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Eight teams line up for ‘Benched 2.0’ event

Last year's winners Azra Smith and Kevin Simmons who built their their bench on wheels

Eight teams will compete in this year’s Institute of Bermuda Architects “Benched 2.0” event — a design-build contest aimed at students at the high school and university level.

The competition sees two students pair up with local designers and builders as they design and create a bench.

The deadline is July 16 and the benches will be on display at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) for public viewing. Winners will be selected in two categories — public vote and professional judging.

This year’s entries are Jean-Pierre Lucas, Nafiayah Raynor, Kevin Simmons, Clara James, A’Maiah L. Butterfield, Zeo Oleksak, Ayo Salawu, Teree C.R. Trott, Liam Flannery, Chanika Jones, Christian Chin Gurret, Corrie Cross, Paul Swan, Brian Wedlich, Francis Mussenden, Joanna Martin and Connor Strohecker

Firms who will offer professional design support to the students include Bermuda Stripping & Refinishing, Botelho Wood Architects, Brick Verde, Geoff Parker Architect, Nicky Gurret and OBMI.

The builders who will assist the students to develop their bench designs include Bermuda Stripping & Refinishing, Carvalho Construction, E&G Craftshop, J & W Construction and Viera’s Construction & Painting.

IBA president Krystal Rodrigues said: “We are excited to watch these eight teams to compete in ‘Benched 2.0’, our second design build competition. We hope the public gets involved with this unique competition and supports these students by attending the viewing and voting on July 16 as a lot of thought and hard work goes into the making of the benches.

“The IBA is happy to provide opportunities for students to learn fundamentals of good design and we were amazed at the results of last year’s competition. We expect this year to be even better.”

The public is invited to judge the benches on Saturday, July 16 between 10am and 2pm at BAMZ and will be asked to select their top three entrants. The professional judges will view the submissions at the same time and will make their decision based on design concept, creativity and use of materials.

This is the second year that the IBA has held a design-build competition and it has run several successful student and professional design competitions in the past. The event is sponsored by Joe Vieira Trucking, Pembroke Tile & Stone, Atlantic Building Consultants & Bermuda Interiors.