Two Alabama students win competition with water tower apartment design

Adrienne Burch

Screen Shot 2013-04-07 at 10.27.10 PMLauren Wallace, a senior majoring in interior design, has spent all semester turning a water tower into a residential dwelling.

Wallace and senior interior design major Melita Hudson won first place in their divisions at the Interior Design Association’s Student Day Design competition last month. There were entries from every interior design program in the state, with a total of 35 entries, and $1,000 was awarded to the winners.

The three categories at the event were retail, restaurant and corporate, health care and mixed use.

Wallace won the mixed use category with her project titled “Water Tower Living.” She said the goal of the project was to design an extraordinary type of residence. She turned a cylindrical water tower into a five-story, single-family residence.

“My design stands out because of the unique shape and design of the water tower. A water tower residence is not something you see everyday, especially not one that is as unique as this,” she said.

This project was the culmination of an entire semester’s work in the course Advanced Residential Design.

“It took an unbelievable amount of hard work and dedication to complete a project of this size in the time given,” Wallace said.

She said she has always had a passion for all things creative.

“Drawing was a creative outlet for me for as long as I can remember,” she said. “The best part of design to me is seeing a simple idea or concept blossom into a detailed design. Though it is a long and involved process, it is extremely rewarding.”

Wallace will enter the Daisy Bond Portfolio Competition in May.

“Sustainability is at the forefront of the design world, and I believe that the reuse of a decommissioned building is one of the most efficient yet basic ways to create sustainable design,” she said.

Hudson entered the retail and restaurant category with her project design of a coffee shop named Froth. Hudson said she developed the floor plan, ceiling plan, switching plan and lighting plan for the shop. She also built the shop in 3-D.

“My coffee shop design brings patrons into a warm cup of coffee,” she said. “It was so different it just worked.”

Hudson said she was ecstatic to win the competition.

“I entered the competition in February not expecting much and just doing it to see what would happen,” she said. “After not hearing anything for over a month, I assumed a winner had already been chosen, then I received the email with the great news.”