About the Design Scholarship Program

In the spring of 2011, the Greater Columbia Section of the American Institute of Architects put together the second annual student design scholarship program in conjunction with the Clemson School of Architecture. This program was first developed in 2010 as a way to recognize individual and/or group project achievements of the second-year architecture students. As an AIA Greater Columbia outreach and education initiative, the scholarship program serves to connect the professional architectural community in the greater Columbia area with the architectural education community at Clemson University.

Project Information

The site selected for this year’s program is a segment of the former Seaboard Air Line  railroad stretching from the corner of Lady Street and Lincoln Street to Finlay Park and Arsenal Hill. Over the course of a semester, students developed ideas and concepts to transform this section of the abandoned rail line. Five studio sections each developed separate design schemes incorporating the following four program components: Tunnel, Bridge, Bike/Shed, and Wayfinding. Final projects were judged by a jury consisted of AIA Greater Columbia members, city leaders, and local architects/landscape architects. The jury selected 4 components from the five studio sections to receive a scholarship award ($300 each) and 2 components received an honorable mention ($150 each).

Award Winners

Component Award – Garland Studio


Tunnel Component
Jury Comments:

The sunken amphitheater and exposed tunnel gallery creates a vibrant intervention along the tunnel artery and provides a viable node along the linkage between The Vista and Finlay Park. Circulation and accessibility is well executed through the dynamic use of ramps, stairs, and terracing.

Component Award – Nocella Studio


Bridge Component
Jury Comments:

This bridge solution served not only as a way to cross over (and under in this case), but as a creative extension of Finlay Park through the use of green space and shade canopies along the bridge path. The potential of this concept is very intriguing – similar to High Line in New York.

Component Award – Lee Studio


Tunnel Component
Jury Comments:

Using the constraints of the tunnel footprint, this solution effectively creates an animated space within the tunnel cavity through the use of a mezzanine level and multiple access points. The investigation natural light penetration and circulation informs the design.

Component Award – Garland Studio


Wayfinding Component
Jury Comments:

Signage design is bold and clear. The exploration of multiple functions (information, direction, education, and art) for signage is engaging.

Honorable Mention Mitchell Studio


Bike Component
Jury Comments:

The “connected community” concept utilizing iPods and shared database hubs introduces and intriguing interactive program element. This project demonstrates a creative approach to engaging the public and local community.

Honorable Mention Ault Studio


Tunnel Component
Jury Comments:

The analysis of circulation, parking, green space, and lighting were thorough and well developed.

Design Jury

Tripp Riley – AIA Greater Columbia/ Studio 2LR
Justin Abrams- AIA Greater Columbia/ Quackenbush Architects
Josh Boltinhouse – AIA Greater Columbia/Stevens & Wilkinson
Michael Wenzinger – AIA Greater Columbia/ Garvin Design Group
Cliff Spann – President of Arsenal Hill Neighborhood Association
Mark Cotterill – Landscape Architect with Grimball, Cotterill Associates, Inc.

Clemson Studio Leaders

Bo Garland
Dave Nocella
David Lee
Lauren Mitchell
Nicholas Ault