RELEASE: Washington Architectural Foundation Announces Winners of 2017 Tritschler Prize

Washington Architectural Foundation


The Washington Architectural Foundation and Shalom Baranes Associates (SBA) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Tritschler Prize. Named in honor of Gerry Tritschler, AIA, a former Principal at SBA who spent his career focused on rehabilitating historic buildings, the prize seeks to encourage architecture programs throughout the United States to focus on relating modern design to a historic context. Tritschler passed away in 2015 after a brief battle with ALS. He saw each project as an opportunity for learning and growth. With modest manner and prodigious intellect, as well as unwavering optimism and integrity, he inspired a generation of colleagues to pursue excellence in their personal and professional endeavors. In honor of his legacy, and in deep affection for him, SBA has established the Tritschler Prize to recognize architecture students who have demonstrated a talent in combining modern design with historic context.  

Jennifer Garza and Elle Farias of the University of Texas at San Antonio received the top prize in the competition for their project: Stewardship of Assemblies. The jury praised their comprehensive and insightful analysis of the program and site. The jurists thought the “new architectural elements were elegant and developed with a light touch that contrasts well with the original stone walls.” In addition, the jury appreciated the comprehensive and well-integrated approach to sustainability, the sensitive integration of site features with nature, and their “brave embrace of sacred spaces.” Garza and Farias will intern at Shalom Baranes Associates this summer, and will receive $20,000 as a part of their prize.

Guangmao Xu, a Pennsylvania State University student, received a merit award for Anthenaeum Addition. The jury felt that the project had a well-developed relationship between the old and the new, and noted that the drawings were of very good technical ability. The jurists said the “interior spaces were well proportioned with a clear expression of the structure.”  In addition, they appreciated the floor plans because they were clear with a rational circulation. Xu receives $5,000 as his prize.

The winner’s will be officially announced at the annual Thing in the Spring event hosted by the Washington Architectural Foundation and the Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA|DC) on May 11.

About the Winners

Excellence Award Winners

Jennifer Garza is a native of Austin who is currently enrolled in a two-year Master of Architecture Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. With three years of professional experience at an architecture firm in Austin, TX she has developed a passion of design for the connection between human nature and the built environment. Jennifer also has a strong interest in the integration of new sustainable technology within a historical framework. Inspired by her time spent studying abroad, Jennifer has a deep passion for creating impactful and culturally collaborative atmospheres. As an avid traveler, she enjoys visiting and photographing many architectural monuments throughout the world. She aspires to design architecture that engages diverse cultures as well as the local community’s needs.

Elle Farias is currently enrolled in the three-year Master of Architecture Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio. After receiving an undergraduate degree in physics and working in the aviation industry, she began nurturing a passion for design through metal art and lighting projects. Through these creative pursuits, she became intrigued by the ability to change one’s physical environment and began her architecture studies at San Antonio College. She believes in the ability of sustainable design to improve people’s lives in the built environment and enjoys working on projects with unique historical settings. In the future, she hopes to work on providing modern architectural solutions to adaptive reuse projects that implement sustainability measures.

Merit Award Winner

Guangmao Xu is a Master of Architecture Student at Pennsylvania State University. He is from China and studied structure design as an undergrad.

About Tritschler Prize

The Tritschler Prize seeks to encourage architecture programs throughout the United States to focus on relating modern design to a historic context in honor of Gerry Tritschler, AIA, a former Principal at Shalom Baranes Associates, who spent his career focused on rehabilitating historic buildings. The prize is $25,000 and an internship at SBA to be awarded every three years beginning in 2017.

About Gerry Tritschler, AIA

Gerry Tritschler, after a brief battle with ALS, passed away on December 25, 2015.  In his 28 years as a Principal at Shalom Baranes Associates, Gerry made an indelible mark on both the firm and the built legacy of Washington, DC. Arriving at SBA in 1987 with a love of great buildings and a wealth of technical expertise, he found his passion in the integration of new and historic construction.  In such projects, often involving enormous design and logistical challenges, he served as a steady, wise advocate and hands-on project leader.  His ability to balance the complexities of old and new, and to judiciously navigate frequent contradictory interests, was honed through many years of dedicated practice. Through the course of his career, Gerry managed an extraordinary array of building programs from small to vast. It is fair to say that the entire nation as well as we at SBA have benefitted from his talents.