News and Press releases

‘Benched’ contest winners are sitting pretty

By Lisa Simpson
Source: The Royal Gazette

Hot seat: Teams of students, designers and builders were tasked with creating a bench over four weeks for the “Benched” competition. The winner, BOW: Bench on Wheels was created by Azra Smith, pictured, and Kevin Simmons, who teamed with Botelho Wood Architects, J&W Construction and King’s Mechanical and Plumbing (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The winners of design-build competition “Benched” that was aimed at high school and university students have been announced.

Teams of students, designers and builders were tasked with creating a bench over the course of four weeks.

“All seven teams worked extremely hard and we are impressed with the final benches that they created,” said Krystal Rodrigues, president of the Institute of Bermuda Architects (IBA). “The designs are so unique and diverse and the craftsmanship that went into the construction is simply incredible given the very short time period the teams had.”
The competition was hosted by the IBA and supported by the Construction Association of Bermuda (CAOB).

First place was awarded to the creators of BOW (Bench on Wheels): Azra Smith and Kevin Simmons, who teamed up with Botelho Wood Architects, J&W Construction and King’s Mechanical & Plumbing. Second place went to Gabriella Botelho, Ayo-Oluwa Salawu, Luke Pimentel, Jacob Pimentel and Noah Botelho, who designed and built the Hurricane bench in partnership with Botelho Wood Architects and Signworx.

Third place was awarded to Madeleine Brash, who teamed up with Geoff Parker Architect, Bermuda Stripping & Refinishing and ALM Construction to create the 2-Rock Bench. The Peoples’ Choice certificate went to the Boundless bench, while the Judges’ Choice certificate was awarded to BenThree.

The first prize was $800, second place received $400 and third place took $150. The Peoples’ and Judges’ Choice winners were presented with certificates.
The designs will be displayed at Washington Mall and the benches will be on display throughout Hamilton from today until August 31.

Awards will be presented at Harbour Nights tonight at 7pm. The winners were chosen by seven professional judges based on design concept, creativity and use of materials.

More than 200 people attended the judging event at Bull’s Head car park on Saturday to select their favourites. Fifty per cent of the points came from the professional judges and 50 per cent from members of the public.

Ms Rodrigues said the IBA had been hosting a student design competition since 2009, but they decided to try their first design-build competition this year.

“The idea for the bench stems from a competition I saw when I was working in Boston, called ‘street seats’,” she added.

“We feel the bench is a fun project that also teaches young designers about scale, proportion and use of materials — all critical elements of good design.”

Sponsors for “Benched” included SAL, BCM McAlpine, the Corporation of Hamilton, Pembroke Tile & Stone, BAC, Joe Vieira Trucking, Island Glass, Air Pro, Signworx, Atlantic Building Consultants and Washington Mall.

Click here to read the full article on The Royal Gazette