FGA’s Sam Fischer Wins Classical Design Award

Acanthus Award for Excellence

FGA’s Samuel Fischer, graduate of the University of Notre Dame Master of Architecture program, wins the 2020 Acanthus Award for Excellence in Classical Design from the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture, Chicago-Midwest Chapter, for his thesis project: A New Terminal for High Speed Rail, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This thesis attempts to explore the overarching impact the implementation of high speed rail and its subsequent terminal would have on the city of Milwaukee. A three-phased urban masterplan sites a new terminal station within Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward district—nearer to the city center—and seeks to replace the current surface grade parking lots and elevated freeway with a vibrant, dense, humanely scaled, mixed-use urban fabric.

The terminal building itself draws on Milwaukee's rich Romanesque architectural tradition and utilizes the city's famous cream colored brick in order to reinforce an important sense of place. The station seeks to invoke the once civic-minded and grand nature of travel present in the classical Beaux Arts stations, but reassesses the typology to better suit the modern user by appropriating the form of Europe's great, historic shopping arcades and gallerias.

The goal of this project on one hand, seeks to promote the wide-reaching social, cultural, and economic impact investment in forward-thinking transit infrastructure can have outside of a merely faster and easier mode of transportation. In addition, this project attempts to breakdown the apparent dichotomy between traditionally rooted practices in building and design and that of progress and technology — rather, it goes to show that the two may benefit from one another and work in harmony in order to produce both a beautiful and sustainable future.

-Samuel Fischer


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