The Architect’s Newspaper has selected the work of first-year M.Arch student Christopher Myefski for a Best of Design Award. With the goal of recognizing exceptional talent in the design community, The Architect's Newspaper holds the annual Best of Design awards program to showcase outstanding buildings, interiors, and installations across 45 categories.
Selected from 800 entries, Myefski’s "The American Construct" won the top prize in the Unbuilt – Public category. As the final project and prize winner of the 2018 Wallenberg Traveling Fellowship, "The American Construct" was designed by Myefski with the assistance of University of Michigan TCAUP Professor Neal Robinson. Myefski designed the project with the intent to increase awareness of the physical and social impact that the military has had on the American West. The design creates architectural experiences that immerse visitors in the environment of each location.
“Working on The American Construct provided a unique opportunity to design a new civic experience,” said Myefski. “It was inspiring to think creatively about transforming what society and the military left behind. It is truly an honor to be included on the A|N award list with so many architects I admire.”
About the project he explains, "The American West captivates the imagination as a projective landscape of exploration and promise. Its vastness allows for vague scale, distended time and clandestine programs. Raoul Wallenberg himself, wrote of its pull and ideological agency when defining America to his grandfather. A road trip is its inevitable measure. Estranged, this landscape is also a proving ground; home to the nation's military arsenal, testing labs and disposal sites. It is both obscured by and made possible by remoteness. It is a place to get away (with something)."
"Sited between federal parkland and military territories, this project proposes a series of rest stops along a 'western' drive that conflate the scenic with the scene. Like the nationalistic constructions of early US highway routes that attempted to produce a common American beauty via the windshield, these new stops inscribe the sublime with experiential infrastructures, overlooks and marginal territories. You are brought up-close to the frameworks of magnanimity and through both proximity and participation, the weaponized landscape is slowly humanized. It’s a dangerous mix. Power and pleasure occupy the same ground. Suspicion and permission vie for dominance. Evidence and the evident conspire to re-mind and ultimately re-range the construction of 'America.' 'Are we there yet?'”
Several Princeton University School of Architecture alumni were also among the winners, including:
- Troy Schaum and Rosalyne Shieh of SCHAUM/SHIEH, winners of the Building of the Year category and Cultural category for Transart Foundation
- Adam Snow Frampton of Only If, winner of the Urban Design category for Triboro Corridor, winner of the Unbuilt - Residential category for Brooklyn Senior Affordable Housing, and honorable mention for the Interior - Hospitality category for City of Saints, Bryant Park
- Carrie Norman and Thomas Kelley of Norman Kelley, winners of the Exhibition Design category for Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Eternal Gradient
- Christopher Leong of Leong Leong, honorable mention in the Exhibition Design category for Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing
- Jürgen Mayer of J. Mayer H., honorable mention in the Facades category for Museum Garage
- Vladimir Pajkic of ZGF Architects, winner of the Interior - Workplace category for Expensify Headquarters
- Brandon Haw of Brandon Haw Architecture, winner of the Interior - Healthcare category for NYDG Integral Health & Wellness
- Brandon Clifford of Matter Design, winner of the New Materials category for Cyclopean Cannibalism
- Meredith Miller of T+E+A+M, honorable mention in the New Materials category for Clastic Order
- Lydia Kallipoliti of ANAcycle design + writing studio, honorable mention in the Research category for After Bottles; Second Lives
- Peter Pelsinski of SPAN Architecture, honorable mention in the Unbuilt - Residential category for 150 Central Park South penthouse
- Stephen Cassell, Kim Yao, and Adam Yarinsky of Architecture Research Office, honorable mention in the Unbuilt - Education category for 80 Flatbush Public Schools
See the full list of winners on The Architect's Newspaper's website.