AOF Junior Earns Multiple Honors in CT Student Home Design Competition


AOF Junior Earns Multiple Honors in CT Student Home Design Competition

AOF Junior Earns Multiple Honors in CT Student Home Design Competition

The architecture of the Avon Old Farms school campus is renowned for its Cotswold-inspired charm and ability to blend seamlessly into the surrounding forest and farmland. It has been the backdrop of classic book covers, featured in architecture magazines, and is often the highlight for tour groups exploring the works of school founder Theodate Pope Riddle. Naturally, it has also served as inspiration for students to eventually pursue architecture or a similar discipline as a career. 

Roy Sun ’25 is the latest student to turn an affinity for the Avon architecture into an award-winning design. In February, it was announced that Roy had won best first-time entry and placed sixth overall in the 2024 Student Home Design Competition

For 75 years, the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Central Connecticut has held a Student Home Design contest as part of the Connecticut Home & Remodeling Show. The competition is open to students from all Connecticut high schools. Each student must include a scale model home with presentation drawings that meet specific criteria. This year’s criteria were to design a three-bedroom home not to exceed 2,000 square feet of floor space, and the students must include three National Association of Home Builders Model Green Building Guidelines. 

Out of more than 120 entries, Roy placed sixth. He also earned the “Rookie Award,” which is given to the best first-time entry. This award came with a cash prize which Roy gifted to the school during a Morning Meeting in early March. “It’s the first formal contest I’ve ever entered,” Roy shares. “I thought I had a really good design, but I wasn’t expecting to win.”

Roy’s entry (pictured above) was a modified ranch-style home with a modern twist that featured a rooftop solar panel array and dormer windows, the latter of which was directly inspired by Avon’s Brown Dormitory. “I actually took that part of the design from some of the buildings here.”

He says the unique architecture around campus not only inspired his design, but was a factor in his decision to enroll at Avon. “I think our school is one of the most beautiful high schools there is. I thought coming here would give me a good opportunity to pursue this field further.”

While his interest in architecture has been bolstered during his time at Avon, it began long before he had first enrolled. Roy’s mother works for a high-tech, innovative homebuilding agency, which has given him exposure to the industry from a young age. “From a young age I was very fascinated in the work her company was doing. I remember looking at some of the blueprints and concept drawings and thinking it was really interesting.” 

So when it came time to decide where he would attend high school, it was natural to pick the school he felt would best allow him to continue to pursue this interest—and he hasn’t been disappointed. “Here at Avon, there are a lot more resources here for me to reach my goals. Here I have the chance to do my own thing. Like, for example, I could explore an AIP. Overall, there are more opportunities and resources here than at most other schools.” 

Roy expands, saying he would potentially participate in an Advanced Independent Project (AIP) focusing on architecture in the future, as he worked on his submission for the 2024 Student Home Design Competition completely in his free time. It began towards the end of October with research to gather some ideas. Then he moved on to mapping out the floor plan. “I wanted to first make sure the design is feasible,” Roy explains. Once his design was complete, he ordered the materials and constructed his model, finally completing the project in January. 

He says he definitely plans to enter the contest again next year. As a senior, the competition holds slightly higher stakes. Seniors who place in the top five earn college scholarship money, something Roy already has his sights on. “I’m hoping to major in engineering or architecture or something related. This would really give me an advantage in that.”