Derry professor is among top young architects in US

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A Derry professor has been ranked among the top young architects and architecture educators in the United States.

Former Thornhill student Caroline O’Donnell has been rated by architecture magazine ‘DesignIntelligence’ in the top 30 list of “most admired educators for 2013’ while the Museum of Modern Art PS1 has shortlisted one of her designs among the top five in the US.

Caroline, an assistant Professor of Architecture at New York’s prestigious Cornell University, has also helped ensure that the Ivy League college’s bachelor of architecture degree retained its number one ranking among undergraduate programs in the US this year.

The DesignIntelligence (DI) America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools survey stated that Caroline O’Donnell, who joined the faculty in 2011, “brings intelligence and is willing to challenge conventions

It adds: “She organises her teaching and studios carefully, guiding students’ individual style and raising the bar of projects. She is a person who demonstrates continuous improvement and daily shows how professionals can grow and have more influence.”

Caroline, whose mum is Pauline Morrow, Parklands, Waterside, told the ‘Journal’ she was “absolutely delighted” with the award.

Meanwhile, the Derry woman’s practice (Caroline O’Donnell Architecture) in Ithaca, New York has been announced as one of five finalists in the 2012 Museum of Modern Art PS1 Young Architects Program (YAP), an annual series of competitions that gives emerging architects the opportunity to build projects conceived for MoMA PS1’s facility in Long Island City, Queens.

The objective of the project is to provide visitors with an outdoor recreational area for the summer, “a much-needed refuge in an urban environment-making the best use of the pre-existing space and available materials”.

The architects follow a program with a tight budget, and are involved in every aspect of the design, development, and construction of the project.

Earlier this year Caroline took top honours in an international competition aimed at discovering and promoting the work of Europe’s most innovative young design professionals.

Caroline is also editor of the Cornell Journal of Architecture.

Caroline’s award winning entry, ‘Counterspace’, was based on a site in the Dublin Docklands and was lauded by the judging panel as being “rooted in an idea of layering public and private space across the depth of the site”.