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52nd Annual Alagasco Competition

1st Place—Bruce Buescher

The Alagasco Competition is long-standing tradition at Auburn and an integral part of 4th year design studio. This year, students designed an Ambulatory Care Center in downtown Birmingham as a catalyst for civic health. Architects anticipate that the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will have broad influence on the design of healthcare facilities by extending the types of preventative services offered and increasing the scope of citizens with access to healthcare. The competition, “Studio: Urban Healthcare,” also introduced students to an underappreciated field of contemporary design; as the subject of a specialty practice, many other architects have forgotten that a healthcare facility is a building program filled with rich conceptual ideas and complex planning problems.

The studio was led by APLA faculty members Kevin Moore, Rebecca O’Neal Dagg, and Scott Finn, along with Adjunct Instructor Jeff Collins. Their efforts were complemented by four workshops led by licensed healthcare architects, structural engineers, urban planners and landscape architects. The practitioner workshops were funded via a NCARB Award, a national program to integrate architect practitioners into our design curriculum ( Based on this professional input, each student worked in a team to develop an urban master plan before developing individual designs for a “Super Clinic.” Patrick Davis, FAIA worked with the faculty to develop this realistic and detailed program including outpatient clinics and skilled nursing.

A panel of guest practitioners, each with extensive professional and educational experience, independently evaluated the projects over two days of presentations and discussions on December 5-6, 2013. The jury included Bob Farrow, Principal and Atlanta Office Director of HKS Architects; Rayford Law, founder of Rayford W Law Architecture+Planning, Boston; Ursula Emery McClure, Professor at LSU School of Architecture and principal of emerymcclure architecture; Francisco Javier “Paco” Rodríguez, Dean of Universldad de Puerto Rico School of Architecture and principal at r s v p architects; and Gregory Walker, partner at Houser Walker Architecture, Atlanta. Patrick Davis and James Scott, founder of codeaccess, attended the competition to answer detailed questions from the jurors about the program and code compliance.

The jury awarded three prizes: 1st Place—Bruce Buescher; 2nd Place—Stephen Bianchi; 3rd Place—Trent Tepool. Four honorable mentions were also announced: Dawson Bowers, Callie Eitzen, Nico Forlenza and Michael Lewandowski. Alagasco generously donated the prizes totaling $5000.

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