SoA Alums, Faculty, Students Win AIA Charlotte Awards

"Working Edge" design project
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Four student projects were recognized in the annual awards showcase.

Alumni, faculty, and students from the School of Architecture were well lauded at the 2020 Design and Service Awards ceremony held by the Charlotte chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Charlotte) on October 28. AIA Charlotte’s annual awards honor the achievements of exceptional AIA members and firms, recognizing the significant contributions made to the profession of architecture and to the larger community through the various levels of AIA membership.

Alumni Frank Debolt (Little Diversified Consulting) and Mike Romot (Clark Nexsen Charlotte) received the S. Scott Ferebee Service Award for their work in devising and managing the AIA Charlotte Mentoring Program.

Carol Bacon, who is both an alum (she received her Masters of Architecture from UNC Charlotte) and a part-time lecturer in the SoA, received the Emerging Professional of the Year Award. Bacon is an associate at ADW Architects and serves as a liaison for the School’s Integrated Path to Licensure Program (IPAL).

Alumna Catherine Monroe (The Housing Studio) received the Citizen Architect Award for her tireless advocacy for affordable housing. Learn more about her social impact work here.

Clark Nexsen Charlotte, where alumnus Jason Jones is Managing Principal, won the Firm of the Year Award.

In the Design Awards category, Citation Awards went to BB+M Architects (alumni Brian Bunce and Tripp Beacham) for the "Gama Goat" project at Camp North End in Charlotte and to The Housing Studio (alumni Chuck Travis, principal, and Alberto Cevallos) for the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum Annex in Greenville, S.C. Cluck Design Collaborative (alumni Kevin Kennedy and Chris Scorsone) received an Honor Award for the “Goodyear House”; Associate Professor of Architecture Marc Manack’s firm SILO AR+D received an Honor Award for the “Heads House”.

New to the Design and Service Awards this year was a student category, in which four SoA students were recognized for outstanding projects.

Student Citation Awards

Graduate students Nicole Avitabile and Pedro Piñera Rodriquez’s winning project, Working Edge, is a speculative office tower in Charlotte. The proposal, an assignment for the Fall 2019 Comprehensive Studio led by professors Kyoung-Hee Kim and Liz McCormick, challenges the spatial, environmental, and structural logic of the thin envelope office tower predominant in Uptown Charlotte, exploring the ecological possibilities of concrete as an alternative to steel and glass.

Working edge

Undergraduate student Sierra Grant’s project, Morpheus, is a combination of a boat workshop and history museum, inspired by Pacific Northwest Indian heritage and culture. Incorporating three canopy structures, Morpheus is a land forming building that progressively rises up with the slope of the land behind it. It was created for professor Peter Wong’s Third Year Studio.


Desert to Oasis by Stephen Grotz was a graduate studio project that investigated the Enderly Park neighborhood in west Charlotte and proposed to incorporate resources into modular community bus stop stations. Four distinct architectural modules responded to challenges to literacy, food access, electricity, and technology.

Oasis project

Student Honor Award

Piñera Rodriquez also received an Honor Award for VeganLabs, his diploma studio thesis, completed in Spring 2020 in professor Chris Jarrett's studio. VeganLabs challenges the emerging “Utopia in Practice” model, asking whether it can be harnessed to address contemporary ecological and social issues.


Architecture alumni were also big winners in the AIA North Carolina 2020 Design and Chapter Awards. Read more here.