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GSD students take top honors in Urban Land Institute’s 2016 Hines Competition

A cross-disciplinary team of Harvard Graduate School of Design students has taken top honors and the $50,000 prize in the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) 2016 Hines Student Competition with a proposal to transform a Midtown Atlanta site into a sustainable, mixed-use, and thriving neighborhood.

Their entry, titled The Midtown Beat, weaves together a strategy for the redevelopment of the Midtown neighborhood that capitalizes on some of the district’s innovation, cultural, and health components. The team was advised by Alex Krieger, professor in practice of urban design, and includes team leader Chris Merritt (MLA ‘17), Jonathan Andrews (MLA ‘17), Stephany Lin (MUP ‘16), Benjamin Perdomo (MDes ‘17), and Caroline Filice Smith (MAUD ‘17).

2016 Hines Competition winners

“The jury noted the team’s excellence in presentation, outline of phasing, conversion of Spring Street to a two-way vehicular passage, and a thorough overview of financial structuring,” the ULI writes. “The design connects icons such as the Fox Theater, All Saints’ Church, and the Varsity with new cultural destinations through vibrant public spaces. It leverages momentum in various sectors to create new office spaces for startups and established institutions to encourage collaboration.”

The Midtown Beat was announced as one of four finalists in the 2016 competition earlier this spring. The four finalists included another GSD team: Converge ATL, advised by Bing Wang, associate professor in practice of real estate and the built environment, and Anita Berrizbeitia, professor of landscape architecture and chair of the department of landscape architecture, and comprising team leader Ambieca Saha (MDes ‘17), Nathalia Camacho (MAUD ‘16), Annie Liang (MLA ‘17), Kevin Sievers (MDes ‘16), and Stephen Sun (MArch ‘16).

The four finalist teams presented their proposals to the ULI jury this week, and each of the remaining three finalist teams won $10,000.

The 2016 Hines Student Competition drew 131 submissions from 59 universities, with a total of 655 students participating.

To learn more about this year's competition, please visit the ULI announcement.

Images courtesy the Urban Land Institute