On Friday, September 11, at 5 p.m., over 300 students from Hampton University, Virginia Tech-Blacksburg, Virginia Tech-Washington Alexandria Architecture Center and the University of Virginia were given a challenge to design a response to a problem created by faculty from one of Virginia’s architecture schools. They had one weekend to consider as a work of art, the design of the Rocky Forge Wind Farm, now being developed in Botetourt County. They were told their submissions should not only meet the pragmatic demands of the turbine array, but also engage the inherent aesthetic potential in a large-scale human intervention within the natural landscape.

“Faculty from each school reviewed the submissions and sent their top 10 for final judging,” says AIA Virginia Executive Vice President/CEO Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA. “From these a four-judge panel selected one Prize winner, four best of school awards and five honorable mentions.

The Honorees

2015 AIA Virginia Prize

Jim Clark, FAIA awarding 2015 AIA Virginia Prize to Tommy Kim of Virginia Tech
Jim Clark, FAIA awarding 2015 AIA Virginia Prize to Tommy Kim of Virginia Tech. Photo by Jay Paul.

Tommy Kim is now in his final year of a five-year program at Virginia Tech-Blacksburg. Kim, who came to Virginia Tech following graduation from Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., spent one year of his architecture program at the university’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center.

The judges were most complimentary. “The building is almost completely hidden which adds to the intriguing experience,” says Jury Chair Jim Clark, FAIA. “The consistency in design and the sequence of events is very strong. Loved the vista image, especially how it balances the plan. Enjoyed that it was unique to the location.”

Best of School

Vaughn James, now in his last year at Hampton University

Lauren Scott, in her senior year at University of Virginia

Forrest Bibeau, in his final year at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Matthew Duncan, a graduate student at Virginia Tech-Washington Alexandria Architecture Center

Honorable Mention

Matthew Young, Virginia Tech

James Wood, Virginia Tech

Zeph Ruggles, University of Virginia

Seema Samudre, Virginia Tech

Min Hyoung Choe, Virginia Tech

The AIA Virginia Prize, a student competition held annually, is awarded following a weekend charrette at the four Virginia architecture schools.

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