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Laguna Niguel Student Wins National Contest Drawing the Perfect Skyline

Alan Ong moved from New York City when he was 8. But he remembers -- and re-imagines -- it well.

Alan Ong, a senior enrolled at Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, created “Metropolis.” Courtesy JLL.
Alan Ong, a senior enrolled at Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, created “Metropolis.” Courtesy JLL.
From a press release:

A high school senior from Laguna Niguel who left his heart in New York City has been named the winner of JLL’s first-ever “Design Your Skyline” contest.  

Alan Ong, a senior enrolled at Orange County High School of the Arts in Santa Ana, created “Metropolis” for the JLL contest, that appealed for artistic renditions of skylines across the country. 

Based on the commercial real estate firm’s annual Skyline Review, which provides a building-by-building assessment of 43 city centers across the country to investors, a call was made to high school art students to interpret what their own skyline means to them and their community.

Ong, who moved from the East Coast to the West when he was just 8 years old, created an original hand-drawn design that was then computer-edited to smooth out textures.

“Alan’s entry appealed to us because of its unique perspective on Manhattan—it depicts the skyline, but with an imaginative twist,” said John Sikaitis, JLL’s Director of Office Research.  .”JLL’s Skyline Review has always tried to take a similar approach—presenting our research in a compelling way that often takes long-held beliefs and turns them on their head!”

According to Ong, he began by sketching Southwestern Manhattan and then let his creativity take the lead.

“While many of New York City’s trademark buildings are present, I draw what comes to mind and my skyline comes as much from imagination as from reality,” said Ong. “New York City is my eternal inspiration.”

Encouraged by a friend to enter the competition, Ong has always held a natural inclination for engineering and design. He plans to enroll at Syracuse University this fall to pursue a degree in architecture, holding a particular interest in urban designs that incorporate open spaces.

Ong received a $2,000 grant for his award-winning design.

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