“Urban Meets Nature,” the design submitted by Design Associate Noor Alqaysi and Design Project Specialist Peng Zhang, won the Riverfront 3D-Printed Shading Design Competition.

July 11, 2023

3D-Printed Shading Structure Will Augment Riverfront Headquarters

Designers Noor Alqaysi and Peng Zhang won Haskell's competition to design shade on the river side of its iconic building with "Urban Meets Nature."


Since it opened in 1986, The Haskell Building has been a Jacksonville landmark, with its parapet roof and three floors of wide, continuous windows giving it the look of a cruise liner moored along the banks of the St. Johns River. 

With functionality and environmental sustainability in mind, Haskell and Dysruptek, its innovation and venture capital arm, staged a contest to augment the riverfront side of the building. The Riverfront 3D-Printed Shading Design Competition challenged team members to design a shading structure over the south exterior deck. Entrants were instructed to consider the appearance of Haskell from the river side and emphasize Haskell’s forward-thinking spirit.  

Also, in keeping with the company’s intrinsically innovative nature, the competition was based on the premise that the winning design would be created using Branch Technology's patented C-Fab 3D printing system. Through Dysruptek, Haskell is a strategic investor in Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Branch Technology. 

Design Associate Noor Alqaysi and Design Project Specialist Peng Zhang submitted the winning design, "Urban Meets Nature," a three-tiered shading structure that weaves the story of the city, the building, and the river. The slopes and stepped forms of the structure serve as a visual link, symbolizing the harmony between urban and natural elements. 

“We had to determine, ‘Do we complement the architecture, or do we essentially go with contrast against the fine lines of the building’s beautiful horizontality, the low stature?’” said Chris Flagg, Vice President and Architecture and Engineering Operating Principal and one of the competition’s judges. “We feel that the elegance of this design fulfills both. The thorough analysis and the attention to creating a link between the urban side of Jacksonville and the river truly made this design exceptional." 

The structure features intricate geometric patterns inspired by organic forms. Branch’s 3D printing capabilities allowed Alqaysi and Zhang to include intricate details, giving the structure a sense of elegance and sophistication. 

Haskell Director of Innovation Hamzah Shanbari said the competition would make the building’s riverfront deck more functional and stressed the advantages of 3D printing in design. 

“Their 3D printing technology can create any shape,” Shanbari said. “It just unlocks the creativity of all our architects. We think this could be beneficial for many of our clients, creating unique facades for their buildings in a sustainable manner.  A secondary reason for having this competition was to introduce all our designers to Branch Technology and get them thinking of it on their next project.” 

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, “Urban Meets Nature” prioritizes functionality and environmental sustainability. The shading system is designed to maximize natural light while minimizing solar heat gain, providing a comfortable and energy-efficient outdoor space. The structure incorporates strategically placed openings and louvers to optimize airflow and ventilation, creating a pleasant microclimate within the shaded area. 

Sustainability is a crucial aspect of the design philosophy. The materials used in the 3D-printed structure are eco-friendly and recyclable, ensuring a minimal environmental footprint. Further, the design integrated greenery and vegetation within the structure, blurring the lines between the built environment and nature.  

“As an immigrant, I came directly to Jacksonville, and I have been living here for 10 years, and it really means a lot to me,” said Alqaysi, who is from Iraq. “When this is implemented, I will kind of have a mark on the river as an architect to the city of Jacksonville.” 

Through Dysruptek, its innovation and venture capital arm, Haskell leads the construction industry in technological development and adoption. Contact the Dysruptek team to discuss your idea “For the Betterment of the Industry.” 


Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

Related News & Insights

Privacy Policy

Our website uses technology to offer you a personalized experience. We need your consent use cookies in accordance with our privacy policy. By clicking “Accept,” you agree to our use of cookies.