Students learning the basics of architecture and BIM in an award-winning architecture program in Florida recently received high marks at an international design competition. Three students studying in Pinecrest, Florida’s Gulliver’s Architecture Signature Academic Program (ASAP) took top honors. It was the program’s reputation for excellence that led to the students being invited to participate. The students competed against other pre-degree students in Europe.

Gulliver’s ASAP program prepares students for a career in architecture as they become proficient in Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Computer Aided Design and Drafting systems. Under the direction of Emily Wilson, AIA LEED – students design and build in virtual space with ARCHICAD, creating renderings, animations, hypermodels, and VR export.

Given that the students were brand new to 3D modeling, the intuitive nature of ARCHICAD as a software stands out. Each of the students who competed successfully had only been working in ARCHICAD for less than one year, explains Wilson.

“My students did very well despite having no prior experience with 3D virtual modeling. Yet they quickly began applying techniques of BIM. Throughout the school year, the students built two structures each as well as created renderings and hypermodels of their structures in ARCHICAD.”

The IN-BETWEEN SPACE competition invites students to design an Urban Thinking Space, which carefully frames, highlights or reveals an unusual and surprising ‘view’ and provides an environment for contemplating, dreaming and pondering. Audrey Apollon, now a senior, won first place as a junior in the IN-BETWEEN SPACE competition. She and two of her fellow classmates who were finalists in the competition were invited to travel to London to see their work on exhibition and for the awards ceremony.

The success and popularity of the program is evident. Next year the program will have approximately 72 students enrolled. The architecture classes are full year courses that meet 2-3 times per week for 80 minutes. Wilson reports that many students go on to continuing their education in architecture and design programs.

“Architecture is one of three signature programs at Gulliver Prep, and was started 40 years ago. The 4-year program includes a full year of Architecture 01, 02 and 03 courses as well as Urban Design and Industrial Design courses.”

Under Wilson’s direction, her students participated in two international competitions last year as well as the national Scholastic Awards. In the Scholastic Competition, there were 2 gold key winners and 2 silver key winners as well as one honorable mention and students won first, second and third place in computer modelling projects entered into the Florida State Fair. The students utilized ARCHICAD in all competitions.

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