This summer, architecture students were drawn to
the first ever North American Ductal® Design Competition in Vancouver. Sponsored by Lafarge, in a partnership between the University of
British Columbia with the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, it featured a competition for
students to create a building component that exemplified strength, durability, and ductility, while being
pleasing to the eye.
These Master of Architecture students, lead by Bill Pechet, explored the possibilities of Ductal®, an innovative building material composed of concrete and organic materials. They were pushed to create a revolutionary component that was judged on innovation, material knowledge, and its staying power within the marketplace. The competitions produced 12 unique proposals from students and were held on display at the City of Vancouver Archives.
The winners of the competition were Pat Danielson and Sam Ostrow, with their “Cascading Biospheres” design. The concept is a “living wall,” an ode to the vertical plant structures that crawl and sustain themselves alongside buildings. Light, soil temperature, the retention of water, and geometry of the surface area were all taken into account when building this living structure. The concept is built based on Ductal’s unique properties including longtime durability and flexibility.
The competition will undoubtedly lead these future architects and interior designers to consider unique materials, such as Ductal®, for their future endeavours. The exhibit, which was a first of its kind in Vancouver, will continue to grow interest from students and industry experts alike as sustainable and more earth-friendly structures and materials become more in demand.
Updated (11/10/11): The exhibit will be featured at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia Gallery (#100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver) from Nov. 17 to Jan. 6, 2012. There will also be an opening reception on Nov. 22, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Advance reservations are required for the reception; Please e-mail email@example.com•
Photo Courtesy: Architectural Institute of British Columbia