MDC Architecture Students Win Award for Peace Center Design; Innovative Model Brings Worlds Together in Harmonic Setting

April 2013.

Imagine a center that fostered peace by incorporating elements of different religions in one space. That’s what Miami Dade Colleges (MDC) architecture students did recently for eight weeks. The team won a competition sponsored by the Key Biscayne Community Foundation and Global Education Foundation in March. The winning design is also being considered as a model for an actual peace center.

The project started as a class project to study different religions and develop architectural spaces to understand various points of view. “We see conflict all over the world. So the question posed to students, was how could people come to this center to communicate with one another?” said MDC professor of architecture, Amar Sawhney.

A group of 30 MDC architecture students worked on the project for eight weeks, visiting churches, temples, synagogues and mosques to study architecture concepts. “This was a multi-disciplinary approach with the social sciences and architecture,” added Sawhney. “It was very exciting. The students had the spirit of competition for eight weeks.” Another element of the project was studying the environment of the center and incorporating “green” or environmentally friendly, sustainable concepts.
The students won an initial competition at an exhibition on March 17th at Key Biscayne Community center. The design was also presented at a spiritual conference on March 27th at MDC’s Kendall campus as part of a show case, where students participated in a discussion about peace centers.

MDC’s School of Architecture and Interior Design

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