Two Duvall Decker projects honored with Gulf States Awards

June 25th, 2013 Comments Off

(from Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.)

Jackson architectural firm Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. took home two top regional design awards during the American Institute of Architects Gulf States Region Design Awards ceremony in Denver, Colo. The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center at Tougloo College and the Oak Ridge House in Jackson were the only projects from Mississippi to be honored in the the regional program this year.

Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center, Tougaloo College (Photo Credit: Timothy Hursley)

Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center, Tougaloo College (Photo Credit: Timothy Hursley)

The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center at Tougaloo College received an AIA Gulf States Honor Citation. The 27,000 square foot academic facility is a key project of the college’s master plan, which restores the spatial enclosure of the campus center, houses an art gallery, archive, lecture hall, classrooms, conference center and an on-campus office for Congressman Thompson.  Award jurors remarked the project “is a noble building that is well integrated with the campus,” and utilizes a “very effective site strategy that reinforces the campus form and structure.”

Oak Ridge House, Jackson (Photo Credit: Timothy Hursley)

Oak Ridge House, Jackson (Photo Credit: Timothy Hursley)

The Oak Ridge House was recognized with an AIA Gulf States Honor Award, the program’s top honor.  This private residence was designed to meet individual needs while encouraging the family to be together, to take advantage of Mississippi’s wonderful environment, to interact with friends and family, to have a private respite, to work at home, to be healthy and to be energy efficient.  This single family, three-bedroom home, with open living/dining space and detached screen porch and pool, is shaped to draw the outdoors in and lure the family outside.  The design comfortably accommodates daily living patterns and is durable and ecologically sensitive. Jurors identified this project as a “home of dignity and grace that is achieved in an understated way without a sense of struggling.” They noted that the home’s interiors are “spacious and simply have a delightful ‘southern-air’ about them.”

The professional Charleston, S.C., area jury awarded 16 projects selected from 120 entries, all from the five-state Gulf States region (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee).  The jurors noted that architects practicing in the region have similar sensibilities about culture and place, which they see as exciting and challenging opportunities to explore that culture and sense of place.

Anne Marie Decker is a 1994 graduate from the MSU School of Architecture.

Duvall Decker Architects earns national recognition

June 20th, 2013 Comments Off

south facade of the Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building design by Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. | Photo Credit: Mark Howell

South facade of the Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building designed by Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. | Photo Credit: Mark Howell

(from Duvall Decker Architects, P.A.)

Designed by Jackson architectural firm Duvall Decker Architects, P.A., the Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building on the Jackson Campus of Hinds Community College has been recognized with an AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) Award of Excellence. The award honors educational facilities that the jury believes should serve as an example of a superb place in which to learn, furthering the client’s mission, goals and educational program while demonstrating excellence in architectural design.

As one of seven projects chosen from 80 submissions, the project was reviewed by a panel of prominent professionals specializing in educational facility design.

Jurors commented, “(t)his simple and honest building with strong forms and an elegant façade shows that a few simple gestures can render a sense of identity to an otherwise nondescript campus. The rigorous use of materials, straightforward detailing and clarity of concept elevates the modest program to a new level. The jury admired the light, airy classrooms that combined the translucent, transparent, fixed and operable glazing.”

Jurors noted that all of the winning projects “exemplify innovation through the client’s educational goals through responsive and responsible programming, planning and design. Function and surrounding regional and community context are valued as part of the planning and design process. In addition, connection to the site, surrounding campus, community and environment are evident in the design solutions.”

The building is on the Academic/Technical Center campus, one of six campuses of Hinds Community College, the largest community college in the state of Mississippi. Upon notification of the award, college president, Dr. Clyde Muse said, “I’ve never seen an architect get so much character out of a rectangle.”

The 2013 CAE Awards will be presented at a special reception during the AIA National Convention on June 20th, 2013, in Denver, Colo. Anne Marie Decker, a 1994 graduate from the MSU School of Architecture, will accept the award.

 Additional recognition
American-Architects is taking a state-by-state look at architecture in the United States for its 2013 Building of the Week feature. The e-magazine will present one recent project from each state in alphabetical order, from Alabama to Wyoming. Projects will be added every Monday for 50 weeks.

The Jobie L. Martin Classroom Building is the project chosen to represent Mississippi.

Click here to read the full email interview conducted by John Hill with American-Architects about the featured building.

CAAD study abroad class well underway

June 11th, 2013 Comments Off

Students sketch in Florence, Italy (photo by Hans Herrmann)

Students sketch in Florence, Italy (photo by Hans Herrmann)

CAAD study abroad: Villa Rotunda - Vicenza, Italy (photo by Michele Herrmann)

CAAD study abroad: Villa Rotunda – Vicenza, Italy (photo by Michele Herrmann)

A group from the College of Architecture, Art and Design is currently working to complete six credit hours during a five-week summer study abroad (May 26-June 29).

The group, taught by professors Michele Herrmann and Hans Herrmann, is studying historical and contemporary development patters in “Place Making – A Comparison of European and American Communities.” They are also developing and improving their drawing skills in “Analytical Drawing.”

The group will visit Rome, Florence and Vicenza, Italy; and Vienna, Austria. They will also have time for independent travel.

Click here for more information about the summer study abroad courses offered by the College of Architecture, Art and Design.


Design Discovery Camp featured on WCBI News

June 10th, 2013 Comments Off

Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 8.54.36 AM

Design Discovery Camp is currently in session (June 7 – 14). Click here to follow the blog and see what campers are doing each day.

The group was recently featured on WCBI. Watch the video!

(WCBI) STARKVILLE – Do you have what it takes to become an architect? That’s what high school students at Mississippi State are finding out this week at Design Discovery Camp.

Mississippi State offers the most advanced architecture degree in the state. Hundreds of bright and talented students participate in the program every year in hopes of graduating as a professional architect. The MSU Design Discovery Camp helps high school students decide if this is the dream they want to pursue.

“I’m trying to decide between architecture and actually going to a national art school,” said high school graduate Clay Stocker.
“They actually do projects that we do in school. It really gives them a good idea to see is this really something that I want to do,” said Danielle Glass, an architecture student at MSU.

Projects for this weeks camp include making a cardboard chair, drawing classes, and creating models of Starkville’s Cotton District.
An architecture degree at Mississippi State requires a rigorous 5 year program. Professors say it’s not uncommon to have students come in completely unaware of all the work architecture entails. The summer Design Program gives students a real idea of what their college experience might look like.

“It helps us out a lot that we don’t have students coming in and they hang around for a couple years and they are miserable and then they change majors. It gives them an idea of what studio is like. Because studio learning in architecture is different from a normal classroom,” said faculty adviser Justin Taylor.

Design Discovery does more than expose high schoolers to the pressure of architecture school. The program is designed to provided a more well rounded view of architecture as an art form.

“A lot of people don’t really understand what architecture is. They have it in their mind we built this, it’s in this little box. And it’s a lot more than that,” said Glass.

“You can design whatever you really want to. You can make whatever you want to and you can be your own unique person and express yourself through your architecture and artwork,” said Stocker.

Mississippi States faculty estimates that this is Design Discovery’s 25th anniversary.

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