Kingspan Insulated Panels asked architectural students across the globe to design an urban mid-rise, mixed-use complex for a Washington, D.C. project site in its 2013 design competition, known as Generation Kingspan, or simply GenK. While all the participating students won valuable knowledge and experience by completing the multifaceted requirements, there was only one Grand Prize Winner: the team led by Luis Sidonio.

Luis Sidonio, Suzie Robinson, Sarah Binns and Zach Brown, four Master of Architecture students from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and the $5,000 Grand Prize recipients, created the DC Visitor & Sustainability Cultural Centre. The Center features a range of sustainable systems, including solar and geothermal renewable energy systems, to achieve a reduced reliance on non-renewable energy sources. Such key features earned high marks for both aesthetic and energy efficient badges from the judges.

“Sidonio’s team project proved that it was well researched with extreme attention to detail, while showcasing a wide variety of Kingspan products,” said judge Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, NCARB, CeM, LEED APBD+C, Owner of Atelier Lira Luis, LLC.

The additional members of the judges panel consisted of: Sean B. Beachy, AIA, NCARB, Associate Principal at Wendel Companies; Eric D. Birkhauser, AIA, Project Designer and Manager Associate at KGP Design Studio; Annamaria Perruccio, Senior Project Manager at ARK/Petroff; and Chris Wood, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C Smith Group JJR.

The judges additionally selected second and third place winners, along with two honorable mentions. Stefano Tirocchi and team members, Merrille Antalan, Rebecca Jordan, and Phil Maerky, also from the University of Queensland, won second place and $4,000 for their project: The Hill, the Washington DC Sustainability Hub, earning high marks for sustainability. The third place title and $3,000 was awarded to Michael Pace, a first year M.Arch graduate student from the University of New Mexico, for his project: Together @ MT Vernon Square.

The judges recognized Jean Morana and Victor Rodriguez, both from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, for their creative ideas, with honorable mention.

Judging ideally took place at the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) International Headquarters in Alexandria, Va., just minutes away from the Washington, DC project site location the competition was based around.

Voting results from the GenK contest site determined the top two social winners, who both received $4,000. By popular vote, first place went to Maja Plavsic, from the Savannah College of Art and Design, for her project: Heure Memorable - "Memorable Hour". Victor Rodriguez won second place for his design: Vital Re-Connection.