Skip to main content

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, First Place

Imagine a school that goes beyond books and lockers, stirring the mind, body and soul. An academic setting that seeks to enlighten students academically and spiritually. In its plan for Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School, John Ronan Architects has created a new community landmark, meant to inspire students and neighbors alike.

Students find a place that is designed to nurture the senses and the soul. With vast swaths of light canvassing classrooms and open areas, Christ the King, located in the Austin neighborhood, calls to mind a sanctuary, incorporating the school’s philosophy of Corpus Personalis, or care of the whole person. The school itself is designed as a body, with the heart, mind and lungs represented by the chapel, library and gym.

The 94,000-square-foot building makes a strong statement inside and out. Its handsome colored steel façade, enhanced by vivid renderings of the Stations of the Cross inspire and stand as a testament to the community’s strength. Inside, fundamental construction elements such as steel, wood and concrete, are brilliantly employed to create durable yet spiritually and socially enriching spaces for learning, gathering and reflection.

In designing the $20 million project, John Ronan Architects created a place that inspires excellence both in those who study within its walls and those who live outside of them.

For providing students an educational sanctuary and a place of beauty within their own neighborhood, inspiring confidence and optimism, John Ronan Architects is awarded this year’s First Place Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design.