Alum is Project Architect for Winning Design in International Competition

Thursday, September 8, 2016

School of Architecture alumnus Sean Gallagher (B. Arch. 2000), Director of Sustainable Design at Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R), is the project architect for the winning entry in an international competition to design the South Sea Pearl Eco-Island, a man-made eco-tourism hub planned for China’s Haikou Bay. Gallagher joined Liz Diller and Charles Curran in China to pitch the design to the international jury, which was headed by Vicente Guallart, cofounder of the Institute of Advanced Architecture and head of Guallart Architects.

All ten proposals for the island were inspired by the Chinese symbol yin-yang, representing harmony and balance. The DS+R design prevailed over proposals by Foster + Partners (2nd place) and Morphosis (3rd place).

“The jury found the strength of the project was that it was singular and clear in realizing the Ecoisland as a whole,” wrote the jury. “It would create a beautiful, iconic form rising naturally out the landscape, recalling the volcanic caldera of the area, and shape the island into a continuous structure that would be an extremely efficient compaction of resort, retail, and housing. The project leaves the rest of the island as a place for aquaculture and agriculture, recreation, resort living and cultural facilities. This proposal is one for a truly a human-made island that celebrates all that makes such water-bound places so attractive and beautiful, while contributing to our understanding of deep, intrinsic ecology.”

Construction on the eco-island begins in 2017 and is scheduled to end in 2027.

Gallagher received his Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University in 2005. His work has been recognized with a range of significant awards, including a U.S. GSA Architecture Award Citation, a U.S. GSA Design Excellence Award, an Innovation & Delight Citation from the Emerging New York Architects Awards, and the William Ware Prize for Excellence in Design, Columbia GSAPP’s Highest Honor Award.

design for eco-island