The results are in… We are Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winners!

Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner and Top 5 Finalist!

Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner and Top 5 Finalist!

We have been been honored with the Popular Choice Award for Architizer A+ Awards’ Student Design-Build category by you: our members, alumni, colleagues, friends, family, and partners! Check out our project profile on Architizer.com.

Schoolhouse South Africa's Armadillo Créche design in the background, as seen from the vegetable garden

Schoolhouse South Africa’s Armadillo Créche design in the background, as seen from the vegetable garden. The garden provides food for the children’s daily lunches.

The Architizer A+ Awards is a venue for the year’s most prominent, innovative architecture projects around the world. Did you know that there were entries from 100 countries? This year, over 150,000 votes were cast… and we won the Popular Choice Award!

Who or what is the Architizer A+ Awards?

Architizer, the world’s largest and fastest growing website for architecture launched the definitive architectural award program with 50+ categories and over 200 jurors. The Architizer A+ Awards received entries from a 100 countries and represents the best of architecture and design worldwide.

Who were the judges and how was it judged?

Winners are chosen by our illustrious jury including such industry luminaries as Charles Renfro, Bjarke Ingels and Tom Kundig, as well as people from beyond architecture like Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos), Yves Behar (Fuseproject), John Edelman (CEO, Design Within Reach), Cameron Sinclair (Architecture for Humanity) and Barry Bergdoll (MoMA).

Winners are selected for recognition based on excellence in the following criteria: Form, Function, Innovation, Intent, Reality

First, we were selected out of the thousands of projects that were submitted to be one of the Top 5 Finalists for the Student Design-Build category. Then, the Popular Choice Award was awarded based on public voting that began February 14, 2013 and ended March 8, 2013.

What did we win?

We have been selected as a Popular Choice Winner, and two representatives for CUSD will attend a red carpet gala in New York City on May 16th, where we’ll get to rub elbows with the industry’s foremost professionals, luminaries and celebrities.

Sneak peek of the Architizer A+ Awards trophy by Snarkitecture

Sneak peek of the Architizer A+ Awards trophy by Snarkitecture

Additionally, we have won a beautifully-designed statuette trophy by Snarkitecture. Find out more about this trophy on Architizer.

Finally, as an Architizer A+ Award recipient, our work will also be featured on Architizer.com and publicized by our partners.

Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner and Top 5 Finalist!

An overview of the Armadillo Créche design from the conservation site adjacent to the school.

What does this award mean for CUSD?

Here are a few words from Architizer, “Now more than ever, the value of architecture is crucial for every city and nation around the globe. As an A+ Award recipient, your work exemplifies excellence in the industry, which you’ll be able to share with your clients and colleagues.”

More importantly, for us, this victory reaffirms enthusiasm and support for hands-on design-build projects that focus on resilient design and collaboration. All of us in CUSD are truly grateful and honored for your support and enthusiasm from the project’s inception to this award.

We are starting new, exciting projects this semester based locally and beyond. Find out more on our main webpage at http://cusd.cornell.edu or our Facebook page!

With much gratitude,
Cornell University Sustainable Design Team

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“Armadillo Creche” is an Architizer A+ Awards Top 5 Finalist

Hello and howzit!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for continued support!

We are excited to announce that the Schoolhouse South Africa project, featuring Andrew Fu (B. Arch ’14)’s “Armadillo Creche” design, has been selected as a finalist in the Architizer A+Awards! Please support our project by voting at the below link (or click on the image!). Forward widely!!! Thank you and happy voting!

"Armadillo Creche" design is an Architizer A+ Awards Top 5 Finalist!

Go vote for us now at
http://awards.architizer.com/public/voting/?cid=32
and show your support for the project!

The school was constructed by a team of Cornell student volunteers and local construction workers in 2011 and has become a model for Early Childhood Development Center in South Africa. It is now in full operation as “Thingo Kids School,” run by Play-With-A-Purpose, providing classrooms for over 80 children (Thingo means rainbow in a local dialect).

Architizer A+ Awards Submission Boards (Sneak Peak)

Architizer A+ Awards Submission Boards (Sneak Peak)

Architizer A+ Awards Submission Boards (Sneak Peak)

Architizer A+ Awards Submission Boards (Sneak Peak)

Download our full submission boards (.pdf) here!

Submission was compiled by Fu and Chi-Chi Lin (B. Arch ’13) with help from Shuping Liu (B. Arch ’14) and additional support from Jorge Cuervo Manrique (B.S. ’12), Carly Dean (B. Arch ’14), Jonathan Leape (B.S. ’11), Jesse McElwain (B.S. ’14), Stephanie Gitto (B. Arch ’14), Barry Beagen (B.S. ’11, M. Arch ’14), Mary Bray Erickson (B. Arch ’14), Thomas Shouler (B. Arch ’14), Peter Gudonis (B. Arch ’14), Lily Simon (B. Arch ’14), Nick Cassab (B. Arch ’14), Levi Schoenfeld (B.S. ’15), Kristen Archibald (B.S. ’13).

