University of Virginia Is Awarded $25,000 NCARB Prize Grand Prize

12 March 2007

Washington, DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Prize jury has selected the University of Virginia as the $25,000 grand prize winner of the 2007 NCARB Prize. Former NCARB president Frank M. Guillot, FAIA, and jury chair Barbara A. Sestak, AIA, announced this year’s Prize winners at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture national convention in Philadelphia, PA, last week.

The University of Virginia entry “ecoMOD,” is a research and design/build/evaluate project whose purpose is to create well-designed, affordable housing prototypes that are modern, modular, environmentally responsible, and energy efficient through a partnership of the architecture and engineering programs. This is a multi-year project of interdisciplinary teams of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, historic preservation, business, environmental science, and economic students. Students work closely with a variety of design and business professionals
throughout all three phases of the project.

The 2007 NCARB Prize jury noted that the UVA project involved “an extraordinary array of collaborators and a real balance among all the participants.” The jury also noted, “The product itself demonstrates that having a great process, responsiveness to environmental concerns, and other good intentions, does not compromise the design or the end result.”

The 2007 NCARB Prize jury honored five additional programs,
each of whom will receive a $7,500 monetary award.

University of Arkansas “Habitat Trails: from infill housing to green neighborhood design”
Through a collaborative venture among architecture, landscape architecture, and ecological engineering departments, the project’s objective was to provide an affordable housing provider with a low impact development that offers high-value, affordable residential solutions to underserved populations and their surrounding communities. The studio publication serves as a statewide advocacy platform for advancing low impact development protocols.“While it was a strong design project addressing sustainability and single-family housing issues, its uniqueness was that it extended into policy, more specifically establishing green development policy,” according to the jury.

University of Southern California “Re-expanding Architectural Practice”
The school curriculum was redesigned to demonstrate the breadth of the architectural design profession and to encourage students to understand that they have the responsibility to maintain a broad understanding of design. To do so, a series of six mini-seminars were combined into a single course taught by faculty member and practitioner teams. According to the jury, “it gives the students exposure to many subjects in one course,” and “it brings students into firm offices to work with practitioners in their own environment including evening and weekend charrettes.”

University of Virginia “Learning Barge”
The purpose of this multi-semester, interdisciplinary project is to design and build the Learning Barge, a floating, self-sustaining field station located on one of the most polluted tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Moving to a different restoration site every few months, the Learning Barge is designed to teach the public about the tidal estuary ecosystem, wetland, and oyster bed restoration and remediation efforts. It also is designed to teach about sustainable power generation, water collection, and water filtration utilizing native plants. The project establishes a
proactive model of both service-learning and professional engagement. According to the jury, “the project is a tremendous regional educational tool for the public at large and gives the public the opportunity to experience the waterway.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee “Reweaving the Neighborhood Fabric: How Modular Housing Can Build Affordable and Dignified Communities”
Working through a process involving practitioners, community members, and home manufacturers, student teams each designed an affordable, sustainable, and accessible prototype home for an inner-city neighborhood where affordable housing is scarce. Students presented the designs to local policy makers to work with them on pragmatic issues, and produced a set of working drawings for the modular home manufacturers to begin fabrication. According to the jury, “strong points are the work with modular manufacturers and firms, its willingness to take on a variety of issues including sustainability, integration into the neighborhoods and material selection, and the emphasis on the process of building particularly over a critical timeframe.”

Washington University in St. Louis “Research: practice-based study in the academy”
A program of independent studies for students that provide research opportunities related to contemporary architectural design and technology in offices of practicing architects and engineers across the country. Students work with professional staff in the offices and with others in the building industry to facilitate their research through case-study analysis and theoretical investigations. According to the jury, “While the curriculum generates the research, the individual projects generate new knowledge and/or new applications of prior knowledge and the students
in turn present the information to the entire office.”

As envisioned by Peter Steffian, FAIA, who served as Council president in 2001, the NCARB Prize recognizes excellence and innovation when bringing together architectural 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 2005 semester, that demonstrated creative initiatives that integrate the academy and the profession within a studio curriculum.

The 2007 NCARB Prize jury comprises the members of the Council’s Practice Education Committee and six deans (or department heads or chairs) of NAAB-accredited architectural programs chosen by NCARB’s regional leadership. Committee members are:

  • Frank M. Guillot, FAIA, Committee Chair (Vermont) NCARB President, 2005
  • Arnold J. Aho, AIA (Vermont)
  • Joseph L. Bynum, AIA (Alabama)
  • T. Rexford Cecil, AIA (Kentucky)
  • H. Carleton Godsey, FAIA (Kentucky) NCARB President, 2006
  • Barbara A. Sestak, AIA, Jury Chair (Oregon)
  • Michiel M. Bourdrez, AIA, staff liaison
  • Demetrius Norman, staff support

The academy is represented by six deans/directors/chairs, each of whom is based in an NCARB Region. They are:

  • George Thrush, FAIA, Dean, School of Architecture, Northeastern University
  • Clark Llewellyn, AIA, Director, School of Architecture, Montana State University
  • Jeff Shannon, AIA, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Arkansas
  • Frances Bronet, Dean, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon
  • Joseph Bilello, FAIA, Dean, College of Architecture and Planning, Ball State University
  • Garth Rockcastle, FAIA, Dean, School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, University of Maryland

The NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy was first initiated in the fall 2001 semester. The Prize is inspired by the 1996 Carnegie Foundation report, Building Community: A New Future for Architectural Education and Practice, written by Lee D. Mitgang and the late Ernest L. Boyer.

Listing for Entries for the 2007 NCARB Prize
for the Creative Integration of Practice and Education in the Academy

Auburn University – “Collaboration. Process. Product Design. Build. Serve. Learn. With The Salvation Army Family Store”
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo – “Professional Studio Program”
California Polytechnic State University –San Luis Obispo – “Thinking Outside the Box”
Carnegie Mellon University – “The Urban Laboratory: Charm Bracelet Project”
The Catholic University – “The Catholic University of America Design Collaborative”
The Catholic University – “Comprehensive Building Design Studio”
Clemson University – “Force of Nature”
Clemson University – “Gibbes Installation”
Florida A&M University – “Jacksonville Studio”
Illinois Institute of Technology – “The Urban Green Studio”
Iowa State University – “Re-Thinking the Curriculum: A New Graduate Program Focused on Integration”
Judson University – “Transforming Academia: Integrating Education with Professional Practice”
Parsons – “The Design Workshop”
Savannah College of Art and Design – “BSI+P Studio: Opening New Windows for Architecture and Allied
University of Arkansas-Arkansas – “Habitat Trails: Habitat for Humanity; From Infill House to Neighborhood
University of Arkansas & Washington University – “Visioning Rail Transit in Northwest Arkansas: Lifestyles &
University of Kentucky – “Mickey Markey Park Design”
University of Nebraska-Lincoln – “New Orleans Jubilee City: Re-Thinking the Urban Fabric”
University of Southern California – “Re-Expanding Architectural Practice”
University of Utah – “Downtown Rising”
University of Utah – “DesignbuildBLUFF”
University of Utah – “People & Place: Design Pedagogy in the Academy and the Community”
University of Utah – “The Web Based Design Studio”
University of Virginia – “ecoMod: Affordable, Sustainable, and Modular Housing Prototype”
University of Virginia – “The Learning Barge”
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – “Reweaving the Neighborhood Fabric”
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – “SKYCAR CITY: Infrastructure, Architecture, and Urban Form”
Washington University-St. Louis – “Practice-Based Research in The Academy”


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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