The competition included beginner, advanced and group projects. From the entries, judges selected a pool of finalists and winners who showcased their work at an event held in late April at Georgia Tech.
“Over the years, the work has gotten better and better,” said Welty. “It’s been very exciting to see the sophistication with which they think about architecture as more than just solving a problem; it’s creating a sense of place.”
That was the goal Chattahoochee High senior Robert Hunter successfully met with his design, which took top honors in the advanced individual category and earned the Johns Creek resident a $1,200 scholarship toward his studies at Columbia University this fall.
“My concept had a central observatory tower that was the first thing to greet you,” he explained. “I was intrigued by a sense of discovery – that as you walk up to the building you get different views. I tried to do a very organic form for the building to integrate it with the site.”
This year marked the fourth time Hunter competed in the contest; in his second year, he earned an honorable mention, and last year, he took third place. He credits his school’s art program for many of the skills he called upon to win.
“I’ve only had one architectural drafting class in high school, but I did have art all four years that definitely helped me a lot with the basics of drawing, perspective and visualizing different forms,” he said.
Welty and his colleagues also make sure students interested in studying architecture know about local options. “We have great schools here – Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech and SCAD – that have pathways into the profession,” he said. “The competition is a great way to expose these younger people to consider it as a career.”
More information is online at aiaatl.org.
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Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-744-3042.