More than half of 13 possible awards in the spring American Institute of Architects (AIA) Michael G. Meyers Design and Scholarship Competition went to students from The Guthrie Center’s Architectural Design program in Spring Branch ISD, highlighting the excellence of the curriculum and instruction that prepared them to stand out among peers in the city.
Students from 12 Houston-area high schools submitted 56 entries to this year’s competition. Guthrie students received seven of the 13 possible awards:
2nd Place Individual Entry
3rd Place Individual Entry
Honorable Mention – Renderings
Honorable Mention – Planning Process
Honorable Mention – Presentation
Honorable Mention – Sustainability
Honorable Mention – Director’s Choice
Stephen Davidson and Riley Kerns
This year, the competition involved designing a mixed-use, multi-family housing development located in the Montrose area of Houston, close to the Menil Museum and University of St. Thomas. The students’ designs had to include three or more of the following elements: garden space, café space, outdoor market, fitness center, retail shop, and/or co-working space.
In his award-winning entry, Stockton Pyle described his thought processes and ultimate design solution, which he named Daylight Pavilion. “A flat roof with room for solar panels or green space, combined with the orientation and utilities of the housing units, this structure utilizes the sun’s full potential while creating a safe, private place for residents to call home,” Pyle said.
Amelia Nuzzo designed an environment with music enthusiasts like her in mind. Her Vibrance Center design includes a free-form, colorful amphitheater. “With convenience in mind, I designed a space where residents simply could walk downstairs to see their favorite live performer, which is a unique element to this property,” Nuzzo said.
See the impressive entry presentations here.
For their entries into the AIA competition, Guthrie Center’s Architectural Design teachers Fuad Loutfi and Xavier Martinez guided the students to research and find inspiration from existing multi-use spaces, sketch ideas and to generate renderings.
“I thoroughly enjoyed importing our AutoCAD plans into Revit,” Riley Kerns said. “Revit [model building software] was the most challenging task for me. I received my certification in Revit this year. Seeing my building evolve from 2D (AutoCAD) to 3D (Revit) was the most transformational experience because my building came to life.”
Riley will study architecture at the University of Texas next year. “I will incorporate much of what I learned at Guthrie into my classes at UT,” she said.
“When we operate under normal circumstances for a school year, we typically require a physical model even for individual entries. That is a skill we like to reinforce and teach since they will encounter when studying architecture in college and in the profession,” Loutfi said.
Loutfi and Martinez majored in architecture at the University of Houston at the same time, studied abroad, and spent more than 10 years in the architectural profession.
“We have a very passionate outlook and approach for our [three-year] program to guide students into the reality of college and the profession, to make sure this is what they either do not want to do, or what they very much want to do,” Loutfi said. “We run our program like a small architectural office or architectural college studio.”
It seems the architects-in-training at The Guthrie Center “studio” have a corner on creating inviting and vibrant living spaces of the future.
Submitted by Becky Wuerth, Spring Branch ISD Communications