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Thirteen NYIT architecture students teamed with nine students at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) to create a budget-friendly, versatile structure designed as a space for beachgoers to relax and socialize. Known as "Contorno," their beach pavilion is more than a modest project; it's an example of how young people can collaborate to make social impact and revitalize a beachfront community in Culebra, Puerto Rico. The structure is currently on display at UPR's campus. View photos:
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NYIT architecture students strategize on designing a public space to make a big difference for members of a beachfront community with only $2,000.
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Wooden beams are the building blocks of the beach pavilion designed for Flamenco Beach Camping Grounds in Culebra, Puerto Rico.
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Gregory Preus sands wood. He is one of 13 NYIT architecture students who worked on Contorno as part of Assistant Professor Farzana Gandhi's fall 2014 Social Impact Design course.
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NYIT architecture students Kevin Kaweicki and Chris Cetola drill holes into a wooden slat.
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NYIT architecture students Jimmy Carbajal and Stephanie Ramanand stain wood.
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As NYIT architecture students discuss design details and make progress, they regularly interact with graduate students at University of Puerto Rico via videoconference to share ideas and updates.
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Slim metal rods are another component of the beach pavilion.
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NYIT architecture student Jorge Villao hammers metal rods into a wooden beam.
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Corntorno begins to take shape. The pavilion is a 7-foot, 6-inch cube sliced into five adjacent 1-foot, 6-inch modules.
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NYIT architecture students layer wooden beams.
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The frame of Contorno comes together. Two of the five modules will extend out of the cube to offer a changing room, viewing frame to the landscape beyond, and an information map and kiosk.
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The design comprising wooden beams can be replicated along the entire length of Flamenco Beach's contour as a way to spur interest in larger tourism improvement projects.
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Contorno was conceived as an alternative to a rundown existing facility that dates to 1983.
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Team NYIT raised more than $1,200 to fund the project.
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A rendering of Contorno shows hollow contours sized as benches, shade covers, and smooth ledges that double as tabletops for sharing a picnic.
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This project gave us a chance to discover how ideas become physical reality and the challenges and limitations inherent in that translation, said NYIT architecture student Phoebe Steinhoff-Smith. I really enjoyed working with my hands and using my skills with tools to bring Contorno to life.