Markus Breitschmid, assistant professor of architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The grant will support a book publication that will accompany the Swiss Architecture: Designing - Constructing - Building Symposium, which will be hosted by the School of Architecture + Design and held on Wednesday Oct. 11 and Thursday Oct. 12, 2006, in Cowgill Hall and Hancock Hall auditorium.

The symposium will present the newest achievements of contemporary architecture from the northern and eastern regions of Switzerland, which have achieved major international recognition in the past decade. The symposium has a clearly defined pedagogical aim that attracted internationally known Swiss architects Valerio Olgiati, Meinrad Morger and Beat Consoni, as well as the architectural editor Heinz Wirz to commit to present lectures, participate in a podium-discussion, and to contribute to a book publication.

"The pedagogical aim is the revalorization of 'constructing' as a task of the architect, said Breitschmid."The elevated position of 'constructing' in the design process given by Swiss architects und Swiss universities is considered a major reason for the high standards of contemporary Swiss architecture."

Breitschmid, who received his architectural education in Switzerland and the United States, is a registered architect and a member of the Swiss Institute of Architects and Engineers. He received his doctorate from the Institute of Building History at the Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin in Germany. He has lectured and served as a design critic at various schools in Europe and the United States. Previously, Breitschmid has taught at Cornell University, the University of North Carolina, and the Catholic University of America. His scholarship encompasses what is commonly known as German Modernism and focuses on the aesthetic mentality of Modernism.

The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of two schools and the departments of landscape architecture, building construction, and art and art history. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design and interior design. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The college enrolls more than 2,000 students offering 22 degrees programs taught by 160 faculty members.