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Architects Challenge 2015

Marvin Architects Challenge

Marvin Architects Challenge: All Eyes on Your Design

We are excited to announce the return of the prestigious Marvin Architects Challenge celebrating acclaimed design and breathtaking architecture. Submit your best work that displays architectural creativity and features Marvin windows and doors, and see how you measure up against your peers.

It’s a yearly chance to show off your most award-worthy project, and get the attention you deserve. This year, we have new judging categories as well as an extended award structure, which give you even more opportunities for recognition.

Submit your best by May 8th, 2015.

Submit Project


There are many chances to win in the Marvin Architects Challenge. There will be ten juried winners, including a Best in Show. In addition to the juried winners, there is the Showdown winner, which is decided by popular vote.

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Juried Winners

The 10 juried winners, including Best in Show, category winners, and those recognized for exceptional merit will be treated to some wonderful prizes.

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Best in Show Winner

The Best in Show winner, in addition to the juried prizes, get these exclusive rewards.

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The Showdown Winner

The Showdown winner is awarded with a great opportunity.

Honor Categories

This year we have added a new award category structure, to create more opportunity to recognize excellence in a particular area of design. When a project is submitted, you will have the opportunity to select a category for judging. Up to four projects will be selected outside of the category definitions for Exceptional Merit. Find out more about each category below and start thinking about which project you would like to submit.

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Contemporary includes a variety of home designs. It can refer to both current design trends as well as modern expressions with roots in the 20th century.

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Transitional style is a broad category that speaks more to the feel of a home versus a truly architectural definition. It generally refers to the mixing of more than one style and enables homeowners to successfully combine both traditional and contemporary elements.

Eclectic style borrows freely from a variety of historical periods and architectural trends.

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Traditional New Construction

Traditional New Construction refers to homes that combine the look of a timeless classic with the feel of elegant interiors, and that recreate historical styles in a new build.

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Remodel or addition projects are exactly that. Reinventing, or adding on to an existing space.

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Commercial projects are structures used for commercial purposes, including income generating residential buildings larger than single family homes.

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Exceptional Merit

Four additional projects will be selected and honored based on their innovative use of windows and exceptional design.

Hall of Fame Gallery

The Hall of Fame includes images from all the past winners of the Marvin Architects Challenge. These projects were selected from hundreds of entries by our judges and by popular vote in the Showdown contest.

Donald W. Powers, AIA, LEED AP, CNU

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Donald W. Powers, AIA
Leed AP, CNU
Founding Principal,
Union Studio Architecture & Community Design

Donald has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of architectural practice. His completed work includes urban and town planning, commercial and institutional buildings, affordable housing, historic restoration of landmark buildings and single-family residences. In recent years his work has concentrated on integrated, mixed-use planning and architectural design with the goal of creating truly diverse and vibrant places. A 13-year association with the Congress for the New Urbanism and frequent collaboration with some of the best firms in the country doing traditional urban design and architecture has honed an expertise in the technique and art of creating liveable communities and cherished places. Before forming Union Studio in 2001, Donald worked with several internationally recognized architects and planners including Cooper Robertson + Partners of New York City. For seven years he worked as a lead designer with The Gund Partnership of Cambridge, Massachusetts, before relocating to his native Rhode Island and founding Union Studio.

Mr. Powers received his B.S. in Architecture from University of Virginia, where he was awarded the annual Design Prize, and his Masters in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He is an active member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a founding board member of its New England Chapter, as well as a board member of Grow Smart Rhode Island. Donald regularly speaks at regional and national venues on the topic of restoring communities through best practices in neighborhood design, furthering his single-minded vision to save the world from sprawl. He holds professional architectural licenses in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New York.

In 2012, Donald was inducted into BUILDER magazine’s Wm. S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence.

Adele Chang, AIA

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Adele Chang, AIA
Lim Chang Rohling & Associates, Inc.

Adele Chang received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona in 1980 and is a licensed architect in the State of California. Prior to starting her own practice in 1989, she was an Associate Partner and senior project designer at the firm of McLarand Vasquez and Partners, where she was responsible for a wide variety of project types, ranging from high-rise commercial and residential complexes, to high-density housing and mixed-use projects. Her extensive design background is complemented by expertise in site planning and experience in working with various municipal agencies and neighborhood groups.

Under the leadership of Ms. Chang, the firm of Lim Chang Rohling & Associates (LCRA) has grown in its success and reputation in the specialty of housing design. LCRA’s project experience includes high-density mixed-use urban in-fill projects, mid-density housing and live/work projects, and single-family projects from luxury homes for an international clientele to low-income housing and university campus faculty/staff housing. LCRA’s projects are located in many states in America as well as in countries such as Dubai, Egypt, China and India.

Adele Chang is a member of the American Institute of Architects. She has served as a member of the Design Review Board of the City of San Marino. She has also served as a judge for various national and regional design awards, and has been featured as a speaker on housing design at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the Building Industry Show, and other building industry conferences and workshops. Her work and that of LCRA is recognized for its excellence by the building industry with numerous awards and in various publications. Adele Chang is the recipient of the 2013 William S. Marvin Hall of Fame Award for Design Excellence.

