Architect Michael McClure Wins Rome Prize
In the spring and summer of 2009, Associate Professor Michael A. McClure, Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, completed his yearlong residency in Rome. Along with his partner Ursula Emery McClure, he was the 2008-2009 Gorham P. Stevens Rome Prize winner. This internationally prestigious award was created in 1894, and annually allows fifteen American scholars and creative artists from a variety of disciplines to live and work in Rome, the cradle of modern Western civilization.
The McClures state, “Because of where we practice (Louisiana), we are especially interested in the culture of place making as it relates to (origin) geography, ecology, infrastructure, historical building, and constructed landscapes. We strive to find a way to contribute contemporarily to the continuation and development of identifiable culture.”
The year-long project studied the ancient port community of Ostia (near Rome), a location similar to coastal areas of South Louisiana. Ostia has suffered from suburban sprawl, unplanned land use and ecological deterioration. The McClures created a historical analysis, proposed a regional mistress plan, and designed two housing prototypes. The research and design work, titled ‘Dredging for Ostia’ was exhibited at the American Academy and at the Casa Dell’Architettura in Rome. The work has also been presented at public lectures at Ostia Antica Italy, University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture, and Louisiana State University School of Architecture. The work from Rome and other recent award winning projects can be viewed at www.emerymcclure.com.