Recipient of 2023 Walter Harrison Thesis Award

May 05, 2023
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication
award group

The Master of Architecture Thesis Presentations were held on Friday, April 14, and the Department of Architecture is pleased to announce that Vivek Parekh is the winner of the 2023 Walter Harrison Thesis Award.

The University of Hartford offers three tracks for a professional Master of Architecture degree for industry professionals wanting to sharpen their expertise. After completing their respective program, graduating students present at the annual Master of Architecture Thesis. Projects must be timely in nature, thoroughly thought out, comprehensively developed, graphically stunning, and effectively presented. Industry professionals and university faculty judge the projects and vote for one winner who is awarded the Walter Harrison Thesis Award. 

Parekh began at UHart in August 2021 and shared that the knowledge and skill acquired from his program has helped him “experience new perspectives, learn how to navigate different cultures, work with diverse peers, and communicate in other languages as an international student.” Specifically, he has polished skills in design and knowledge of the building and construction sector.

“Pursuing the M.Arch was highly rewarding. Besides learning countless valuable skills, I have surely learned how to become a strong individual,” he added.

For his project, Parekh designed A Hindu Crematorium in Sidhpur, India. When asked about what inspired the structure, he stated, “The project site and building design responds to the Hindu creational process of cremation and take a holistic approach considering the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of its occupants. The building demonstrates the use of traditional building techniques and materials and takes inspiration from the traditional architecture of Saidpur's heritage settlements and buildings.”

Parekh's design was also developed in response to the Hindu creational process of cremation and takes a holistic approach considering the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of its occupants.

"I have learned how to consider the environmental impact of what you design and think about how those designs could be reasonably implemented," he added.

Parekh would like to express his sincere gratitude toward UHart and the Department of Architecture for appreciating his work and awarding him the Walter Harrison Thesis Award.