College of Architecture Students Recognized at Central States AIA Awards

College of Architecture Students Recognized at Central States AIA Awards

By Kerry McCullough

October 12, 2020

Sheridan County Fairgrounds 4H Campus

Professor Jeffrey L. Day, FAIA and the fall 2019 FACT studio are among the honorees at this year’s AIA Central States Region Design Excellence Awards Celebration earning a Merit Award for their project “Sheridan County Fairgrounds 4H Campus” held September 25 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Their submission was an outgrowth of FACT’s spring 2018 project with the Sandhills Institute in nearby Rushville, Nebraska. The studio’s project partner, the Sheridan County 4H Foundation, sought a master plan with new and repurposed buildings to replace disconnected existing structures in disrepair. The goal for phase one, completed in 2020, was to produce a detailed design proposal to assist the 4H Foundation in refining the project scope, forming a clear vision for the fairgrounds and producing materials to support fundraising and development.

Although the 2019 studio has ended, FACT interns are working with Actual Architecture Co. to advance the project and assist the 4H Foundation in realizing the project.

“We look forward to continuing to develop this project and increasing its impact,” said Day.

Representing a cross-disciplinary collaboration of master of architecture students and undergraduates from architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, the team comprised of Ashley Glesinger, Paige Haskett, Jerry Philbin and Andres Villegas.

As Day explains, so often culture and the built environment are ignored and overlooked in rural communities. Projects like the 4H Foundation collaboration give students an opportunity to invert commonly held misconceptions that the urban setting is the center of culture while rural areas are simply supporting hinterland.

Day, program administrators and the students are thrilled with the recognition.

“The AIA Central States Region award affirms our goals for the FACT studio, where students work in cross-disciplinary teams to co-design a project with faculty,” said Day. “The award demonstrates that our collaborative approach yields design proposals that hold their own among the best architects in the region.” “It’s so exciting to see the 4H Foundation project get recognition outside of the college,” said master of architecture student Ashley Glesinger. “The award is testament to the relevancy and importance of the issues addressed by the studio and our Sheridan County collaborators.”

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Professor Day and the FACT students,” said Architecture Program Director David Karle. “The award-winning design/build studios in the College of Architecture are more than just projects. They are tools for our students to collaboratively engage communities and partners to realize a spatial design.”

The AIA Central States Region Design Excellence Awards Celebration is an annual event that recognizes outstanding regional architecture from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The AIA Design Excellence Awards have been developed to encourage and recognize excellence in architecture, to elevate public awareness and to recognize the architects, consultants, contractors and owners whose efforts enhance the built environment.

Entries were judged based on a variety of features, including unique design, originality, extended use attributes, sustainability and use of environmental surroundings.