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Fourth-year architecture student earns scholarship for design project

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014



MANHATTAN -- Sara Todavchick's work in her fall comprehensive architecture studio is earning more than a grade. The fourth-year architecture student at Kansas State University is receiving a $5,000 scholarship as the winner of a College of Architecture, Planning & Design competition sponsored by MANKO Window Systems in Manhattan.

Todavchick, Lake Zurich, Ill., was the competition judges' unanimous pick for her design of a farm implement research center for the university, which she designed for the north side of campus near the recreation center and the football stadium.

The design was an assignment in her fourth-year comprehensive studio class, requiring students to integrate their conceptual and technical knowledge into one complete project for a presentation with drawings and renderings. Following a review, one student from each studio was selected to compete for the MANKO award, with each developing a narrative slide presentation to present to judges, who were all established practitioners in the field.

"Going through each phase of the design process during the semester, I always took the image of a tractor in an empty field with me," Todavchick said. "Being from the Chicago area, coming to Kansas has really shown me the beauty in the rolling hills and farmland, and I brought that love of expressing nature's true form with me for this project. Therefore, on the site I showed off the natural slope by having nature intertwine with the two buildings. One building is for the large exhibition hall of implements and the other building is dedicated to research and education."

"The competition serves as one more motivator for students to learn to clearly communicate their design intent," said Nathan Howe, assistant professor of architecture and competition administrator. "Students are learning through these various mechanisms that to build great buildings one has to be able to clearly describe the idea and create images to get buy-in from the audience."

The judges included Mark Bacon, who teaches and is a practicing architect at BVH Architects; Michael Hamilton, a senior designer at HDR Architecture's Great Plains Studios; and Jeff Dolezal, co-founder of TACKarchitects.

"I am just so thankful for being selected for the MANKO competition. I can't wait to see how hard the competition will get for our fifth year in school because I know all my classmates are so talented. That is what really pushes me to work harder -- seeing how my peers can reach a certain level of design that is so exciting that I just know I have to push myself even more to compete," Todavchick said.

Todavchick will study in the spring semester at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Denmark, and then finish up her Master of Architecture in May 2015.

"I am just very excited to explore and learn about so many other cultures right now," she said. "When I do graduate next year, I want to work for an amazing firm and move into a large city-urban lifestyle to really explore how architecture effects the people who live in it. I think it would be exciting to work more on renderings and the graphic side of a firm, as my graphics are what ended up selling my farm implement research center project."

Todavchick is the daughter of Mark and Judy Todavchick, Lake Zurich.


Sara Todavchick


College of Architecture, Planning & Design

News tip

Lake Zurich, Ill.

Written by

Beth Bohn

At a glance

A Kansas State University architecture student has earned a $5,000 scholarship as the winner of College of Architecture, Planning & Design competition sponsored by MANKO Window Systems in Manhattan.