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Auburn University

March 20, 2014

McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors were selected to be among the AD100, Architectural Digest magazine’s biennial list of the top talents in architecture and interior design. The new list was announced November 2013. McAlpine Tankersley Architecture was founded in Montgomery in 1983 and is the partnership of Alabama natives and Auburn School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (APLA) graduates Bobby McAlpine (’81), Greg Tankersley (’85), John Sease (’92) and Chris Tippett (’92).

Matthew Leavell, Project Director at Alabama Innovation Engine, was recently recognized in Birmingham magazine's Groundbreaker's series for his work with Engine on the Cahaba Blueway. Labeled by the Smithsonian as one of the top biologically diverse ecologies in the United States, Leavell, advocates that the Cahaba River is far more than a blue line that runs through the state, but has the potential to be a dynamic resource that can initiate economic development throughout the state in rural and urban communities.

APLA faculty (Professors Justin Miller, Robert Sproull and David Hinson) and the Alabama Association of Habitat Affiliates (AAHA) have been awarded second year funding of external grant which will support continued improvement in the quality of affordable housing in the state and affiliate training in best practices related to whole building performance. The state affiliates participating in the grant program, Green Home Alabama, will construct 16 Energy Star certified homes this upcoming spring and summer. The DESIGNhabitat program will be involved in the design of the two HERS 24 index homes, commonly referred to as a net zero ready home. Professors Miller and Sproull will lead this initiative, working with a team of undergraduate students this spring to design these net zero ready demonstration homes in close collaboration with the partner affiliates and future homeowners.

Rural Studio’s Newbern Town Hall was voted the 2014 Building of the Year in the category of Public Architecture by ArchDaily readers. From over 3,500 projects from around the world, its readership chose the best architecture in 14 categories. The Auburn student design team of Brett Bowers, David Frazier, Mallory Garrett and Zane Morgan worked with the Town of Newbern and its civic leaders to develop a formal gathering place for community functions. The Newbern Town Hall was completed in 2013 and, along with the Newbern Volunteer Fire Department (a 2005 Rural Studio Project), creates a civic space in Newbern, Alabama.

The Safe House Museum in Greensboro, Alabama was the Third Place winner in the public voting of World-architects eMagazine Building of the Year American-Architects 2013. The student team of Chris Currie, Cassandra Kellogg, and Candace Rimes restored the museum’s two existing shotgun houses and linked the buildings together. They also added a new gallery space for African-American art. The Safe House Museum is of great historical significance to the Civil Rights movement in Hale County, where once the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. sought refuge from the Ku Klux Klan.

The 2013–2014 Lecture Series of the Auburn University School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture is entitled Renegades + Outlaws: Design Thinking at the Edge.” The series is conceived as a way to consider perceptual outliers within the design profession and includes the following visiting lecturers:  Richard Weller – Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture, Martin and Margy Meyerson Chair of Urbanism, University of Pennsylvania; Gina Reichert – Founding Principal, Design 99; William O'Brien, Jr. – Founding Principal, WOJR; Jon Coddington – Professor and Head, Department of Architecture + Interiors, Drexel University; Liz Ogbu – Designer, Urbanist, Researcher, Social Innovation Strategist. For more information, please visit:

Charlene M. LeBleu, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, has been elected Vice President for Research of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) for 2014‒2016. As Vice President for Research, LeBleu will guide a national research agenda of developing areas of knowledge in landscape architecture including collaborating with related organizations in establishing research priorities. LeBleu will serve a two-year term from March 2014‒March 2016.

Rod Barnett, Chair of the Master of Landscape Architecture program, gave the Olmsted Lecture at the Harvard GSD in November 2013. His presentation, called Nonlinear Encounters, focused on aspects of his recent book Emergence in Landscape Architecture, which the publisher Routledge says is selling “brilliantly.” To view the lecture, please visit:

Maria Hines, a recent graduate of the Environmental Design program, and student in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at Auburn, had an article accepted in the Spring 2014 issue of AUJUS (The Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Design). 
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