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Vincent Ramirez

December 3, 2014//

Meet Vincent J. Ramirez, III '13. The Texas Society of Architects (TSA) recently honored a project concept by the architecture alum as a shining example of innovation and excellence in design.

I'm truly honored to have my work recognized. It's a testament to the great architectural education that I received in the Master's of Architecture III program at UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning.

– Vincent Ramirez, III '13

Ramirez is currently taking his Architecture Registration Exams. He works at the nationally recognized Vinci Hamp Architects in Chicago. Earlier this month, he traveled to Houston to attend the TSA's 75th annual convention where he was awarded the prestigious Studio Award for his project concept, "The Middle Ground At-Risk Youth Boxing & Education Facility."

"I'm truly honored to have my work recognized," Ramirez said. "It's a testament to the great architectural education that I received in the Master's of Architecture III program at UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning."

A New York-based jury selected "The Middle Ground At-Risk Youth Boxing & Education Facility" and five other concepts were selected from among more than 50 entries from across Texas. The winning projects were featured in the November/December 2014 issue of Texas Architect.

Ramirez conceived and completed his project as part of his 2013 master's thesis at UTSA, which called for a concept that would address a known problem in the community. It received the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning Dean's Merit Award and the UTSA Cultural Sustainability Award.

The Middle Ground concept calls for the transformation of several old industrial buildings in downtown San Antonio into a youth boxing training campus. The 40,000-square-foot facility would be easily accessible from all areas of San Antonio, hence its name. By setting the gym downtown, Ramirez said, the he could meld new building design with his passion for historic preservation.

Ramirez's proposal features boxing and exercise training facilities, educational spaces, a green house, a fully stocked juice and snack bar, and a 500-seat boxing arena for competitions. The spaces would maintain the industrial aesthetics of the original buildings, which Ramirez recalled from the gritty boxing gyms that he grew up around. The New York-based jury remarked favorably on the cohesiveness and subtlety of Ramirez's concept.

"With Middle Ground, I wanted to create a safe space where at-risk boys and girls could channel their energy and passion into something productive and fun," said Ramirez. "I grew up around boxing. I knew from my own personal experiences how much of a positive impact sports can have on troubled youth."

"I chose to attend UTSA because of its strong historic preservation program," added Ramirez. "The research opportunities presented to me while I was a student were great in preparing me to build upon my career and education. The professors were intelligent and hands-on in their teaching, and the networking opportunities afforded me have really helped me achieve professional success."

Since receiving his M.Arch 3 degree, Ramirez has been working on a variety of projects including historic preservation, Government, educational and residential throughout Texas and the Chicago area. He is also currently assisting on the design of exhibition spaces for prominent museums. He said he hopes to continue refining his talents in design and historic preservation as he begins the next phase of his professional career.

(View Ramirez's architecture and design portfolio here: http://issuu.com/vj_el_segundo/docs/vrport_2.)

(View Ramirez's master's thesis - "The Middle Ground At-Risk Youth Boxing & Education Facility" - here: http://issuu.com/vj_el_segundo/docs/the_middle_ground.)

Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at social@utsa.edu so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.

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