The Seventh Annual Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectual Design Excellence 2005
Berkeley Prize 2005

Stage 2: Semifinalists

We are happy to announce that 27 contestants out of 126 entries have advanced to the Semifinalist round (Stage Two) of the Berkeley Prize 2005 competition. Architecture students from 29 countries entered this year's competition, including: Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and the United States. Semifinalists are invited to submit a 2500-word essay based on their 500-word proposal by midnight, Pacific Time, February 26, 2005. The top five to seven essays will be selected for final judging by the Berkeley Prize Jury. 

Alkhalifa, Aziz, Cornell University, USA: "In the Heart of Manhattan"

Azlan, Nurul Azreen, University of Technology Malaysia, Malaysia: "The Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

Cautius, Cassandra, University of Waterloo, Canada: "The Heart Of Suburbia"

Chan, Adelina, UC Berkeley, USA: "Largo do Senado (Senate Square) in Macau, China"

Chodoriwsky, Steven, University of Waterloo, Canada: "Epicentre of a revolution: Kyiv's Independence Square, the place of political activism"

Dhakhwa, Kamana Swasti Bhattarai, I.O.E, PULCHOWK, Nepal: "People, place and events"

Go, Hazel, Carnegie Mellon University, USA: "Las Ramblas: Public Space of the Past, Present, and Future"

Haflidason, Andri, Strathclyde University, UK: "Iceland > Reykjavik > Laugavegur: City within a City"

Ju Kean Micki, Chua, National University of Singapore, Singapore: "A Public Space, A Heritage"

Kamaruddin, Syahril Nizam, University of Technology, Malaysia: "Everybody's Talking and No One Says A Word - Padang Bas, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia"

Knight, Brian, Southern California Institute of Architecture, USA: "The Belmont Tunnel and Toluca Yard"

Levi, Louise, Yale University, USA: "A Rooster Crows on East 9th Street [The Puerto Rican community garden in NYC]"

Lynch, John, University of Technology Sydney, Australia: "Promenade of the Flaneur"

Massy, Alison, Sydney University, Australia: "artefact architecture"

McAllister, Andrew, University of Strathclyde, UK: "Royal Exchange Square"

Monahan, Thomas, University of Strathclyde, UK: "The development and function of the Close in the Glasgow Tenement"

OKOROJI, THANKGOD, Stella Maris College, Nigeria: "What makes a place truly public?"

Ong, Iris, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines: "A Truly Public Place in Manila"

Reynolds, Jack, Adelaide University, Australia: "The Untoppled Omphalos"

Rix, Hadas, Technion, Israel: "The story of the Rabin square"

Samuel, Tommy, Strathclyde University, UK: "The Barras Market; An Exceptional Public Space."

Schaefer, Sarah, Dalhousie University, Canada: "Granville Island: Urban Oasis Amidst a Metropolis"

Schide, Sarah Christie Marino, University of Florida, USA: "Savannah's Successful Riverfront"

Schmidt, Kiel, UC Berkeley, USA: "Character conflict"

Sharma, Sushmita, Institute of Engineering, Nepal: "The Perfect Public Domain"

Spinelli, Carlo, Polytechnical University of Turin, Italy: "PORTA PALAZZO (Turin, Italy) a gate as a live laboratory for urban intergration"

Webb, Amanda, Yale University, USA: "Transformative Space: A reading of Central Park, New York"

Yadav, Prithi, SRM Engineering College, India: "Lending Character..."


The essays are due at 8:00, Univeral Coordinated Time, February 27, 2005, and should be submitted through the online submission system available from the Author login above. 

We compliment all of the Semi-Finalists on the extraordinary diversity of ideas and approaches in response to this year's Question. Such responses indicate the depth of interest and concern for Architecture as a Social Art. As an essay competition, the Berkeley Prize encourages the translation of these interests and concerns into a format for communication both to those within the profession and the wider public. 

The Berkeley Prize Committee encourages Semi-Finalists to improve the crafting of their 2,500 word essays. As such, a few suggestions seem appropriate. Remember: In answering this year's Question, the Berkeley Prize Committee is particularly interested in responses that speak to the general public. If social architecture is to become the norm, rather then the exception, the PUBLIC must be persuaded of the value of design that reflects human worth. If social architecture is to be built, rather then simply discussed, the PUBLIC must be persuaded that there is added value to building buildings much different then most of the architecture being built today. 

Remember: This is an essay competition and that you are presenting an argument about a certain question and you are attempting to convince the reader that this argument has merit. At the same time, you want your essay to be meaningful to the widest possible audience. This means selecting a voice that is both your own and one that is accessible to serious readers. Avoid jargon. Avoid assumptions about to the level of knowledge of your reader. Have fun. Essays by their very nature are somewhat formal, but the best are also a pleasure to read. 

In Stage Two, you are to expand upon your chosen topic in 2,500 words. Finally, before you begin to write the 2,500 word essay it is essential that you carefully consider the Reviewers' comments about your proposal for the essay. These comments are meant to help you write a winning essay. Please review your reviewer comments in your Author Portfolio.

You have almost six weeks to produce your essay in final form. Use at least four of these weeks creatively to improve your writing abilities in English. Read some good prose written in English. Novels, poetry and architectural writing are great teachers. 

Use the internet connections listed below to improve the your vocabulary and syntax. Check your spelling and vocabulary when in doubt.

William Strunk, Jr. The Elements of Style

Guide to Grammar and Writing (Capital Community College)

Ask a friend to read your essay before submitting it. Better yet, show it to two friends: one, a fellow architecture student; the second, a person not familiar with the discipline or profession. Use their input and if you can prevail on them, ask them to read your revised draft. 

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