Five teams of third-year students were recognized with honors by guest reviewers for their final projects in the Spring 2023 Collaborative Studio, which included students and faculty from the School of Architecture and Department of Building Construction Science.
Some of the students were part of the PCI Foundation Studio, taught by School of Architecture Associate Professor Alexis Gregory, Architecture Studio Assistant Ryan Ashford, and Building Construction Science Instructor Briar Jones. These students worked on the design of a precast parking garage for the MSU Innovation Hub in downtown Starkville. The project included not only a parking garage for the Hub and downtown Starkville but also street-level retail and street improvements along Jackson Street and a public "connector" space between the existing Hub building and the new parking garage building. Some of the collaborative teams chose to create a public gathering space on the roof to provide much-needed event space in downtown Starkville. Students were required to develop sustainable strategies including rainwater collection and treatment, wastewater recycling and treatment, and renewable energy along with passive design strategies using solar and wind orientation and integration.
Another set of students – under School of Architecture Visiting Assistant Professor Diane Hays and Building Construction Science Instructor Briar Jones – worked with the Natchez National Park Service staff on the design of a memorial and interpretive center for the Forks of the Road Slave Market in Natchez, Mississippi, which was the second largest slave market in the Deep South. Park service staff asked student teams to conceive of a memorial to honor the 437,000 enslaved people who were sold at the market and to design an interpretive center to communicate an accurate history of plantation-era Mississippi. The historically designated 18-acre site is compromised of bisecting roadways, decades-long development, excessive erosion, challenging topography, and a few property owners who are resistant to selling. Each team was challenged to find an architectural expression that not only communicates the tragic story of enslavement but is site-responsive, functionally appropriate, resilient and sustainable using materials and assemblies to last 200 years. Practitioners from Gensler, SWA Group, Lake Flato, OJT and Unabridged Architects worked with student teams for half the semester to assist with conceptualizing, master-planning, programming, and designing the project components.
Guest reviewers at the final presentations selected the following honors: