AACC Architecture Student Ranks First In National Competition

A design for a visitor center in California’s Joshua Tree National Park netted Mark Davis, an Anne Arundel Community College architecture student, first place in a national competition recently.

Davis beat out 44 other submissions from 17 schools representing 13 states to win the Coalition of Community College Architecture Programs, Inc. (CCCAP) 2018 Student Design Competition.

Jury comments about his project included “… A complete and beautiful presentation of a thoughtful approach to the challenge. The building is presented as a habitable rockscape…” and “… Incorporates appropriate daylighting and natural ventilation. This is one of the few schemes that took a strong sustainability approach and the obvious step of sheltering the parking with solar collectors.”

Mike Ryan, chair of AACC’s Department of Architecture and Interior Design, said Davis’s exterior spaces demonstrated the ability of architecture to respond to the unique needs of the site and addressed the fragile nature of the area, particularly the existing flora and fauna.

Design submissions had to communicate the significance of the park and the surrounding desert environment through the architectural form, educational exhibits, and use of sustainable materials and energy efficiency.

The jury— comprised of George Claflen FAIA, LEED AP, Claflen Associates Architects + Planners; Kelly Vresilovic, AIA LEED AP, Prinicipal at CaVA Architects, llp; and Paul Thompson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, GGP, NCIDQ, NCARB, Principal at IEI Architects— was impressed with the overall range of the projects submitted.

“Though the students are only at the start of their architectural education, the jury felt many of the projects could become very fine architectural proposals,” a CCCAP news release stated.