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SUNY Delhi Architecture Students Win 1st, 2nd, 3rd Prizes in Statewide Design Competition

Written By Editor on 9/28/22 | 9/28/22

Kenneth Gray Jr., Anthony Cuchel, and Yesenia Zhingri won a total of $4,750 in cash prizes.

DELHI, NY (09/22/2022) Three SUNY Delhi architecture majors have won the top three prizes in the New York State Mass Timber Design Competition held by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) last spring. The results were announced this month. In the competition, students in architecture, engineering, sustainable design, and other related disciplines from across New York State were asked to design a pavilion or library addition on the SUNY ESF campus using sustainable mass timber construction. SUNY Delhi seniors Kenneth Gray Jr. of Freeport, NY, Anthony Cuchel of Seaford, NY, and Yesenia Zhingri of Cortlandt Manor, NY, took first, second, and third place, respectively, winning a total of $4,750 in cash prizes.

The Delhi students participated in the competition as a senior project for their design studio class in the architectural design and building program. After touring the SUNY ESF campus, they set out to design an open study area addition to the library's two-level concrete structure. According to SUNY ESF, the winning designs were chosen based on "successfully embracing mass timber design strategies and solving multiple challenges including material sourcing, sustainable fabrication and construction methods, and a visual/aesthetic connection of the design to its location."

In his design, first-place winner Kenneth Gray Jr. says he wanted to create levels of study areas that would give the library a biophilic feeling with generous amounts of greenery befitting the environmentally focused campus.

"This was my first architecture competition experience, but hopefully not the last," Gray says. "In addition to the monetary incentive, this was an opportunity to add a cutting-edge feature to my professional portfolio and resume."

Gray credits the architecture program's faculty and small class sizes for SUNY Delhi's exceptional success in the competition: "We have amazing faculty that teach, encourage, and challenge us in our thinking and design work. Our classroom projects are based on working with figurative clients, which gives us a sense of how to work towards a client's goals."

"I'm so proud of all of the students who entered this competition," says SUNY Delhi Architecture Professor Brook Denison who was the instructor for the design studio class. "Mass timber is an important development in our field and will surely be part of their careers as a sustainable alternative for concrete and steel in commercial building. The incredible performance of the Delhi students is a reflection of four years of excellence in education. From construction labs to structural classes, liberal arts education and the design studio sequence, these students were ready to excel in this competition and the results show how well their studies at SUNY Delhi prepared them for this competition."

SUNY Delhi plans to exhibit the students' winning design proposals in the campus architecture gallery later this year.

After graduation from SUNY Delhi in Spring 2022, Kenneth Gray Jr. has been working as a freelance architectural designer and is looking for a permanent position at a firm.

To learn more, visit Professor Brook Denison via email at or phone (607) 746-4068.

About SUNY Delhi's Architecture Programs

SUNY Delhi offers an associate degree program in Architectural Technology and a bachelor's degree program in Architectural Design and Building. With a blended approach, SUNY Delhi combines architecture with art, design, technology, and hands-on construction techniques. Students have 24/7 access to newly renovated, state-of-the-art labs and drafting studios and are taught by practicing architects and engineers with extensive work experience.

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