Skip Navigation

Produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Subscribe Now

Alumna Wins International Architecture Award for Thurgood Marshall Hall

By Gina Driscoll

The School of Public Policy’s new home won an international architectural award for its cutting-edge teaching and collaborative spaces that blend traditional and contemporary styles and invite people to gather for public discourse.

Designed by Irena Savakova M. Arch ’95, vice president and global design principal at Leo A Daly, Thurgood Marshall Hall was awarded the top prize in the Institutional (Built) category of the Rethinking the Future 2023 Global Architecture and Design Awards. The awards highlight strategies employed by architects and designers to combat modern global challenges and inspire future generations of architects.

“My goal was to offer a window into the past and an invitation into the future, where people can have discussions and come up with the ideas that will impact our world,” Savakova said.

The school houses the Do Good Institute, and the dynamic 77,000-square-foot space, which opened in 2022, showcases the university’s role as the nation’s first Do Good campus. It empowers students to create effective change and come up with creative solutions to societal challenges while promoting inclusion, respect and a commitment to social impact.

Its design draws inspiration from ancient Athens’ agora, which served as the epicenter of political assemblies and judicial proceedings in the Greek city. The building features a “deliberation classroom” modeled in the spirit of a classic parliamentary debate chamber and equipped with a state-of-the-art conferencing system and microphones at all 44 seats.

A large lecture hall offers flexible seating and enables students and instructors to engage in small groups. A comfortable lounge space invites students to meet and work while looking out through the glass wall of windows at Chapel Lawn and Baltimore Avenue. On the top floor, the reading room and rooftop terrace connect indoor and outdoor spaces and offer panoramic views of the campus.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.