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Catholic University of America

October 12, 2012

As in the previous four years, the School of Architecture & Planning at The Catholic University of America had a world-renown architect teaching a studio and lecturing at CUArch as part of our Walton Critic Program. Previous Walton Critics included Antoine Predock (2009), Craig Hartman (2010), and Juhani Pallasmaa (2011).

This year the Walton Critic and Professor in Residence was architect Alberto Campo Baeza. Campo Baeza is a Spanish architect internationally known for his luminous, simple yet nuanced, and always provocative architecture. His work is the result of a long, continuous, and disciplined investigation into the miracle of light in space. He has received extensive global recognition, including the Buenos Aires Biennial International Critic Prize (2009), the Eduardo Torroja Award (2005), the Venice Biennial (2000), and the Miami Gold Biennial Gold Medal (2000). Campo Baeza was also a selected candidate for The American Academy of Arts and Letters 2010 Architecture Award and a finalist in the 2011 Premio de Arquitectura Española. His built work, drawings, and ideas have been widely published in Spanish, English, Italian, French and Japanese. Campo Baeza has been a faculty member at the ETSAM-UPM in Madrid since 1976. On 09/12/12, Campo Baeza presented the lecture “Ineffable Architecture: Buliding Poetry by Thinking with Your Hands” at the Crough Center for Architectural Studies of The Catholic University of America. Additionally, on 09/19/12 7:00pm, Alberto Campo Baeza gave a lecture on his current work and reflections at the District Architecture Center (DAC) in downtown DC as part of the event “Architecture Week 2012” organized by the DAC. Please contact Director of the Sacred Spaces concentration Professor Julio Bermudez for more information.

The 2012 Summer Institute for Architecture (SIA) included several successful new initiatives including an Architectural Design Studio led by Ben Gilmartin (Diller Scofidio + Renfro); a Traveling Studio to NYC with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and Boston with Stoss LU; and a Design-Build Studio in Hopewell, Ohio. The Summer Institute also hosted a successful speaker series with Steve Vogel (University of Detroit Mercy); June Williamson (City College of New York); Billie Tsien (Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects); and Ben Gilmartin (Diller Scofidio + Renfro). A publication is currently in development with an anticipated January 2013 release date.

Each summer, the Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning conducts the Summer Institute for Architecture featuring numerous undergraduate and graduate level courses.  Among these are design studios and elective courses, including history of architecture, graphics, furniture design, theory, and computer-aided design/fabrication. Plans for the 2013 SIA include the NADAAA Design Studio (directed by Nader Tehrani) and a traveling studio to Los Angeles, CA. Please contact SIA Director Professor Julie Kim for more information.

Associate Professor Julio Bermudez received a grant to complete the second phase of his interdisciplinary neuroscience research of architecturally induced contemplation (done in collaboration with several researchers and departments of the University of Utah). Bermudez will be presenting two papers this Fall. The first work coauthored with Brandon Ro is entitled “Extraordinary Architectural Experiences: Comparative Study of Three Paradigmatic Cases of Sacred Space (The Pantheon, The Chartres Cathedral and the Chapel of Ronchamp) at the 2nd International Congress on Ambiances (Montreal, Canada). The second work “fMRI Study of Architecturally-Induced Contemplative States” will be presented at the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) 2012 Annual Conference (La Jolla, CA). In addition, professor Bermudez will travel this November to the University of San Juan in Argentina invited by the Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo to give a lecture entitled “Lo Cotidiano y lo Sagrado: Reflexiones desde el Arte y la Arquitectura” and teach the course “Philosophy in/of Architecture.”

As part of the AIA National Convention in Washington this past May, Associate Professor Eric J. Jenkins participated in the AIA Los Angeles and Broadcaster's multimedia guide to Washington, DC architecture. This smartphone application helps guide listeners to architectural sites accompanied by commentary from local architects and educators.

