New Degree Program Offered at WAAC

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.
© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

The School of Architecture + Design at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC) now offers a Master of Science in Architecture with an Urban Design Concentration.

The boundaries among the practices of Landscape Architecture, Architecture and Urban Design are increasingly fluid. Graduates of the School of Architecture + Design from both the Architecture and the Landscape Architecture programs increasingly find themselves practicing as de facto urban designers, bringing the considerable tools of their disciplines to bear on large-scale, city-changing, development projects. The Urban Design Concentration will provide a rigorous and formalized setting for students who are interested in synthesizing the design and planning disciplines to prepare them to address the significant issues facing cities and metropolitan regions today.

[adrotate banner=”54″]Based at the WAAC, the program will be positioned to leverage the unique assets of the WAAC, such as proximity to the nation’s capital, an international student body, the close relationships among existing graduate programs in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, and Public Administration and Policy. The WAAC was founded to provide an urban laboratory for Virginia Tech students. In its 30 years in Alexandria, the WAAC and its faculty have cultivated close and productive relationships with institutions and organizations focused on urban issues.

Admission to the Urban Design program requires a design background. The program requires the completion of 36 credits, three semesters of full-time study. The curriculum includes a minimum of required courses, including design studio and thesis, intended to give the student competencies across design, planning and public policy. Students with non-professional degrees must provide a transcript showing a minimum of four semesters of design studio.

Students without previous design experience will be required to enroll in and successfully complete a sequence of qualifying design studios.
For more information contact urbandesign@vt.edu.

Students Compete in Virginia Society AIA Prize

© 2006, The American Institute of Architects. All rights reserved.

Students from Hampton University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech’s Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, and the University of Virginia took part in the 32nd annual Virginia Society AIA Prize competition over the weekend of Jan. 27–30, 2012. From those submissions, each school advances 10 finalists; the winning design will be selected by a jury in February.

This year’s competition problem was developed by faculty at Hampton University and addressed our ability (or inability) to provide temporary emergency housing. Students were asked to propose a semi-permanent and reusable intervention in one of the region’s most naturally vulnerable locations — Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The problem asked students to design one prototypical unit, not to exceed 600 square-feet, capable of housing up to 4 individuals. Designs were to include a site plan demonstrating how four of these prototypical units could be arranged to form the embryo of a community. Students were also asked to envision how these structures could be used as housing for special events during non-catastrophic times.

The Virginia Society AIA Prize — along with the accompanying $2000 check — will be awarded during the Virginia Design Forum: Skins, March 16-17, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Best of School nods (and possibly an honorable mention or two) will be noted as well. An exhibition of all of the finalists will tour each of the schools and will wrap up in the ArchEx Exhibit Hall at Architecture Exchange East on Nov. 8–9.