April 25, 2024

Architecture Student Named to ‘Future100’ List in Metropolis Magazine

Linxi (Jenny) Zhang ’24—a fifth-year bachelor of architecture degree student in the School of Architecture—has been selected for Metropolis magazine’s Future100, an elite group of architecture and interior architecture students from the United States and Canada.

Launched in 2021, the award recognizes the top 100 graduating students in North America who, as rising leaders, are defining and reimagining the practice of architecture and interior architecture.

Linxi (Jenny) Zhang ’24 (B.Arch)Linxi (Jenny) Zhang ’24 (B.Arch)Selected from a diverse pool of candidates, Zhang is one of only 21 undergraduate architecture students to receive the honor, selected based on the creativity, rigor, skill and professionalism exhibited by their portfolios and nomination entries. “We were blown away by the quality of work you and your peers submitted, and we feel that you represent a bright future for our industry—one of beautiful, thoughtful, innovative, sustainable and inclusive design,” says Avinash Rajagopal, editor in chief of the magazine, in the award letter.

Zhang’s design portfolio represents her interest in the relationship between spaces, sequence and formal aesthetic. As an architecture student and future designer, she is especially concerned with how architecture design and the user experience is changing people’s lives.

LPC Headquarters, elevation from BroadwayLPC Headquarters, elevation from BroadwayIn the project “LPC Headquarters,” Zhang and her partner designed a building on top of an existing landmark for the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) headquarters. To fully respect the context of 315-317 Broadway, the design incorporates setbacks on all sides. A cantilevered hearing hall is “bitten” into the landmark where the open corner plaza invites the city in to watch hearings on large-scale video boards. Inside, the building features a utility core, an open office and meeting room, bookshelves that act as a lending library for staff, as well as an exhibition space that serves as a museum and area for hearing introductions. The building’s façade pattern and material are highly influenced by the inside programs.

More recently, Zhang and her partner worked on “Sweep Scapes,” (shown below) a project to create a new access point between The 606—a 2.7-mile elevated park and trail in Chicago that was built on what was once an industrial train line—and a green boulevard. Their design incorporates a fully accessible bike ramp that cascades throughout the building, leading up to a green roof and garden for the community and its bikers. Through utilizing ramp circulation, green spaces and sport court projection, these sweep scapes extend the experience of The 606 and provide further recreational space in Chicago throughout the year.

Sweep Scapes modelSweep Scapes model

“Among her various attributes, Jenny’s ability to construct architectural tectonics and forms from thoughtful consideration of urban context and user experience is notable,” says Daekwon Park, undergraduate chair and associate professor in the School of Architecture, who nominated Zhang for the program. “Her impressive work consistently shows her commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability.”

While at Syracuse, Zhang has served as an undergraduate program associate for a first-year design studio for three semesters, as well as working as a Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE) undergraduate research assistant for Professor Lori Brown’s faculty research team. She has been awarded the Louis Jay Masters Scholarship (2021-22), Robert W. Cutler Scholarship (May 2022), Internship Funding Award (2023), and Integrated Design Studio Prize (Spring 2023), along with being named to the Dean’s List every semester since 2020.

“I am greatly honored to have been selected for Metropolis magazine’s Future100, knowing that my work and design concepts are recognized by the wider audience,” says Zhang. “I will continue to dedicate myself to designing and renovating architecture to benefit the community by solving social issues and using design to improve the quality of people’s lives.”

After graduation, Zhang plans to gain hands-on experience in the practical world by entering the architecture profession as a young designer, but would also like to extend her research further along the way. She looks forward to attending graduate school after a few years with more specific interests and design perspectives.

As part of the Future100 honor, Zhang’s work will be included in a compilation of video segments by DESIGNTV by SANDOW, featuring Future100 members, scheduled for release in the spring.

The full Future100 class of 2024 digital showcase is available online.