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Winners announced in Saint Xavier University architecture contest

University of Notre Dame students gain much from experience

Chicago (May 4, 2006) – Six students from the University of Notre Dame were recognized for their architectural designs for a new library at Saint Xavier University’s Chicago campus.

A panel of architects and faculty representing Saint Xavier University and the University of Notre Dame selected Notre Dame architecture students’ winning ideas after a recent daylong judging event at Saint Xavier University.

Chicago businessman and philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus sponsored stipends for the best ideas to emerge from the collaboration.

“Saint Xavier University was delighted to host this internationally renowned panel of architects, along with the faculty and students from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture,” said Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D., president of Saint Xavier University.

“The students offered fresh conceptual designs for a modern university library, and the winning designs are provocative. Saint Xavier University will bring forward the student designs to architects as we move ahead with our plans to one day bring a new library to our Chicago campus. We are grateful to Richard H. Driehaus for sponsoring this competition,” Dwyer said.

Winners were Lauren Richa, of Panama City, Panama, first prize; Michelle Lee, of Pampa, Texas, second prize; and Zachary Stewart, of Spokane, Wash., third prize. Honorable mentions were awarded to Thomas Lamontagne, of Whitinsville, Mass.; Eunryung Lee, of Seoul, South Korea; and Maria Isabel Gonzalez, of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The winners were selected by a jury made up of Dominick Hart, provost at Saint Xavier University; Leon Krier, architect and urban planner from France; Peter Gabrijelcic, dean at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; John Tittmann, architect with Albert, Righter and Tittman in Boston; and Richard Dober of Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates, and master planner of the Saint Xavier campus.

“The jury was made up of distinguished practitioners and scholars. The resulting discussion engaged both practical and philosophical issues with respect to the design of the library,” said Michael Lykoudis, dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame. “As a result, issues surfaced that we hope will be of use to both Saint Xavier University and our students, such as the character of the buildings and the long-term implications of the design with respect to Saint Xavier’s identity as it engages the 21st century and beyond.” 

In January, Notre Dame students visited Saint Xavier’s Chicago campus to meet with campus representatives and study site conditions and intended uses for current and future facilities. The site visit introduced students to the character of a modern urban campus with a strong presence in the local, and primarily residential, community. The students then generated ideas for the project.

“The competition was a wonderful event for our students. During the process of designing, they learned much about a real building program and the needs of a client that they will have to address in the future as professionals,” Lykoudis said. “The site for the library presented them with challenges of how one ought to design a building that faces a residential neighborhood while adding to an existing institutional context as well.”

Saint Xavier University is a private, coeducational institution serving more than 5,700 students with high-quality academic programs. It offers 36 undergraduate majors and 32 graduate program options in five schools: School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Graham School of Management, School of Nursing and School of Continuing and Professional Studies. With campuses in Chicago and Orland Park, the University offers personalized education that emphasizes challenging undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of study.

The University of Notre Dame School of Architecture has received much attention for its focus on classical architecture and urbanism. Faculty and students draw on the knowledge of history to understand and build a future that is at once more humane, functional and beautiful. The School also incorporates a diversity of perspectives and promotes dialogue between the academic and professional communities. 

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Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

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