The University of Kansas Wins $25,000 NCARB Grand Prize

July 2003

Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is pleased to announce that the University of Kansas has won the $25,000 grand prize in the 2003 NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy competition. During NCARB's recent conference in San Antonio, TX, KU's entry describing Studio 804, Inc., was honored for its emphasis on community partnerships and design excellence.

The NCARB Prize recognizes efforts to creatively link education and practice. Architecture schools with NAAB-accredited degree programs were invited to submit established projects, completed or in progress by the end of the fall 2002 semester, demonstrating unique initiatives that bring together the academy and the profession within the studio curriculum. Former NCARB president Peter Steffian, FAIA, laid the groundwork for the competition and continues to play an integral role in its search for outstanding programs.

Studio 804, Inc., a nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Kansas, offers a two-semester, graduate-level course synthesizing practice with the construction industry. The NCARB Prize Jury recognized the studio's long-term contributions to the Lawrence, Kansas community, its innovative restoration efforts, and its emphasis on sustainability and accessibility issues. Jurors described Studio 804 as raising the bar of student design quality and buildability. Since 1996, students have completed a full-scale project each year, including five homes, a roof restoration, and the design and construction of a canopy behind Ku's architecture school.

A jury comprising the members of the Council's Practice Education Task Force and five deans of NAAB-accredited architectural programs, chosen by NCARB's regional leadership, selected six overall winners from 49 entries. The other NCARB Prize winning submissions each received a $7,500 cash award. They are:

  • Clemson University School of Architecture's Center in Charleston, "Upper-Concord Street Neighborhood"
  • Mississippi State University, "Dialogic reciprocity: Binding form making to practice in first-year design"
  • Pennsylvania State University and the University of Washington, "American Indian Housing Initiative"
  • University of Maryland, "Building Connections . . . Building Practice"
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, "The Art of Integration/The Science of Building"

Projects from Yale University ("Yale Building Project") and the University of Puerto Rico ("Re-building the City through community design") received honorable mention.

The 2003 NCARB Prize jury were: Janet R. White, FAIA, jury chair; David Mohney, AIA; Peter T.S. Rasmussen, FAIA; Barbara A. Sestak, AIA; Peter Steffian, FAIA; John Carter Wyle, AIA; Howard E. Goldstein, AIA, Wentworth Institute; James L. West, FAIA, Mississippi State University; Mark C. Engelbrecht, FAIA, Iowa State University; R. Wayne Drummond, FAIA, University of Nebraska; and Gregory A. Kessler, AIA, Washington State University. (The University of Virginia's Karen Van Lengen, AIA, was unable to take part in the proceedings.) Michiel M. Bourdrez, AIA, director, education and international services, served as the staff liaison to the NCARB Prize jury.

The call for entries for the 2004 NCARB Prize will be distributed in late summer 2003. NCARB will also issue the 2003 NCARB Prize book in August.


The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.


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