Building Designer’s Dream

TOP OF STORY Ting Wei Fan, Arch Tech contest winner 012Ting Wei Fan came to Onondaga Community College from Taiwan with a dream. “I wanted to attend a top ten architecture school. I saw that a lot of them were in or around New York State. I decided to come to OCC with the goal of transferring to a four-year college.”

Furnace Brook Retreat Center

Furnace Brook Retreat Center

Fan enrolled in the College’s Architectural Technology program and blossomed into one of its top students culminating in his outstanding showing in a national design competition sponsored by the Coalition of Community College Architecture Programs (CCCAP). Professor Kenneth Bobis asked Fan and other students in his second-year design studio course to put together entries. The contest required students to design a chapel which would blend in with its natural surroundings. Bobis encouraged students to consider the College’s Furnace Brook Retreat Center which is located just west of OCC’s main entrance on West Seneca Turnpike.

Ting Wei Fan's "Anch Chapel"

Ting Wei Fan’s “Anch Chapel”

Fan envisioned and designed “Anch Chapel,” a beautiful A-frame structure. It included the following description: “It’s distinctive expression and character are derived directly from the trees’ own elements, which makes the chapel stand distinct from its surroundings and blend in with nature’s scenery at one and the same time, making the chapel accessible to the eye of the observer – very similar to a forest’s opening and closing when one moves through it, looking upwards through the branches’ chaotic network of crossing lines.”

Fan’s design earned him second place in the CCCAP competition! The perfectionist in him thought the ultimate prize was within reach. “I thought my design was good. I needed a little more time to write my concept. I think I could have finished in first place.”

In the fall Fan’s dream will come true when he transfers into Cornell University’s College of Architecture. The website Arch 20 ranks it best in the nation. “Cornell is a dream school for me. I had a great experience here at OCC. It prepared me for Cornell.”

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