AISC Selects Three Visionary Finalists for Forge Prize Competition

AISC has selected three finalists for The Forge Prize, which celebrates emerging architects who create visionary designs that embrace steel as the primary structural component while exploring ways to increase project speed. The finalists will each work with a steel fabricator before presenting their final concepts to the judges during a live YouTube event in late March.

"The Forge Prize competition gives younger architects a unique opportunity to develop new concepts and applications for one of the core materials of building design and construction--steel, in its many forms and manifestations," said 2021 Forge Prize judge Robert Cassidy, executive editor of Building Design+Construction.  

The winner will receive a $10,000 grand prize and an invitation to present before an audience of the industry's best minds at NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference on April 12, 2021. 

About the designs

The three final designs are very different from one another, but they all offer intriguing visions for the future.

Jieun Yang of Habitat Workshop imagined Signal Park in San Jose, Calif., a cluster of urban villages that seamlessly blend into the area's natural landscape. The steel scaffolding structure in the park would collect and filter rainwater to be used for cooling mist stations and site irrigation.

Mert Kansu and Yimeng Teng of VMDO Architects proposed a civic mixed-use plaza in Richmond, Va., that focuses on public engagement, community programs, and sustainability. Their design incorporates steel plates to create an expressive folding form.

Hunter Ruthrauff of T.Y. Lin International Group in San Diego designed a 3D-printed steel pedestrian bridge that spans Balboa Park's Florida Canyon. Ruthrauff chose 3D-printed steel because it offers better tensile strength than 3D-printed concrete and lessens the complexity of the design process.

Learn more about the finalists and the 2021 competition at