Directory   |   Workday   |   Access+   |   CyBox   |   Privacy Policy

Archived News

ISU architecture graduate student team wins second place in ACSA/AISC Steel Student Design Competition

November 18, 2015


View of the proposed Miami S Stadium from the sea.

AMES, Iowa — A team of recent Iowa State University architecture graduates won second place in the open category of the 15th annual Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ASCA) / American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Steel Student Design Competition.

The competition offers students the opportunity to work on their own or as a team to explore steel-related design and construction issues. The open category challenges students to select their own site and building program and integrate steel as the primary structural material. There were 363 total entries (292 individual student entries and 71 team entries) in the open category this year.

Seating view from inside the stadium.

Under the guidance of Thomas Leslie, Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture, then-ISU graduate students Hanwei Fan, Yifeng Guo and Xiao Wang—all of whom received Master of Architecture degrees last May—developed their project as an independent study last spring.

Fan, who is now an intern architect at Dekker Perich Sabatani in Phoenix, Arizona, learned about the competition from a previous entrant and decided to form a team.

"We thought it was a very good opportunity for us to practice a new type of project while having fun and getting to know more about steel structure," Fan said.

Miami S Stadium
The team chose to create the Miami S Stadium, a soccer stadium on an ocean-facing site in Museum Park adjacent to the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.

Guo, now working as an intern architect at Patel Architecture in Palm Springs, California, said they first had to think about how to define the project in the contemporary urban context.

"As a stadium, we believed the building should interact with the city and its surroundings in a positive way" while giving occupants the ability to enjoy the game as well as the seaside experience, Guo said.

Construction detail showing stadium roof space frame (aluminum siding, tubular members and steel ball joints) and seating bowl (precast concrete, steel columns and steel trusses).

The team focused on connectivity and public transportation for the master plan. They proposed an extension of the existing museum plaza, connecting it with the north stadium entrance and Metrorail access. They also proposed a pedestrian bridge linking the arena and stadium sites. The goal was to connect the stadium with its immediate surroundings as well as provide a connection to the larger city.

"After we combined this concept with the use of steel, everything seemed clear," Fan said. "From the interior we wanted the spectator to have an open view, so we chose to expose the steel structure, but on the outside we did not want to disturb the city context, so we created a fluid roof design."

The roof was a huge space frame system, separated from the seating bowl. The site and building were organically tied together using three continuous curves, creating the Miami S, Guo said.

The competition winners were announced in August, and a summary book of winning projects with in-depth descriptions and jury comments will be made available for purchase on the ACSA website this month.

Each member of the Miami S Stadium team received $500; their project will be exhibited at the 104th ACSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, in March, and the American Institute of Architects Annual Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in May.

Hanwei Fan, Architecture graduate,
Yifeng Guo, Architecture graduate,
Thomas Leslie, Architecture, (515) 294-8460,
Jaden Urbi, College of Design Communications,
Heather Sauer, College of Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,