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Cronkite School Wins International Architecture Award

July 20, 2010
Cronkite building
Photo by Bill Timmerman.

The Cronkite School building has been awarded an International Architecture Award, Arizona State University announced.

The International Architecture Awards are conferred on the world’s most significant new buildings and urban or landscape developments by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design in conjunction with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

The Cronkite building was one of 95 buildings and urban planning projects from 38 nations, and one of three buildings affiliated with U.S. institutions of higher education, to be recognized in the 2010 awards. The building houses the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Eight/KAET, the ASU-operated PBS station.

The contest honored a range of building types, including corporate offices, cultural sites, universities, industrial facilities and private homes.

Building architect Steven Ehrlich of Ehrlich Architects said it was an honor for the Cronkite building to be among those recognized.

“This is a very prestigious awards program because it’s really global,” Ehrlich said. “It’s always nice to see how a group of international jurors perceives our building.”

Ehrlich said the building fits into the urban fabric of downtown Phoenix.

“It’s not an isolated building on a campus that is sort of its own enclave,” Ehrlich said. “The building actually has a global viewpoint itself.”

Ehrlich said the contemporary, LEED-silver-certified Cronkite School building was designed to reinforce how communication is celebrated, in all its forms.

Inside, the space’s flexible, three-dimensional spatial environment allows connectivity in multiple forms, both through its technology capabilities and in the interpersonal space created by the First Amendment Forum at the building’s core.

“I think that becomes in a way the heart of the building, and it’s where, although there’s all this technological connectivity, there’s still the connectivity of people with each other,” Ehrlich said.

Christopher Callahan, dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the school was proud to be housed in an exemplar of contemporary urban design and planning.

“Steven Ehrlich is known globally for bold designs that are striking and compelling, but also amazingly functional,” Callahan said. “This is yet another recognition of the magnificent design gifts of Steven, his colleague Mathew Chaney and the entire Ehrlich team. We were so fortunate to have Ehrlich Architects bring our vision of the 21st century digital media complex to life.”

A jury of Mexican architects affiliated with the Colegio de Arquitectos de la Ciudad de Mexico, Sociedad de Arquitectos Mexicanos chose the winners from hundreds of entries.

The awards will be presented and exhibited at The City and The World conference to be held in Spain, Nov. 4-7, 2010. Following that, the awards exhibition will tour Europe and the United States.