholas Bruscia, clinical
assistant professor of architecture, and Christopher Romano,
research assistant professor of architecture, led design and
The public can vote for Project 2XmT in two Architizer A+
+Materials and Architecture
+Fabrication. The project is also up for jury
awards, to be decided by a global panel of architects, thought
leaders and developers, in the same categories.
- Qube, a dining set that folds up into a compact cube.
Assistant Professor of Architecture Jin Young Song, who designed
Qube through his architectural practice, Dioinno Architecture PLLC,
says the project offers a stark contrast to "overdesigned
decorative furniture or oversized geometric modern pieces obsessed
with Zen style" which fail to consider the "compactness of current
The public can vote for Qube in the Architizer A+ Products
+Living category. The project is also up for a jury
award, to be decided by a global panel of architects, thought
leaders and developers, in the same category.
The high-profile global Architizer A+ Awards program recognizes
projects in more than 60 categories.
Last year’s contest drew more than 1,500 entries from more
than 100 countries, and one winner was Elevator B, a tower that UB
architecture and planning students built to house a colony of bees
in Silo City. That structure took home the Architizer
A+ Jury Award in the Student Design/Build Project category.
UB’s record of success in the Architizer competition
demonstrates the innovative research taking place in the
university’s School of Architecture and Planning.
Bruscia and Romano’s free-standing wall showcases the
visual qualities of patterned and textured metal manufactured by
local company Rigidized Metals. The project tests the structural
limits of the thin-gauge materials.
The Architizer A+ recognition is the third international honor
for Project 2XmT since the faculty members and their students
erected the wall in the summer of 2013. Last fall, Bruscia and
Romano earned first place in the TEX-FAB SKIN competition. The
project also won The
Architect's Newspaper 2014 Best Fabrication award.
Romano’s and Bruscia’s research is the result of a
partnership between the Department of Architecture in the School of
Architecture and Planning and Rigidized Metals, which
fabricated the textured metal, assisted in the wall's construction
and has sponsored related design studios and directed research at
the school as a way to explore new uses for its materials.
Students have been engaged in the research since its start in
spring 2012. Master of Architecture students Daniel Vrana and
Philip Gusmano, both graduates of the undergraduate architecture
program, have spent the past several months taking the project from
concept to production.
The partnership is one result of Department of Architecture
Chair Omar Khan’s efforts to cooperate with local
manufacturers — outreach that has led to new courses and
research on materials from metals to terra cotta.