A team composed of faculty and a student from Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design, in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has won an international design competition.

Laurel McSherry of Alexandria, Va., associate professor of landscape architecture and director of the graduate landscape architecture program; Terry Surjan of Blacksburg, associate professor of architecture; and Rob Holmes, second-year landscape architecture graduate student won third place in the Envisioning Gateway competition, which drew 230 entries from 23 countries.

The competition—organized by the Van Alen Institute, a New York-based nonprofit architectural organization, and Columbia University—called for ideas to transform troubled Gateway National Recreation Area, America’s first urban national park and one of its largest, stretching from Brooklyn and Staten Island to the northern tip of New Jersey. The Virginia Tech team’s submission, "Landmarks, Seamarks, Ciphers," is a field guide to the park’s landscapes, providing tangible connections to pre-existing, ongoing, and emerging site conditions.

McSherry received a master’s degree from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University. She is the recipient of the 1999 Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture from the American Academy in Rome, Italy.

Surjan received a master’s degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Holmes, a native of Philadelphia and Lancaster, S.C., received a bachelor’s degree from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga., and studies at the Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria, Va.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of three schools and the Department of Art and Art History, part of the multi-college School of the Arts. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The Myers-Lawson School of Construction, a joint school of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, includes programs in building construction and construction management. The college enrolls nearly 2,000 students offering 24 degrees taught by 153 faculty members.

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