Texas Tech University

College of Architecture's Design Leadership Alliance Announces 2021 Distinguished Alumnus, and Design Award Winners

Lucy Greenberg

October 21, 2021


Texas Tech alumnus and former vice chancellor Michael Molina was honored at the Texas Society of Architects alumni reception, along with four architecture firms for design awards.

The College of Architecture's Design Leadership Alliance (DLA) at Texas Tech University announced Michael S. Molina as its 2021 Distinguished Alumnus and also presented six design awards. The distinguished alumnus and design award winners are selected each year by a jury selected by the DLA.

Upe Flueckiger
Upe Flueckiger

The College of Architecture hosts an alumni reception at the annual Texas Society of Architects (TxA) conference, where the DLA presents its annual awards. The purpose of the DLA is to be a compelling, vibrant and sustainable body of professionals that engages and partners with the College of Architecture to provide significant contributions to the college, its students and faculty, and the dynamic profession of architecture.   

“It was great seeing so many alumni gather at the reception,” said Upe Flueckiger, interim dean of the College of Architecture. “As an educator who is currently serving as interim dean, there is perhaps no better compliment than to see former students who are now architects and colleagues, thriving in their field.”  

The award reception took place earlier this month in San Antonio.  

“Every year our alumni reception rekindles the spirit of old friends, professors and former classmates,” said Frank Marquez, president of the DLA. “The presentation of the design awards and our distinguished alumni has created huge interest for our organization that expands the footprint of the DLA onto the national stage. This will provide broader alumni networks for our students, and that's the goal.” 

Named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, Molina currently serves as the associate vice president of Facilities Planning and Management at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. Before his position with SMU, Molina served as the vice chancellor of Facilities Planning & Construction for the Texas Tech University System and vice president of Facilities Design and Development for United Supermarkets in Lubbock.  

The 2021 design award winners are: 

  • 2021 Honor Award Winner: “Hilton Yala” – SODA (Thailand) Ltd
    The site is located on the Indian Ocean coast within the Yala National Park comprising several public and nonaccessible elephant wildlife sanctuaries. The resort stretches across seven acres and provides guests with spa pavilions influenced by historic Sri Lankan temples.
  • 2021 Merit Award Winner: “Corporate Office” – Rhotenberry Wellen Architects
    These offices provide additional space for a large independent energy company. Programmed spaces include offices, conference and meeting rooms, logistical support and a new parking garage. 

  • 2021 Citation Award Winner: “Bynum School” – Rhotenberry Wellen Architects 
    A new campus whose student body is comprised of children with special needs and individuals ranging in age from preschool to adulthood. Classrooms surround a large courtyard/playground area enhancing secure access to student areas and providing ample daylight to all interior spaces. 

  • 2021 Citation Award Winner: “TTU Weeks Hall” – Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
    Weeks Hall is a historic landmark on Texas Tech's campus originally constructed as a three-story dormitory. The renovation maintained the exterior appearance while the building was made more energy-efficient, providing an appealing and modern interior. The scope of the project included site utilities, new ventilation and heating and air conditioning systems, safety improvements, lighting, technology, interior materials and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant modifications. 

  • 2021 Citation Award Winner: “Sitt'n & Shower'n” – Rhotenberry Wellen Architects 
    A property owner requested an updated bathroom design to include a new pavilion area accessed from the bathroom to include the flexibility of privacy for the bathroom and access to an outdoor shower. 

  • 2021 Citation Award Winner: “Twist” – Welch Hall Architects
    This high-rise mixed-use project occupies an urban infill block in an established neighborhood. The building incorporates residential, office, retail and structured parking. The building massing responds to a dense urban zoning district. In response to this, a notable “twist” of the masses is organized with a ribbon plane. 

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