August 22, 2022 Recent Architecture Graduate and Aydelott Award Winner Completes Travel Experience

arden and trey studying abroad
Arden Gillchrest (B.Arch ’21), recently completed travels across the U.S. to research architecture as part of the Aydelott Travel Award. Gillchrest was named the 2020 recipient of the significant honor, but due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, his experience was delayed until the summer and fall of 2021. 

The Aydelott Travel Award, which started in 2016, provides funding for students to study four historically significant architectural structures from around the world. Alfred Lewis Aydelott, FAIA, and his wife Hope Galloway Aydelott established the award to allow architecture students the opportunity to study structures first-hand and to develop analytical skills.

Gillchrest’s research, entitled “Alternative Architectural Trajectories: Understanding the Impact of Power within Religious Architecture in the American Context,” analyzed various American examples of architecture across different cultures to better understand architecture’s role in power dynamics and religious rituals. The research took him across the United States to the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico; as well as the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. He also visited the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas and the Byodo-In Temple in Hawaii. 

“Despite delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, shifts from international to domestic sites, and more than 15,000 miles of travel, this arduous process was such a wonderful experience that allowed me to immerse myself in exciting new architecture and cultures,” said Gillchrest. “I’m truly honored to be awarded this distinguished prize. Being able to create research that I’m passionate about is an incredible honor, and I am excited to take this research further in my academic career.”

image of the washington national cathedral

The Aydelott Travel Award provides a $20,000 stipend for students to research and study architecture around the world, and in addition to being Aydellot’s 2020 fellow for the UT School of Architecture, Gillchrest also was selected among all 2020 fellows to receive the Aydelott Prize, an additional $5,000 monetary award.

The Aydelott Travel Award was established to encourage students to become proficient in the art of architectural analysis by enabling them to conduct firsthand in-depth observation, research and analysis of unique buildings.


Past Aydelott Travel Award Winners:

2022:  Sarah Kenney

2021: Josie Tunnell & Gabriel Laos

2019: Mike Lidwin

2018: Cullen Sayegh

2017: Dillon Dunn

2016: Catherine Dozier

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