The Twelfth Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2010
Berkeley Prize 2010

Aimee Sunny

"I believe that my passion for architecture and the art of building was sparked at a very young age. My father is an operating engineer, and throughout my childhood, dinner conversations were almost always linked to stories of his latest project. In school, I particularly loved both math and art; math for its rigid guidelines and structured equations and art as a tool for creative thought and expression. I chose to attend the University of Notre Dame's School of Architecture, primarily for its focus on traditional and classical architecture and urbanism. At the time, I thought these things important merely because of my love of the beauty of old buildings. During the course of my undergraduate education, however, I have come to realize that my attraction to the art of classical building actually springs from something much deeper than exterior beauty. There is a natural order to good classical buildings. The clarity of plan, properly distinguishing a hierarchy of spaces, and a separation yet interplay between the public and private realms all lead to a harmonious experience of the building. The same holds for the facade, with its sturdy base, elegant middle portion, and a finishing feature on top clearly reflecting the order of the human body. Also, as talk about sustainable architecture continues to grow, it is important to realize that classically designed and constructed buildings are the "original green" in architecture, as they are constructed of local materials and utilize low-energy processes for fabrication and construction.

It is this attraction to the classically beautiful and naturally sensible that has also fueled my interest in Historic Preservation. I was privileged enough to spend an entire year studying abroad in Rome, Italy and also traveling throughout Europe. I was struck by the importance that most European cities place on not only preserving, but actually reusing their buildings for contemporary purposes. This realization has led me to abandon the common perception that new is always better and work that others might realize the same.

Next fall, I will enter into the Master of Science in Historic Preservation program at Ball State University in order to further pursue my interests of preservation and sustainability in architecture."

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Ms. Aimee Sunny, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
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