Vote for us NOW for the Architizer A+ Awards!

Go vote for us now at
http://awards.architizer.com/public/voting/?cid=32
and show your support for the project!

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Surprise Visit to the School

Two months ago, Jon Leape (our student on-site project manager) sent me an email filled with photos from a surprise visit to the school. His dad paid the school a visit on whim and without warning to see what a candid, real every-day experience at the school is like.

An expansive view from our edible garden

Classroom in session- look at how bright it is!

Children having a snack outside

After showing these pictures to some of the team leaders, I received this question from one of our supporters: “What kind of school is it? Is it private? Is it public?”

Continue reading

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Cornell Right Now! in Durban, South Africa

Kai speaking at "Planning Africa 2012" conference in Durban, South Africa

Kai speaking at “Planning Africa 2012″ conference in Durban, South Africa

Cornell just chose to highlight us in their Cornell Right Now! series on all their social media outlets: CUSD students Barry Beagen ’11 and Kai Keane ’14 are currently in Durban, South Africa presenting CUSD’s project to the South African Planning Institute’s “Planning Africa 2012″ conference. They are speaking about the Schoolhouse South Africa project and will present about the Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua initiative for feedback.

Woot woot!

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All Good News Come in Threes

Wow, I can’t believe another summer has passed, another summer of adventure comes to an end. (Or winter, if you’re in the Southern hemisphere!) August has always been a month of bittersweet emotions for me. I don’t want to leave my summer activity or project or internship, but I’m also eager to pick my classes and be back on campus.

I’ve learned that no project truly ends once you get on the plane and head home, though. I’m curious- what will my efforts lead to? So, I keep in touch. I follow the project on Facebook or Twitter (speaking of, why don’t you follow CUSD on Twitter or find us on Facebook?). I want to know how things have progressed. I’m sure, as supporters of Schoolhouse South Africa, it has been similarly exciting to see how your $10 donation has been stretched to the very last cent to ensure a great school for furthering education or how your company’s donation has been showcased at Thingo Kids.

Even better than the regular “thank yous” shout outs, are stories and recognition that catch us by surprise. Like when Dan Lu, selected as one of Cornell’s “extraordinary individual,” acknowledged CUSD’s influence on his undergraduate education. Or when Oupa, one of our volunteers from Justicia: Happy Home School, founded Swakoteka, a youth development program.

You know how some people say “all good things come in threes“? I’m a firm believer that all good news come in threes! Here are three updates that have come our way these few months. (Kudos to Robyn for these quick phone pics to show us what’s happening on their side of the pond!)

1. Fresh and Bright!
The cupboards and shelves at Thingo Kids are painted! Play-with-a-Purpose (PWAP), one of our partners, organized this initiative and Robyn from PWAP sent us these pictures. The shelves look very neat and spiffed up. (I’m also happy to see the walls now hung with children’s art and classwork!)

A more colorful classroom now that Play With A Purpose has added a fresh new coat of paint!

A more colorful classroom now that Play With A Purpose has added a fresh new coat of paint!

Freshly painted cupboards!

Freshly painted cupboards!

2. Virgin Atlantic and Food and Trees for Africa Celebrate Mandela Day with Us!
Virgin Atlantic (South Africa), one of our noble supporters, returned to pay it forward, ONCE AGAIN! On Mandela Day 2012 (that’s July 18), Virgin Atlantic, together with Food and Trees for Africa, planted up the vegetable garden with new stock and planted more trees. Robyn from PWAP has raved about the success of vegetable gardens at preschools—gardens teach children responsibilities and the stock is also used for delicious lunches. It must’ve been quite a feat to undertake during the South African winter. I saw pictures on Facebook recently of snow in Joburg, but this snapshot shows a sunny day and happy folks… must have been a triumphant day! Did you know, Virgin Atlantic actually closed their call center for a couple of hours to do their 67 minutes of service for Mandela Day 2012?

Virgin Atlantic and Food and Trees for Africa Celebrate with Thingo Kids!

Virgin Atlantic and Food and Trees for Africa Celebrate with Thingo Kids!

3. Your Name in Joburg!!
Our plaque has been manufactured and put up! I have been waiting to share this news until the plaque has been perfectly installed in the lobby entrance so everyone who enters the school will see your name. Big thank you, again, to Robyn, James and Linda (from Education Africa) for ensuring manufacturing and installation were executed perfectly. Stop by and spot your name! Send us a pic, and we’ll post it up!

Our plaque in the lobby of Thingo Kids!

Our plaque in the lobby of Thingo Kids!

Another Joburg winter may have ended, but your legacy in our project will live on. We want to continue to share with you the good news that comes our way. Share with us your thoughts or photographs. What good news have come your way this break?

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