Andrew Lam (AR'14) receives 2014 RSA US Student Design Awards

POSTED ON: May 6, 2014

Site Plan, Free Trade Zone in Transit Site Plan, Free Trade Zone in Transit Section, Free Trade Zone in Transit Section, Free Trade Zone in Transit
Site Plan, Free Trade Zone in Transit

Andrew Lam (AR’14) received the Architecture Internship with Grimshaw Architects and the Techmer PM Award for Designcraft Project: Free Trade Zone in Transit at the 2014 Royal Society of Arts U.S. Student Design Awards

Project Description:


Once the most important trading route that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, the Panama Canal, endured a history of political and cultural strife that specifically dealt with the autonomous control of the waterway between the Republic of Panama and the United States of America.  More than a decade later, after the handover of the canal back to Panama, the country is now facing a new shift in global interests.  With the growing economical demand of the international community, the size of container ships has redefined the ownership of the Panama Canal; as a canal belonging to the world.  My project deals with the internal workings of the Panama Canal as well as the growth in container vessels, as a way to create a new urbanism which involves the use of boats and floating programmatic spaces.  It will be a community created on the basis of trade and interaction between the vessels and boats, and also a way to urbanize areas where activity is stagnant.    

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.