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AIAS and Kawneer Announce Third Annual National Student Design Competition Winners

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1st Place Winning Entry

15 January, 2009

Future Leaders in Architecture Design a Library for the 21st Century with LEED Certification in Mind


WASHINGTON and NORCROSS, GA – The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and Kawneer Company, Inc. announce the winners of the third annual national student design competition. The competition, sponsored by Kawneer and administered by AIAS, challenged students to learn about building materials, specifically architectural aluminum building products and systems, in the design of a library. The University of New Mexico’s Mark Paz was awarded first place and $2,500 for his unique design, “The Ocotillo Branch Library.” The competition had 441 registrations for the competition, making it the largest AIAS student design competition in over 20 years.


Participants were required to research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing a library for the 21st Century that serves the selected site and community. They were also challenged to design a facility utilizing the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building standards. Competition objectives included developing knowledge about materials, products and installation that can help earn LEED certification points, as well as creating a facility that looks to the needs of the community. Throughout the competition students utilized Kawneer products in original ways including sun shading on storefront systems and curtain walls. Submissions were evaluated based on ingenuity and originality, as well as appropriate use of sustainable products and design clarity.


Three winning designs and three honorable mentions were selected by the competition’s jury. The winning projects will be featured at the 2009 AIA Convention and Design Exposition in San Francisco, April 30 – May 2, 2009 and will be published in the Spring 2009 issue of Crit, the Journal of the AIAS. In addition, the AIAS chapter at each school will also receive a cash grant.


The prizes were awarded as follows:

Mark Paz - University of New Mexico, “The Ocotillo Branch Library”

First Place ($2500)

Paz’s unique design combined the best of previous libraries with the new spatial concepts of today’s modern buildings. The majority of the design featured the sustainable component of sun shading, which demonstrated the flexible nature of architectural aluminum systems and provided a pleasing aesthetic and functional way to protect books from harmful solar rays. 


Matthew Kusar - Arizona State University, “Monsoon Library”

Second Place ($1500)

The integration of nature throughout this unconventional design provided an open and inviting feeling for visitors and allowed for interesting interactions with the books and the building itself. In addition, the use of aluminum throughout the building provided a new way to look at a standard material.  


Justin S. Thompson - North Dakota State University, “A New Boerne Library”

Third Place ($750)

With its creative use of angled window shades as architectural vertical blinds throughout the entire façade, this design incorporated numerous energy efficient elements. Jurors commented on the building’s classical style and proportions, as well as the open floor plan, which helped this building to feel inviting and comfortable.


The jury awarded Honorable Mentions ($500) to the following: Adam Wagoner (Kansas State University – “Kansas City Mediatheque”), Giuseppe Giuliano (Arizona State University  “A 21st Century Library”) and Ki Myung Kim, University of Pennsylvania – “Hollywood Film Library”).


Winning projects can be viewed on the AIAS Web site at  For more information on AIAS, please visit  For more information on Kawneer, please visit

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