The Catholic University of America

July 30, 2007

Two CUA Architecture Majors Win Design Competition

Students Will Return to Italy to Set Up Exhibit

Seniors (from left) Chris Evans and Matt DeLuca with David Shove-Brown (center), director of foreign programs for architecture and planning.

Last February, Catholic University students Chris Evans and Matt DeLuca said "Arrivederci!" to Cefalù, Italy, but next month they'll head back there as winners of a design competition sponsored by the seaside resort city and the School of Architecture and Planning.

The architecture and planning school has awarded each of the seniors $2,500 to pay for their trip to Cefalù on Aug. 12. There they'll help to set up an exhibit that will include their designs for hotels as well as the designs of 22 other CUA students. The students spent five days in Cefalù last winter, studying the small city and assessing its lodging needs, as part of CUA's study-abroad program in Rome.

During the students' winter visit to Cefalù, the city of 14,000 on the northern Sicilian coast was sleepy, says David Shove-Brown, director of foreign programs for the architecture and planning school. The few small hotels and private homes that provide rooms for tourists seemed adequate, he adds. But in the summer, Cefalù's population balloons, mostly with Italians on holiday.

The CUA students brought "fresh eyes" to the city's needs and, working with Cefalù officials, developed architectural plans for mixed-use sites that include hotels, cafes, bars and shops. Their plans will be on display as part of the exhibit at Cefalù City Hall, starting Aug. 15.

Evans, of New Britain, Pa., says the time spent in Cefalù, talking to residents and experiencing the culture firsthand, was invaluable in helping him develop his design. Evans, 21, created a hotel design that includes a wavelike entrance reflecting the city's location on the Tyrrhenian Sea and straight walls covered with the kind of vegetation that grows on the 1,000-foot hill behind the city.

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., DeLuca created a design for a 5-to-6-story hotel that he described as "a continuous form" where one room flows into the next and the meeting point of floor and ceiling is beveled rather than set at a 90-degree angle. "It's going to be interesting to stand back at the exhibit and see people's responses to what we've created," he says.


The School of Architecture and Planning at The Catholic University of America is the largest architecture school in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Students use the nation's capital as an architecture laboratory and design in an exciting studio environment on campus. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture preprofessional degree is awarded after four years of study, and the Master of Architecture professional degree is earned after two additional years. Foreign study experiences are offered as well as a joint degree program with the Department of Civil Engineering.