Lumenhaus in Madrid at sunset
Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech

The 2010 VSAIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship jury met via conference call on Sept. 3, to select this year’s Prize winner.  Jury Chair Dennis Andrejko, FAIA led the process as the jury carefully reviewed and discussed the eight papers submitted for the 2010 prize. After significant deliberation, the jury selected Eclipsis System: An Innovative Sun Control and Insulation Fenestration, submitted by a Virginia Tech team of Robert Dunay FAIA, Director, Center for Design Research;  Joe Wheeler AIA, Lead Coordinator Lumenhaus;  Robert Schubert, Associate Dean for Research; and Jonathan Grinham, Graduate Student.  The paper described the research behind and development of a screen and shutter system used for both sun shade and climate control in Lumenhaus, Virginia Tech’s winning entry in the 2010 Solar Decathlon Europe in Madrid. The Jury (other members included Angela Brooks AIA, Dan Williams, FAIA, and Rafael Longoria) commented:

“This is a very strong piece and research investigation.  We loved what it has done and how it sets the foundation for further work.  The project is an interesting idea that has been researched, tested, and thoroughly documented.  It is a modern interpretation based on a time-honored cultural system of ventilation walls.  This could go into the public realm and be used by architects to further the practice of architecture, graphics and public presentation.  We liked the mixing of technology, aesthetics, and cultural/societal grounding, with the skin becoming both a design driver and an energy system to help power the building.  This is a growing and necessary part of architecture that we would like to see investigated even further.”

The 2010 VSAIA Prize for Design Research and Scholarship will be awarded at the VSAIA Annual Meeting at ArchEx Nov. 4,  and the winning paper will be presented immediately following at 2:30 p.m., during session 203.

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