What can you make with 732 bricks, 30 concrete masonry units, glass blocks and cultured stones? Add a little mortar, some imagination, a team of architects and mason contractors, and you have the fourth annual "Masonry: It Makes a Village" design/build competition. The event took place May 22 - 28, 2003, at Factoria Mall in Bellevue, Wash. Brick sculptures thirteen in all showcased the incredible talents of Puget Sound's top architects and mason contractors, along with some extremely creative uses of masonry products.
"Competition is intense," says Barbara Headrick, Executive Director of Masonry Institute of Washington. "This year we saw sculptures of different themes including a windmill made of moving parts, a tribute to the fallen soldiers from the Iraqi war, a fountain with stepping water, a piece of fine art, and much more. The sculptures allow architects to use their creative energies and work with masonry experts to gain a better understanding of how a one-dimensional plan becomes a three-dimensional structure."
Each team is given the same amount of materials to build their sculptures: one pallet of bricks; 30 CMU blocks; an assortment of glass blocks; and an assortment of cultured stones. During the two-day construction time, each structure was completed, cleaned and ready for judging on the third day. Projects were judged by a panel of industry experts on the criteria of innovative design, teamwork, best use of materials, overall craftsmanship and most creative use of materials. The public also voted for the People's Choice Award.
Several of this year's projects were donated at the conclusion of the competition. The "Never Forget" memorial sculpture was donated to the National Guard of Portland, Ore., and was installed as a permanent memorial for a guardsman who lost his life in Iraq. The "Village Star" project was donated to the City of Kirkland Parks Department for permanent installation in the City's McAuliffe Park. The "Communications" themed Mailboxes were left intact and will sit in front of local mason contracting firms and the brick manufacturer's plant. The "Faded Rose" project will be recreated and left standing for one year at the Issaquah Fine Arts Festival in Issaquah, Wash. Finally, the "Fisherman's Dream" sculpture will be recreated at the offices of Cascade Construction in Tacoma, Wash.
Contractors should start planning for next year. The winner of the 2004 "Masonry: It Makes A Village" competition will be entered into a national competition, to be held at the MCAA Expo in Chicago, in 2005. Competition will be tough, and putting a team together now is encouraged!
Team #1: Johnston Construction Co. Inc. &
Architects Rasmussen Triebelhorn
Voted: Best Presentation
Won: Best Use of Glass Block
Team #3: Keystone Masonry Inc. & Zimmer Gunsul
Voted: Best Use of Masonry
Team #13: J&S Masonry and Architects BCRA/Tsang
Voted: Most Practical
Team #6: Barkshire Panel Systems Inc.
& Brett/Kerry Architecture
Voted: Most Whimsical
Team #7: Sterling Construction Co. Inc.
& Broderick Architects
Voted: Most Patriotic
Won: Third Place