Stephen Muse, FAIA

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Stephen Muse, FAIA
Senior Principal
Muse Architects

Stephen Muse received a Bachelor of Architecture with High Honors from the University of Maryland and a Master of Architecture from Cornell University, where he was a graduate fellow in Professor Colin Rowe’s urban design studio. Prior to establishing his private practice, Mr. Muse practiced in the office of Hartman-Cox Architects in Washington, DC. He has also been a design faculty member of the Departments of Architecture at the University of Maryland, Cornell University and Harvard University, and has been a member of the Washington Chapter/AIA Board of Directors and the Washington Architectural Foundation Board of Directors. He is presently a member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Georgetown Historic District Board, where he is serving his fourth term. In 1996, in recognition of his “notable design contributions to the profession of architecture,” Stephen was elevated to fellowship in the American Institute of Architects. In 2005, he was selected as Alum of the Year by the University of Maryland, as a result of “his involvement in bridging education and the profession.” In 2008 Mr. Muse was inducted into Builder magazine’s William S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence for his “invaluable contributions to residential design.”

Muse Architects, established in 1983, is an office with extensive experience in residential, institutional, urban design and interior design projects, as well as expertise in sustainable design for all project types. As an office of fifteen people, and with established relationships with all related engineering consultants, Muse Architects provides full services for various scales of architectural commissions. The work of Muse Architects has received more than one hundred and fifty design awards, including those from the National, Washington, Maryland, Baltimore, Potomac Valley, and Northern Virginia Chapters of the AIA, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Masonry Institute. In 2007 Muse Architects received the Top Firm National Award from Residential Architect magazine “for an outstanding contribution to residential architectural practice.” In 2010 the firm was named by Residential Architect magazine as a Top 50 National Firm for “seamlessly extending the visual vocabulary of existing houses and neighborhoods to make statements of contemporary relevance.” The work of Muse Architects has also been reviewed in more than two hundred architectural books and periodicals, including Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, and The American Home, Design for Living.

Contest Rules

Description: The 2015 Marvin Architects Challenge (the “Challenge”) is sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors (“Sponsor”) and consists of two separate portions: the “Juried Challenge” and the “Showdown”. The Juried Challenge will evaluate entries in the following categories: Contemporary; Transitional / Eclectic; Traditional (New Construction); Remodel / Addition; and Commercial. The Showdown is a people’s choice contest consisting of multiple rounds of voting. The Juried Challenge and Showdown are referred to, collectively, as the “Contest”. These Official Rules shall serve as the official rules for both portions of the Contest.

Eligibility: This contest of skill is open to architects only. Entrants must be licensed architects or graduates of an accredited school of architecture to enter. Entrants must be legal residents of the United States (excluding Puerto Rico and Guam), Canada (excluding Quebec), Ireland*, Israel, Japan, Spain*, or the United Kingdom*, and the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence as of the date of entry. Employees or agents of Sponsor and its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising/promotional/PR agencies, and the members of their immediate families or those persons living in the same household of such individuals are ineligible to enter or win. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.

Contest Period: The Contest begins March 2, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (Contest Start Time) and ends August ¬3, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (Contest End Time). For purposes of these Official Rules, all times are US Central Time (GMT-6 or -5). All Contest entries must be received during the Submission Period, which begins at the Contest Start Time and has an extended end date of May 8, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. Entries received before or after the Submission Period will not be accepted. The Showdown will be conducted in multiple rounds, beginning June 1, 2015 and ending July 12, 2015.

Entries: The Contest begins March 2, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (Contest Start Time) and ends August ¬3, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. (Contest End Time). For purposes of these Official Rules, all times are US Central Time (GMT-6 or -5). All Contest entries must be received during the Submission Period, which begins at the Contest Start Time and ends on May 8, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. Entries received before or after the Submission Period will not be accepted. The Showdown will be conducted in multiple rounds, beginning June 1, 2015 and ending July 12, 2015.

  • Contemporary
  • Transitional/Eclectic
  • Traditional New Construction
  • Remodel or Addition
  • Commercial

More than one category may be identified in connection with an entry. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to re-categorize any entry.

A majority of the fenestration openings in the project must be Marvin® brand products. Projects may include Integrity® brand products along with Marvin products. Integrity®-only projects will not be accepted, but may be eligible for submission to Integrity’s Red Diamond Achiever’s Program. Photographs in which non-Marvin windows or doors are depicted will be disqualified.

You may enter the Contest one of two ways: (1) Online: Complete the required fields of the online entry form at in their entirety, upload your photographs(s), and click on the Register button to enter; or (2) By mail: Legibly write the words “2015 Marvin Architects Challenge,” along with your name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, name of employer, and the written project description. Mail the entry to: 2015 Marvin Architects Challenge, Marvin Windows and Doors, 2020 Silver Bell Road, Suite 15, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55122, United States of America. Enclose / attach your photograph(s), and responses to the following questions∞:

  • Why do you consider this a great accomplishment?
  • What inspired you?
  • How did Marvin products help you realize your vision?