Assistant Professor Hollee Hitchcock Becker presented a paper in the Smart and Sustainable Building Environments Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil last June 2012. She also won a SASBE 2012 "Highly Commended Paper Award" for her work entitled "Sustainable, Affordable Housing using Locally-grown Bamboo".

Assistant Professor Carlos Reimers was invited to be part of the Network Session “The Search for Multi-Story Incremental Housing” organized by the MIT’s Special Interest Group in Urban Studies SIGUS and presented in the Sixth Session of the United Nations World Urban Forum in Naples, Italy in September 2012. Professor Reimers also presented a paper on alternatives for the manufactured housing industry entitled “Beyond the Trailer: Rethinking Affordable Manufactured Housing in the U.S.” in the ACSA Fall 2012 Conference in Philadelphia “Off Site”.

The Catholic University of America is pleased to announce four new faculty members:

Assistant Professor Patricia Andrasik has been teaching both studios and sustainability courses at the CUArch Master of Sustainable Design Program since 2004, while practicing at an international architectural firm, She teaches LEED(ing) Green; Sustainable Synergies in Building Assessment, and recently developed a course called LEED EB: O&M on the Crough Architectural Center at CUA tracking and metering utility consumption to improve sustainability. Patricia will be launching two new courses in lighting and environmental analytics next year. 

Assistant Professor Dr. Charles Hostovsky joined the Catholic University of America to teach in the Master of City and Regional Planning program. “Chuck” is a Registered Professional Planner in Canada, and taught for 15 years at the University of Toronto. He has published widely and won two teaching awards, including the 2011 Government of Canada award for teaching sustainability. In professional practice for 25 years and with an extensive portfolio of planning projects, he was one of the Project Managers that won the Canadian Institute of Planners award for planning excellence in Transportation and Infrastructure in 2011.

Assistant Professor of Practice John Nahra, is the owner and Principal of Nahra Architects. John has been an architect in the design and construction industry of the greater Washington, DC area for the past 10 years. He received his dual degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering at the Catholic University of America and is a member of the AIA, NCARB and the USGBC. John will be exploring the added value of architectural design in the real estate development process as well as serving as advisor in the Thesis program.

Visiting Assistant Professor David Dewane is an architect with Gensler.  In 2010 he founded Librii with seed funding from the World Bank Institute. The project aims to construct a network of digital libraries along Africa’s expanding fiber optic infrastructure. David trained at the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin, TX under renowned Pliny Fisk III and has a Master of Architecture from Rice University. He has held leadership positions on three teams in the U.S. DOE’s Solar Decathlon competition.

In the summer of 2009, the Catholic University of America Design Collaborative (CUAdc) was approached  by the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land with the special request to design four Hermitages on the Monastery grounds in Washington DC. A design studio led by CUAdc Director William Jelen AIA began work analyzing the site and the unique challenges and opportunities of the task. On the following Fall, two graduate studios led by professor George Martin and professor Lou Boza examined both the spiritual opportunities and the tectonic opportunities of a hermitage building. Finally in the Spring of 2010 as part of Catholic University’s Comprehensive Design Studio, Director Jelen led a 12 architecture student studio towards a singular design. This group known as Studio 12, designed what became the concept of the first Hermitage to be built. The design concept centered on the interplay and blending of the sacred and profane worlds as they pertain to an individual’s daily patterns, routines, and needs. The idea that each moment of ordinary daily life can be an opportunity for sacred appreciation and meditation, guided everything from the choice of natural materials and textures to the orientation of the unit itself facing East towards Jerusalem. The hermitage contains a sleeping area, kitchenette, and bathroom in approximately 350sf. The design incorporated sustainable site considerations, electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems including the use of natural ventilation. Through the choice of materials the design was meant to integrate into the existing historic campus. The first Hermitage is ADA compliant as well. The design for the project was awarded the 2010 AIA Unbuilt Award from the DC chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Work of the CUAdc has continued through the completion of construction on the interior design for the Hermitage including designing and fabricating a custom made chair, bed and desk for the Hermitage. For more information contact CUAdc Director William Jelen.

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