UNM Landscape Architecture Graduate Students Win ENYA Awards

UNM landscape architecture graduate students Yekaterina Yushmanova, Kristina Guist, Maggie Ryan and Aaron Coffeen are winners in the ENYA (Emerging New York Architects) International Ideas Competition, a biennial architectural competition for emerging professionals.

They competed while students in Assistant Professor Katya Crawford’s Competition Studio 505 in the UNM School of Architecture and Planning.

Yushmanova won 3rd prize, Guist the student prize, Ryan an honorable mention and Coffeen received a special selection. Crawford’s students made a good showing. Of the top eight awards, UNM students earned three.

Crawford said that the project involved an area where the oldest aqueduct exists along the Harlem River. “In the 1970s, the bridge was closed to pedestrian access. The goal of the competition was to connect Manhattan and the Bronx,” she said. The project was advertised as an architecture competition, but Crawford got approval to approach it from a landscape architecture perspective. Crawford and several of the students traveled to New York for several days to investigate the site. They then worked on the project the rest of the semester.

Yushmanova’s design, titled, “Activating the Void,” proposed to reactivate the space between the river banks, reconnect the neighborhoods to the site, and restore the site’s ecological function. She proposed two conceptual methods: reaching and peeling. Reaching is achieved by introducing galleries, art studios and piers that reach toward each other from opposite sides of the Harlem River.

Peeling separates existing layers from the ground plain to heal severed connections. She proposed lifting the railroad tracks several feet above ground to allow the river to connect to its flood plain in the form of a restored marshland and pedestrian and bike paths come off the slopes, adapting the elevated highway on/off ramps, relinking the High Bridge and the High Bridge Park to the city’s greenway system.

The competition was open to all design students and young professionals who have completed their education at the undergraduate or graduate level within the past 10 years of each year’s competition announcement.

“It was good for the students to work outside the state, in an area that is culturally and environmentally very different from New Mexico,” Crawford said.

“The winners had diverse approaches to design. I was thrilled with their success,” Crawford said. Crawford earned her master of landscape architecture at UNM in 2005 and taught as an adjunct professor until she was hired into a tenure-track position in fall 2009.


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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/