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Portman Prize Studio Critic

Portman Prize Studio Critic

The purpose of the Portman Prize and the Portman Visiting Critic Program is to foster design excellence and student creativity in the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech. Recognizing student accomplishment and excellence in the integration of technical considerations is a key constituent of the design process pursued through the Portman Prize. It is awarded through competition by a distinguished jury chaired by the Portman Visiting Critic who also participates over the semester as a roving design studio critic and public lecturer.

The competition jury awards ranked prizes, each carrying monetary awards. The top prize winner is also offered a summer internship in the office of John Portman & Associates. 

2024 Portman Prize Critic: Andrea P. Leers, FAIA

Andrea Leers

Andrea P. Leers, FAIA
Principal, Leers Weinzapfel Associates 

Principal and co-founder of Leers Weinzapfel Associates in Boston, Massachusetts, Andrea Leers is an internationally recognized leader in urban, campus and civic design. A pioneer in mass timber design for academic settings, her practice is honored with over 100 international,  national, and regional design awards, including the 2007 AIA National Firm Award. A monograph on the firm’s work “Made to Measure: the Work of Leers Weinzapfel Associates was published in 2011 by Princeton Architectural Press. 

Andrea Leers is the former Director of the Master in Urban Design Program and Adjunct Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has taught at Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. She was Chaire des Amériques at the University of Paris, Sorbonne, Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and NEA Japan-US Friendship Commission Fellow in Tokyo. Her recent book “Welcoming the West; Japan’s Grand Resort Hotels” was published in 2017 by JOVIS Verlag Berlin.  

Andrea is the former Chair of the Mayor’s Boston Civic Design Commission, and a member of the University of Washington Architectural Advisory Commission, and the Harvard University Design Advisory Pool. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Wellesley College, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts.

Portman Prize History

The Portman Prize and Portman Visiting Critic Program has been generously supported since 2000 by the Atlanta firm of John Portman & Associates, Inc. Portman is an internationally recognized architectural and engineering firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Shanghai, China.

Established in 1953, Portman has over 50 years of expertise in designing hotels, universities, offices, trade marts, and mixed-use urban complexes around the world. Vision, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit are the fundamentals of their human-centered design philosophy. Georgia Tech is proud to be a partner with Portman in advancing these values through the Portman Prize.

Past Portman Prize Visiting Critics

2023 Kai-Uwe Bergmann
2022 Guy Nordenson
2021 Mario Gooden
2020 Alan Organschi
2019 Alan Organschi
2018 Billie Faircloth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
2017 Claire Weisz, FAIA
2016 Brigitte Shim, FRAIC OC RCA Hon. FAIA OAA
2015 Julie Snow, FAIA
2014 Laurie Hawkinson, FAIA
2013 Jane Wernick, FREng Hon FRIBA FRSA CEngFIStructE FICE
2012 Maryann Thompson, FAIA
2011 Karl Backus, AIA
2009 Margaret Crawford, Ph.D.
2008 Jonathan Segal, FAIA
2007 Julie Eizenberg, AIA
2006 David Baker, FAIA (Visiting Critic)
2006 Jorge Silvetti (Jury Chair)
2005 Teddy Cruz
2004 Jeff Speck, AICP
2003 Gregg Pasquarelli, AIA
2002 Lily Chi
2001 Lindy Roy
2000 Lawrence Speck, FAIA


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