News • February 23, 2021

CBU architecture students win top spots in design awards

CBU architecture students win top spots in design awardsAndriani Sugianto’s design earned first place.

Riverside, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2021) — Two architecture students from California Baptist University placed in the top two spots in the Student Design Awards held by the Coalition for Adequate School Housing.

Andriani Sugianto received first place and a $2,500 scholarship. Mady Bellanca placed second and received a $1,500 scholarship.

The students developed their entries as the main project in Design Studio V (ARC 410), said Caleb Walder, associate professor of architecture. In the course, the students designed proposals for a hypothetical elementary school near Fairmount Park in Riverside. The designs included ideas about the future of elementary education and explored ways to reduce the negative environmental impacts of architecture. Throughout the course, the students presented their projects to local architects who specialize in K-12 school design, Walder said.

Sugianto’s school design featured enhanced learning environments and high standards of sustainability. 

“I explored a variety of ideas deriving from my interpretation of the necessities of primary education,” said Sugianto, an architecture senior. “The design process was a challenging yet effective means to generate ideas for this project. It takes diligence, perseverance, iteration and a willingness to fail.”

Sugianto said she was grateful for receiving first place.

“The Lord has rewarded my dedication to this project and desire to glorify His name through it,” Sugianto said.

CBU architecture students win top spots in design awardsMady Bellanca’s design earned second place.

Bellanca, an architecture senior, said placing in the competition was a shock.

“Being able to come from a university that goes about design from a Christian perspective of design to showcase God’s work is a testament of how God is moving. I am honored to be a part of it,” Bellanca said.

Bellanca became interested in contemporary school design after being a Riverside middle school tutor and working in a portable classroom.

“That is when I started researching how to develop and design an efficient learning environment,” Bellanca said. “From the previous research that was done, I was able to start this project with a good idea of what an effective school should look and feel like. Many of my ideas came from my previous knowledge, but I also looked at what was and was not working in schools that are functioning now to learn from their successes and mistakes to further my design approach.”

This was the first time CBU students entered the competition, Walder said. The projects are judged by professional architects with experience in school design. As winners of the competition, the students and the CBU architecture program will be featured at the coalition’s annual conference this summer.

“Although the CBU architecture program is the most recently established program in Southern California, it was good to see the work of CBU students judged favorably against work from other programs,” Walder said.