University of Hawaii at Manoa graduate student Sofija Kavcic showcased her winning design at the United Nations headquarters in New York

University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa School of Architecture graduate student Sofija Kavcic took second place in the International Council for Caring Communities student design competition. The contest, titled Integrated Communities: A Society for All Ages, challenged students to explore solutions that integrate older persons into the fabric of the community. Winners were announced in Naples, Italy, and included students from eight countries. Kavcic is the only winner from the United States.

Kavcic’s design, Kakaako Building Blocks, envisions a vibrant multi-generational neighborhood fused by functional city blocks that keep families close. Daycare for seniors and young children is combined and contained within a common living area. Facilities for recreation, exercise, education, public services, retail and healthcare are all accessible via walkable pathways within a city block.

“The flexibility of the architectural programming is ensured by the use of modularity,” Kavcic explains. “The typical unit assembly system resembles the building blocks toy assembly system, hence the name Building Blocks.”

As a winner, Kavcic presented her design at United Nations’ headquarters in New York City as part of the U.N. World Habitat Day.

School of Architecture Professor Spencer Leineweber served as mentor to Kavcic on the project. Prior collaborations also resulted in awards for Kavcic, but none as prestigious as the ICCC contest. Kavcic is enrolled in the DArch program at UH Manoa’s School of Architecture.

—Adapted from a UH Mānoa news release

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