EXHIBIT: Preservation as Provocation

Preservation as Provocation : 2007 ACSA International Architectural Design Student Competition

On view at:

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation
Avery Hall, 400 Level

June 4 - June 22, 2007

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is honored to present the winners of “Preservation as Provocation,” its 2007 international competition for architecture students. This is the first competition of its kind to focus on historic preservation as an integral part of achieving excellence in architectural design. The aim of this contest is to spur a broad rethinking of architectural pedagogy in light of the increased importance of historic preservation in today’s professional practice. Despite the fact that over one third of American architects’ business comes from work on existing buildings, historic preservation remains largely absent from architectural education. The winners of this competition demonstrate how knowledge of historic preservation can elevate design by encouraging thoughtful responses to the critical aesthetic, technical, cultural, political, economic, and climactic challenges of our times.

The design brief challenged students to rethink Eliel Saarinen’s 1942 Cranbrook Academy of Art, a National Historic Landmark located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, in light of the current and projected functional needs that the institution has for its museum, library and archives. Competition participants were asked to design a museum and library for the 21st century that could not be imagined without the Saarinen structures.

The three prize winners and one honorable mention were selected from among 185 individual and team submissions (a total of 740 boards representing 66 schools from around the world and approximately 400 student participants). The distinguished jury was composed by: Tod Williams, partner of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; Marja-Riitta Norri, architect and former director of the Finnish Architecture Museum; Martin Finio, principal of Christoff: Finio Architecture; and Jorge Otero-Pailos, professor of historic preservation at Columbia University and editor of the journal Future Anterior, who was also responsible for the competition brief.

The competition was organized by the American Institute of Architects Historic Resources Committee (AIA/HRC), funded by the National Center for Technology and Preservation and Technology Training (NCPTT), a unit of the National Park Service with additional sponsorship by DOCOMOMO US. Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation graciously hosted the competition jury.

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