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CAPPA Cafe and Gallery Competition Winners

August 28, 2015

Following a jury presentation and selection process, the winners of the CAPPA Cafe and Gallery Design Competition were announced yesterday, at a reception held in the space where the Café and Gallery will be constructed. First place was awarded $1,000, second place received $500, and two honorable mentions were awarded $250 each. Two additional submissions were selected for special commendation and discussion.

The competition was sponsored by the Construction Specifications Institute Dallas Chapter (CSI Dallas).

The winning entries:

(click images to open high resolution versions)


First Place - Hoang Le (Arch 4th year)

A place where the new CAPPA community and others will consider as the most welcoming and interesting place to gather, eat, and study should be a place where is no boundary between inside and outside. The new cafe and gallery will be a place for the unlimited imaginary. Designed with a concern about the connection of the CAPPA Cafe and Gallery, the main idea throughout the concept is create an undulating glowing ceiling system to blur the definition between these two spaces and on the other hand, provide an inviting environment for the CAPPA people and guests. The courtyard is transformed to a curvilinear form patio blended with the greenery to create the most attractive space for many others activities which will share this public space as a home of joyfulness and imagination. The specific form of the design also represents the most natural possible shape in order to provide the continual flow for those who want to visit and enjoy a new experience in the CAPPA Cafe and Gallery.



Second Place - Kristin Schieffer (M.Arch 2nd year), Elizabeth Hurtado (M.Arch 3rd year)

Ebb & Flow interprets the rhythmic play of people moving through time and space both in plan and section.

Panels, suspended from an exposed ceiling, modulate strategically to activate the room below with the addition of drop down screens, sound reflectors and absorbers, and various modes of lighting. On the wall mirroring the picture windows, a long backlit glass case displays student and faculty work to promote discussion and directly experience the creative flow. At the far end of the cafe, the kitchen acts as an anchor, drawing visitors into the room. A datum line, composed of the CAPPA logo and drawn along the perimeter walk, unifies the configuration of elements while branding and promoting the school.

This reconfigured space now puts on display, and mimics, the comings and goings of students, faculty and visitors in various states of movement, contemplation, or conversation.

honorable mention

Honorable Mention - Talia X. Rueda (Architecture 4th year)

Versatilis' open-ended design allows the space and its components to adjust, not only serving as the CAPPA Cafe but also as a multifunctional space for the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs. The tables and seating fold in and out from the wall providing versatile accommodations for sitting, relaxing, working, and collaborating for individuals or larger groups, satisfying a variety of situations and needs. The counter, consisting of various pieces, creates a flexible arrangement and use of the furniture. The hanging installations serve as lighting as well as shelves to perform a variety of uses such as exhibiting students' work. Its individual components generate a constant functional transformation while the wooden strips adorning the ceiling and walls produce a topographical continuity within the site, connecting the inside space with the outside landscape. Versatilis: the CAPPA Cafe forms a dynamic, multifunctional public space and the jewel of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs.

honorable mention

Honorable Mention - Adan Ramos (M.Arch 2nd year), Cristina Hebert (M.Arch 2nd year), Yuan Zhang (M.Arch 2nd year)

The merging of the School of Architecture and the School of Urban and Public Affairs to create “CAPPA” represents a weaving of two entities, paralleling a woven concept to create the spatial zones in this project. The weaving symbolizes the characteristic of both schools through a system of ribbons that compartmentalizes different zones within the café. The ribbons are knotted at the entry seating area and work their way towards a different zone of versatile seating and stationary tables, ending at the café preparation zone. The ribbons are woven between each structural element of the project to spell out “CAPPA,” thus visually representing the woven element of the project and the two schools.

The space creates either a comfortable study environment or an inviting place to mingle and relax by utilizing adjustable seating that hinges off a fixed panel, thus creating multiple spatial zones. The weaving of the ribbon ultimately symbolizes the merger of the School of Architecture and the School of Urban and Public Affairs into “CAPPA.” The ribbons are multifunctional; they not only aesthetically enhance the space, but they also can be restrung and replaced along each of the fixed elements to create multiple spatial zones.

The light fixtures in the spatial zones will help illuminate the ribbons’ silk, creating an atmosphere basked in a relaxing blue color tone. A row of wall mounted television screens is incorporated along the long axis of the space to digitally display student work. Finally, the ribbons will weave from the interior to the exterior, creating one cohesive structure tying the indoor space with the outdoors, thus making the café more visible from the exterior.


Commendation - Lisa Artus (Architecture 4th year), Meg van Over (Architecture 4th year)

The concept development for the CAPPA Cafe + Pavilion focuses on the objective of fabricating a space originating from the CAPPA Building which would entice the general campus population to venture to and within the courtyard. This endeavor ultimately is achieved through a proposal that encourages visitors to make the step from simply being a consumer to becoming a vital and welcomed patron of the courtyard.

The program for the proposal aims to maintain the integrity of the pure space generated by the open landscape, and refrains from imposing on pivotal points of circulation. As a result, an extension of the CAPPA Cafe is placed on the mirroring side of the courtyard which not only promotes involvement and movement but also provides ample space.

The core concept serving as the engine to this idea is a recycling promotion scheme by the name of the “Donation Station.” The CAPPA “Donation Station” can be contributed to by anyone from the University or community with unwanted/spare/scrap architectural supplies. Those who donate will receive a free coffee on the house and when students recycle, they may select one item from the “Donation Station”, which is to be located in the CAPPA Pavilion.

Consequently, CAPPA gains exposure locally through advertising a unique reward system that would undoubtedly peak curiosity and garner significant attention. As a result, the Cafe + Pavilion become complementary entities of a nestled urban setting that integrates ecological responsibility, synergistic involvement, and a locale for the growth and exchange of ideas.


Commendation - Hunter Freeman (Architecture 3rd year), Victoria Cooper (Architecture 4th year), David Rader (Architecture 4th year)

Creating a more vibrant gathering place for West Campus was the overarching goal of this concept, with the CAPPA Café and West Mall courtyard being at the epicenter of development. The design strategy was to achieve maximum gains through minimal interventions. This is achieved in the Café by exposing architectural and structural elements, as well as overhead mechanical systems, which allows the Café to become an example for continued learning, and extends the curriculum of the building into the program of the new space. Key to the design was the promotion of sustainable habits through experience and practice, echoed in the practice of food sourcing, product design, and waste management. Reflective, bright materials were chosen in order to visually expand the boundaries of the space. Student work is displayed in lighted niches. Adding a frosted film to the existing windows serves to establish a barrier of privacy between pedestrians and patrons, while diffusing direct light into the Café. A band of untreated glass maintains sight lines to the courtyard from the Café interior; its height is set at eye level of a seated patron. A long communal table outside the Café allows seating to spill out into the courtyard, and fosters new interactions. A pergola extends over the table and provides renewed shade. Inside, a new gallery focuses on establishing a flexible exhibition space - using existing structural elements to establish frames for displaying student work, and utilizing relief zones and uninterrupted wall space at either end for larger works to be exhibited.