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AIA4Shelter is a small committee of the Birmingham Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Birmingham Architectural Foundation. The goal of this committee for the homeless is simply to help the plight of the homeless in Birmingham. One of the ways that we believe we can do this is to offer our services, free of charge, to organizations which deal with the homeless, and which have an upcoming need for architectural services. We do not intend to do the “nuts and bolts” design work for buildings, expansions, or renovations, but to provide some initial design insight that will hopefully make the projects and our community better in the long run. We are currently working in three main areas of focus.

  • We are working with other organizations around the city to educate the public and increase awareness of the realities of homelessness and to help break down some of the barriers to potential solutions. Thus far we have participated in the Mayor’s Committee to Prevent and End Chronic Homelessness in creating the 10-year plan, and we are now working to help implement the plan.
  • We are working with Metropolitan Birmingham Services for the Homeless and their member organizations to help them with front end programming and conceptual designs for new projects that come on-line.
  • In February 2008, we worked with Aletheia House on a single family residential design competition that was open to all AIA members and the public.

Aletheia House Design Competition

The opening reception (click for photo gallery) February 19th was a huge success.  Around eighty people attended the reception.  Attendees included AIA members, Norwood Neighborhood Association, Auburn Urban Studio, Norwood doctors and administration, Aletheia House, the jury for the design competition and several other organizations. 

 AIA/Aletheia House Design Competition, jurors debating the winner’s

The winners were announced at the February 26th chapter meeting. (click for photo gallery) Congratulations to Roman Gary and Michael Hallisey of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds  who won 1st place, 2nd Place Erdreich Architecture, Jeremy Erdreich, Ashley McClure, Andrew Olds and Douglas Shaddix, 3rd Place, Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative, LLC, Kenny Craft and Honorable Mention, Williams Blackstock, Susan Hentz, Rebecca Lazenby and Melissa Sullivan.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the competition.  We realize it took a lot of your time and energy to participate in this competition.  We are very proud of our chapter for leading this competition.  A family will now have a home with a great design. 

The 11 teams who participated in this design competition are: Lori Lessem, Ellen Hawley, Chris Reebals, Melissa Sullivan, Susan Hentz, Rebecca Lazenby, Charles Horn, Scott Pickens, Kyle Franklin, Jeremy Erdreich, Ashley McClure, Andrew Olds and Douglas Shaddix, Kenny Craft, William Michael Dudley, Erin Gregg, Josef Fischer, Ryan Barncastle, Brian DiRusso, Roman Gary, Michael Hallisey, Preston Hite, Mike Gibson, Sarah Tillotson and Alex Krumdieck.
Thank you all for taking the time to participate in this event to help those in need.