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Portman Prize Awarded to Student at Georgia Tech

Participants from left to right: Gordon Beckman, principal and design director John Portman & Associates, Melissa Doss, third-place finalist, Mario Rodas, second-place finalist, and Phebe Tam, first-place finalist. Photo is courtesy of Georgia Tech
Participants from left to right: Gordon Beckman, principal and design director John Portman & Associates, Melissa Doss, third-place finalist, Mario Rodas, second-place finalist, and Phebe Tam, first-place finalist. Photo is courtesy of Georgia Tech

The 2014 Portman Prize, established by John Portman & Associates (PORTMAN), has been awarded to Phebe Tam, a student in the Master of Architecture program at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s (Georgia Tech) School of Architecture. Ms. Tam was awarded top honors for her design that puts emphasis on the quality of the learning/teaching environment by means of daylighting, ventilation, acoustics, and thermal comfort.

PORTMAN established this award in the year 2000 with the intention of encouraging graduate students to develop a holistic design approach that ties the big idea to the small detail. This year students were tasked with creating a design for a highly intelligent “house of learning.”

As the first place winner, Ms. Tam received a cash prize and a paid summer internship with PORTMAN. The second place winner, Mario Rodas, and third place winner, Melissa Doss, were also awarded cash prices for their outstanding design work, as were five Honorable Mentions. 

“From its inception, the Portman prize has been about providing a link between the profession and the student,” said Gordon Beckman, principal and design director at PORTMAN. “It has accomplished this and more; it benefits the profession by encouraging students’ creativity and thought on a higher level.”

“The Portman Prize gives students an opportunity to gain significant recognition for their creative talents. It is our hope that this quest for recognition serves as an elixir or a catalyst for more inspired vision to achieve, excel and accomplish throughout their careers,” said John C. (Jack) Portman, III, vice-chairman of Portman Holdings and John Portman & Associates. “We are proud that through our continued relationship with Georgia Tech, PORTMAN is challenging future architects to think beyond their classroom and form their own visions for design.” 

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