The Catholic University of America

Jan. 26, 2015

Architecture Studio Projects on Display at AIA DC Gallery

Student Designs on Historic Congressional Cemetery Focus on Architecture, Loss, Life, and Learning

  One team's design of Aedes Mortis, on display at the District Architecture Center (DAC).

Through Saturday, Feb. 7, the work of Catholic University architecture and planning students will be showcased at the District Architecture Center (DAC) SIGAL Gallery by the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA DC) and the Washington Architectural Foundation.

The exhibit, “Aedificium Memorarium + Aedes Mortis: Buildings of Memories/Houses of Death,” presents the work of students from Catholic University’s Comprehensive Building Design studio last spring.

Students in the studio class used Historic Congressional Cemetery as a theoretical site. Working in teams of three or four, the students designed  Aedificium Memorarium (buildings of memories) and Aedes Mortis (houses of death). In their designs, they focused on the emotional and spiritual dimensions of architecture, while also balancing the economical and functional requirements to build one of two buildings within the cemetery.

According to the exhibit description: “The Aedes Mortis confronts death, mourning and loss head-on. The Aedificium Memoriarum presents an interesting challenge for designers to extract the essence of the poetic and the spiritual, to celebrate the figurative and literal weight of the gravestones, to fulfill the expectations and requirements of the conservation labs, and to address its ‘front yard’ of the field of cemetery markers.”

Another design of Aedes Mortis, currently on display at the DAC.


On Wednesday, Feb. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DAC, four student teams will participate in “Between Memories and Making: A Panel Discussion on Loss, Life, and Learning.” Students in the teams will describe how each of their projects focuses on the emotional and spiritual dimensions of architecture expressed through color, light, materiality, and texture.

Award-winning scholars and architects will respond to the issues raised by the design proposals. Among those responding will be Julio Bermudez, associate professor of architecture and planning from CUA, and Mark McInturff, FAIA, CUA lecturer. The panel will be moderated by Julie Ju-Youn Kim, associate professor of architecture and planning, who coordinated the studio.

The exhibit is free, but registration is required. There is a fee for the panel discussion. Visit the AIA DC website for more information, or to register to attend the exhibit or panel discussion. The DAC is located at 421 7th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.  


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