Release: Local Architecture Students in Design Competition

Dear Coalition Friends:

The National Mall is in the spotlight with the 2009 Inter-School Design Competition happening this Sunday:

September 11, 2009

Sean Reilly, AIA, LEED AP


Washington, D.C. — On Sunday, September 13th, 40 students from area architectural schools will participate in a day-long Inter-School Design Competition at the National Building Museum. The students represent the Washington area’s four accredited architecture programs: The Catholic University of America, Howard University, the University of Maryland at College Park, and Virginia Tech’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Center. Each of the ten teams will include one student from each university.

The competition jury will be headed by Bing Thom, whose design for the renovation of the Arena Stage renovation is currently under construction.

The 2009 program is a Site for Play: A Temporary Pre-Fabricated Urban Theatre on a Permanent Site.  The selected site is the Sylvan Theater on the National Mall. The existing Theater, a wooden structure the National Park Service has proposed to restore or redevelop, is located southeast of the Washington Monument at 15th Street and Independence Avenue.

The day-long competition will be held in the Great Hall of the National Building Museum. The competition program was written by Barbara Laurie, AIA, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture & Design at Howard University. In addition to Thom, jurors include Tom Luebke from the Commission of Fine Arts, Peter May representing the National Park Service, and John Crew from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The award ceremony will take place on September 15th at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, followed by a Spotlight on Design lecture by Thom. For more information on the lecture, visit the Building Museum website.

The public is encouraged to stop by the Building Museum and watch the actual design competition between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, and to attend the awards ceremony at the Martin Luther King Library on Tuesday at 5 p.m. Following the awards, there will be a public reception from 5:30 to 6:30 followed by the Spotlight on Design talk.

The Inter-School Design Competition is an annual event that provides architecture and landscape architecture students an opportunity to work side-by-side with their fellow students from other universities. For over a decade, the competition has celebrated an unusual coalition of architecture schools, local professionals, and cultural institutions.  With support from the local chapters of the American Institute of Architects, local architectural firms, the Washington Architectural Foundation, and the National Building Museum, this event has provided a weekend of fun and creativity where students can learn, debate, create and collaborate. This year, several new players are collaborating in the 2009 ISDC, including the National Coalition to Save Our Mall and the Committee of 100 on the Federal City.