Trespa Honors Student Winners of National Design Competition

NEW YORK CITY – Some of the finest work by American architecture students will be on display in January at the Trespa Design Centre in New York City’s SoHo. The exhibit, slated for January 18-29, is the result of a national design competition to envisage the next generation of urban entertainment retail, developed jointly by the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) in conjunction with the sponsor Trespa, a global building materials company.

The new awards program, dubbed “City Entertainment Center,” begins with the premise that mixed-use entertainment and retail centers can contribute to sustainable cities. Typically housing restaurants, theaters, bookstores, cafés and retail spaces, these venues help create vibrant mini-communities within the larger city—not only as commercial destinations, but also as ways to establish a new visual identity and architectural precedent for future buildings. Geared toward pedestrians, the centers are also seen as models for sustainable development, according to the competition organizers.

Sponsored by Trespa, a supplier of high-performance panels for building cladding and interiors, the competition also explores the use of the colorful, durable Trespa solid composite products to add durability and striking looks for these city entertainment centers. According to the AIAS, the competition was open to any design student in North America. The prize money, totaling $7,675 with $2,500 for the first place winning design, was as much an attraction for participating students as the chance to exhibit one’s design ideas at a high-profile venue in New York. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to think about the site and how materials function in a real project,” says Je’Nen M. Chastain, Assoc. AIA, president of the AIAS. “That makes this competition stand out for students seeking new knowledge, allowing them to gain recognition for what they’re doing, and pushing new ideas forward into the industry.”

According to the AIAS and Trespa, the competition was conceived to create ideas for new and attractive outdoor urban spaces that would enhance their locations and communities. Sites have been selected by each entrant in the contest, and had to be at least two blocks in size and located in an actual city of more than 25,000 people with public transit. The AIAS and Trespa also wanted the program to encourage the use of sustainable design, which focuses on environmental considerations, as well as universal design, which improves accessibility for older citizens and those with physical challenges. The competition further required that occupied and significant buildings on the proposed site could not be demolished to make way for the new entertainment centers.

The student entrants, numbering 109 nationally, were also encouraged to develop a final design concept that uses Trespa products as an innovative solution for decorative and structural needs. “The city center is critical as a place to create community and coherent urban visions, not only to stimulate the economy but also to create beautiful streetscapes,” says Darlene Byrne, marketing manager with Trespa North America, Poway, CA.

Byrne adds that Trespa, well known for the development, production and delivery of high-performance panels for exterior cladding and interior surfaces, created their Trespa Design Centre in 2008 in part to promote student excellence in design and architecture. An ideal backdrop for showcasing design work, the Greene Street showroom serves as an inspirational design studio and meeting place for architects and interior designers. The program City Entertainment Center, and its reception and exhibition, are the latest collaboration between Trespa and architecture and design schools.

Award winners and honorable mentions for the student design competition were announced by the AIAS and Trespa on December 29 at FORUM 2009, the AIAS annual convention which will be held in Minneapolis. The winning designs will also be exhibited at the 2010 AIA Convention in Miami next June.

In New York, the AIAS and Trespa will celebrate the best student designs for the City Entertainment Center competition at a reception on Tuesday, January 19 at 6 p.m. with an exhibit of the winning work open from January 18 through January 29, showing drawings, renderings and texts of the winning entries. The exhibit is open to the public on weekdays during working hours.

Trespa Design Centre is located in a storefront space at 62 Greene St., between Spring Street and Broome Street. Space is limited for the Tuesday, January 19 reception. Members of the working press wishing to attend, and all attendees, must pre-register for the events through an RSVP to the Trespa Design Centre, in care of Gail Carrino at Trespa Design Centre, either by phone (212) 334-7122) or by e-mail:

All events are held at the Trespa Design Centre, 62 Greene St., New York, NY 10012

Contact: (212) 334-6888 or An RSVP for the reception is required.

About Trespa Design Centre

Located on Greene Street in the SoHo area of Lower Manhattan, the Trespa Design Centre offers a unique environment for architects and designers. In addition to being a showcase for Trespa panels, design concepts and other Dutch products, it serves as an inspirational place for architects and designers to meet, network and collaborate—more of an experience than a showroom. The interior of the Trespa Design Centre, which opened in May 2008, was designed by Hans van de Schoot of Studio Schoot in the Netherlands, with the well-regarded New York practice of Gage Clemenceau. The Trespa Design Centre has held events with the Urban Green Council, GreenHomeNYC, ENYA (Emerging New York Architects), Netherlands Board of Tourism and the Municipal Arts Society. For more information, visit

About the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Institute of Architecture Students was established in 1956 and is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, student-run organization. The mission of the AIAS is to promote excellence in architecture education, training and practice; foster an appreciation of architecture and related disciplines; enrich communities in a spirit of collaboration; and organize students to combine their efforts to advance the art and science of architecture. With almost 7,000 subscribing members on more than 150 college and high school campuses in North America and several other countries, the AIAS represents the interests of and connects the 30,000-plus students studying architecture. You can learn more about the organization at