BRIARCLIFF, N.Y.-- A student from Briarcliff might be one of the best young architects around.
Christopher Kumaradjaja, a Briarcliff resident who attends The Master's School in Dobbs Ferry, took first place in the 2014 DiscoverDesign.org National High School Architecture Competition.
Kumaradjaja beat out 219 teens from 28 high schools in 12 states who submitted proposals for redesigning their high school athletic pavilions to promote healthy lifestyles.
A jury of 38 architects, engineers, designers and university professors from across the country evaluated the entries.
Citing expanding extracurricular program offerings that are quickly outgrowing the school’s athletic and activity spaces, Kumaradjaja’s design reorganized the circulation spaces.
The new layout eliminated inefficient and congested hallways while creating spaces for interaction, along with additional activity spaces for simultaneous programming.
Kumaradjaja won a trip for two to Chicago as part of his prize. He first heard about the contest through his architecture club.
"I's really amazing. It was super exciting for me looking at all the projects people had done," Kumaradjaja said.
Kumaradjaja said architecture can encourage community or individuality and he worked to strike that balance in his design.
Students can gather in the athletic pavilion and it's the perfect place for stirring pep talk by the coach, he said.
"My design is versatile. It encourages a sense of community and sportsmanship.
"There's a sense of focus and a direct attitude to whatever athletic effort people might put into it," Kumaradjaja said.
Kumaradjaja said he always wanted to be an architect, having made a floor plan of an airport when he was only four.
"It's always been a natural interest to me. It's been second nature to me. I've always dreamed of buildings a lot," Kumaradjaja said.
Growing up playing Rollercoaster Tycoon and Minecraft also spurred Kumaradjaja's interest in architecture.
"In Minecraft, you're making buildings to serve a purpose. It's absolutely amazing. It's a euphoric feeling," Kumaradjaja said.
Kumaradjaja is spending the summer interning at his favorite Danish architecture firm in New York City.