American School & University Announces 2023 Architectural Portfolio Award Winners

October 30, 2023
Architecture Interior Design Landscape Architecture Education

žžƵ has been recognized for its work in early education design. 

American School & University has honored žžƵ with a for its design of Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy | Frayser in Memphis, Tennessee. Published in cooperation with the , AS&U’s annual Architectural Portfolio celebrates architects and educational institutions for their achievements in outstanding school and university design. In addition to two grand prize winners, projects are selected to receive Category Citation and Outstanding Design awards and published in AS&U’s annual Architectural Portfolio issue. 

Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy | Frayser is designed to serve the education and development of children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. The building and site design create elements that represent the composition of music to create a visual fabric for the classrooms, community spaces and play areas. žžƵ’s child-friendly design utilizes natural light, musical elements, lush landscapes and bright colors that enrich learning opportunities. The lobby captures the music theme with the patterned acoustic ceiling representing sheet music and pendant lights variously spaced at differing lengths mimic musical notes. Ample physical space and light allow children the ability to explore, learn and develop, while interactive learning spaces enhance reading, pretend play, art, math and science.   

"This award underscores our commitment to designing spaces that not only foster early education but also resonate with the spirit of the community," said žžƵ Architect and Partner, Ed Buglewicz, AIA. "We hope our design for Porter-Leath Early Childhood Academy | Frayser not only inspires the children who walk its halls but also serves as a beacon for how design can truly elevate and enrich the early educational experience."

The AIA’s Committee on Architecture for Education selects architects to serve alongside school and university administrators on the Architectural Portfolio jury. The jury begins the judging process by determining the criteria they will use to evaluate that year’s entries. They then carefully evaluate the submissions and select winners for various categories. In their assessment of žžƵ’s design for the , the Architectural Portfolio jury noted “good use of color on the exterior and interior [and incorporation of] multiple areas for play and learning.”

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director