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Architecture award honors wind-based student design project

Closeup of Prem Jongdeenarn and Jhoana Avante.
Prem Jongdeenarn and Jhoana Avante

Two recent Voiland College graduates have received an award for their project honoring sustainability and technology in architectural design. 

The American Institute of Architects Northwest and Pacific Region awarded the team its citation award, one of four student design distinctions selected annually. 

As students, Jhoana Avante and Prem Jongdeenarn designed, Mocean, a mixed-use development proposed for Pier 70 in San Francisco, California. The building was designed as an ode to the history of the pier and to the beauty of environmental and human movement. 

For the project, the students studied propulsion systems of large ships, which inspired their design for a series of wind harvesting components on their building. The interior of the building includes exhibits on the pier’s history and innovative energy harvesting technologies. Dance studios, offices and laboratories also are included in the building’s design to foster human movement, the team says. 

The team’s winning design was developed as a final project in the graduate design studio led by Maryam Mansoori.

“In my grad studio, we addressed contemporary architectural issues, through which students are challenged to employ recent technological advancements in their design to address architectural problems and create beautiful inspirational spaces,” said Mansoori, assistant professor of architecture.

A jury of six architectural professionals judged the AIA student design awards. Rob Corser, an architect on the AIA jury, said Mocean was appreciated by the judges for its ingenuity combined with thematic consistency.

“Science becomes the designer, and the building is the teacher,” he said. 

The AIA Northwest and Pacific Region has chapters in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.

Avante and Jongdeenarn graduated with masters of architecture degrees from the School of Design and Construction in May 2022 and are now working at architecture firms in Seattle and Portland. 

“It is very exciting to see Prem and Jhoana’s dedication, passion, and innovative work have been recognized by the NW AIA juries,” Mansoori said. “This was the most competitive award to win in the region as Jhoana and Prem just started their professional careers in the Northwest.”

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