AIAS and Kawneer Announce Fourth Annual National Student Design Competition Winners

March 4, 2010

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and Kawneer Company Inc. recently announced the winners of the fourth annual national student design competition. The competition, sponsored by Kawneer and administered by AIAS, challenged students to learn about building materials, specifically architectural aluminum building products and systems, in the design of a municipal courthouse. Ball State University's Eric Laine was awarded first place and $2,500 for his design, "Justice Center."

The competition received submissions from 46 different schools and universities throughout the United States, with at least 11 universities adopting the competition as a class project. Participants were required to research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing a municipal courthouse that embodied the surrounding community's history, religious and secular beliefs, and cultural differences. Additionally, participants were challenged to utilize green building principles throughout the design process, including consideration of the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building standards. Competition objectives included developing knowledge about materials, products and installation, as well as creating a secure facility that looks to fulfill the civic, cultural and service needs of the community - today and in the future.

Submissions were evaluated based on ingenuity and originality, as well as appropriate use of sustainable products and design clarity. The designer (or team) was able to select any site from one of five metropolitan areas across the U.S.: Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, San Diego or Washington.

Prizes were awarded as follows:

First Place: Eric Laine - Ball State University, "Justice Center"

Laine's design revealed a building that was not only iconic, but provided a real landmark feel for the City of Portland. His creative use of space and organization throughout the floor plan offered a combination of aesthetics and functionality. The courthouse incorporated Kawneer's 1600 Wall System® curtainwall, which was selected by Laine for its stability and flexibility. The curtainwall was modified to include horizontal louvers on all exposed southern glazing, designed to be deep enough to prohibit solar angles in the summer months yet shallow enough to allow the benefits of solar heat gain in the winter months.

Second Place: Hugh Bitzer - University of Oregon, "Visions of Justice"


With a vision of transparency, this innovative and "mature" design was inspired by the desire to expose and understand the judicial system. Using a range of Kawneer curtainwall and sunshade systems, Bitzer was able to create a dynamic outer skin that incorporated daylighting and sustainability.

Third place: Greg Hittler - Ball State University, "HeterogeneousStitching"

Non-traditional in its use of materials, this uniquely designed courthouse had a visual continuity that established its presence as a symbol of authority for the city. Hittler's design investigated the idea of curtainwall, combining heavy and light elements. Jurors commented on the mature feel of the space, as well as the circulation plan that demonstrated a level of creative investigation.

The jury awarded Honorable Mentions to Lauren Comes and James Moehring (Ball State University, "Portland Municipal Courthouse"), Kelly Goffiney (Ball State University, "Convergence") and Jessie Rabideau and Jonathon Meier (Ball State University, "Transformation").

The winning projects will be featured at the 2010 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Miami, June 10 - 12, 2010. The top three submissions will also be featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Crit, the Journal of the AIAS. In addition, the AIAS chapter at each school will receive a cash grant.

CLICK HERE to view the winning projects.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.