60th Annual SPIRE Student Design Competition

Spring semester 2022 marked the sixtieth year that fourth year architecture students have participated in the SPIRE Energy Student Design Competition, a rite of passage originally known as the Alagasco Competition. A more recent tradition includes pairing this competition with the concept of the “integration studio,” the first point in the architectural curriculum where students are being challenged to address a broad spectrum of design considerations within a single studio, including knowledge gained from coursework in structures, environmental systems, and material assemblies.  The students were given a project site for a 60,000 square foot S.T.E.A.M magnet elementary school located on Maxwell Boulevard at the western edge of Montgomery, Alabama’s Riverfront District.

After final reviews, three students were selected from each of the five 4th Year studios led by APLA faculty David Hinson, Mark Blumberg, Ernesto Bilbao, Jennifer Pindyck, and Randal Vaughan. The student finalists presented their projects via Zoom to a panel of practitioners drawn from across the country including Amy Leathers, Houser Walker, Atlanta, GA; Rachael Auerbach, Mahlum, Portland, OR; Tom Chung, Leers Weinzapfel, Boston, MA; Martin Haettasch, Lecturer, UT-Austin SOA, Austin, TX; Nora Yoo, Nashville Planning Department, Nashville, TN.

“We are grateful for the wonderful legacy of support from SPIRE. This studio is a very important milestone for every Auburn architecture student, and partnerships like this play an important role in supporting high-impact learning experiences. We are so proud of the students and very pleased with the work they’ve done,” said David Hinson.

Competition results were as follows:
1st Place:
Meagan Mitchell
2nd Place:
Matt Repsher
3rd Place:
Wentao Zhu

Honorable Mention:
James Foo
Juyeon Han
Licheng Huang