All entries must be received or postmarked during the Submission Period.

It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to notify Sponsor in writing if the entrant changes his/her e-mail address or other contact information. (To do so, write to: 2015 Marvin Architects Challenge, Marvin Windows and Doors, 2020 Silver Bell Road, Suite 15, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55122, United States of America.) Multiple entries may be submitted. All entries become the exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.

By entering the Contest and submitting the photograph(s), you assign to Sponsor all intellectual property rights over the photograph(s); Sponsor may reproduce, crop or otherwise modify, display, and/or otherwise use the entrants’ photographs, in any form or media, (a) for any purpose related to the Architects Challenge, and/or (b) on Sponsor’s web site(s) for any purpose.

Representations: By entering the Contest, you declare that all information submitted by you is true, current, and complete, and you represent and warrant to Sponsor that you are the architect of the project depicted, that the design is your original work, that you are the copyright owner of, or have all rights and permissions necessary to submit the photograph(s), including without limitation the permission of the owner of the structure depicted, and that you have all rights and permissions necessary to convey the license and authorizations required by these Official Rules.∞

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor and its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, employees, and licensors from any claim, cost, demand, loss, or expense arising out of the photograph(s) or other content submitted by you in connection with the Contest, your entry in the Contest, or your violation of the Official Rules, the rights of any other person, or any applicable law.

Prizes: Judges will recognize up to 10 submitted projects. Up to one (1) Juried Challenge winner will be chosen for each category from among the entries submitted, subject to sufficient entries being submitted in each category which are, in the judges’ independent opinions, of the requisite high quality. The judges may, in their sole discretion, identify up to four (4) additional entries within any category for “Exceptional Merit” designation. Exceptional Merit designees will receive the prizes and are subject to the requirements of “winners”, as described below. Additionally, judges will name a “Best in Show winner.”

The winners’ project photographs will be displayed on Sponsor’s web site. Sponsor may also feature the winning entries in public relations and social media efforts. Juried Challenge winners will be invited to Minneapolis, Minnesota and Warroad, Minnesota on dates to be coordinated by Sponsor, which are anticipated to be in Autumn 2015. Sponsor will provide each Juried Challenge winner with a roundtrip ticket from a major metropolitan airport within the continental United States or Canada to Minneapolis, Minnesota.§ In Minneapolis, Sponsor will guide winners on an architectural tour of various homes and buildings of architectural interest. Local accommodations and group meals will be provided. Sponsor will transport winners from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Warroad, Minnesota for a factory tour, and will provide return travel from Warroad, Minnesota to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Winners may earn 8 AIA-CES HSW LUs for Minneapolis and factory tours. The winner of the Best in Show titlewill be featured by Architectural Digest Marketing in a one-page advertorial in Architectural Digest magazine and may be featured in up to two video promotions.

One Showdown winner will also be selected, as described below. The Showdown winner will be invited to attend the 2015 Greenbuild Conference. Marvin will provide a roundtrip ticket from a major metropolitan airport within the continental United States or Canada§, conference fees, lodging and a per diem for meals for the 2015 Greenbuild Conference, scheduled for November 18-20 in Washington D.C., USA. No substitute prizes will be awarded, and prizes may not be redeemed for cash value or other consideration. The prize will not include personal insurances (i.e, healthcare insurance), any additional travel expenses, any additional hotel expenses (such as, telephone, additional meals, mini-bar, or drinks), or any other expense which is not expressly included within the prize. Reasonable efforts will be made to coordinate winners’ schedules and accommodate their calendars. However, if a winner is unable to travel on the dates specified by Marvin, the winner will forfeit the affected portions of the prize. No substitute winner will be chosen. If the winner cancels or otherwise declines to take the trip, the prize will be forfeited and will not be awarded.

Winner Selection

Juried Challenge: Entries will be judged within each category to meet at least one or a combination of the following qualities as determined by the Sponsor: solution-driven design, classical beauty, innovative use of windows, and sustainability. All decisions of Sponsor are final and binding. The winners will be notified by e-mail or postal mail by May 29, 2015. Winners will have 10 days from notification to accept the prize by e-mail to or by postal mail to the address specified in the notification. Juried Challenge Winners will be publicly announced August 3, 2015 Marvin is not responsible for, and shall not be liable for, any late, lost, or misdirected notification, or for a winner’s unsuccessful efforts to claim any prize.

Showdown: The winner will be determined by the highest number of qualified votes accumulated during the showdown. The winner will be announced live on July 15, 2015. Votes may be cast on the Showdown voting page at, by selecting the VOTE button associated with each featured project. Votes for each project submission will accumulate over the duration of the voting rounds. Voters may not retract or change a submitted vote. Voters may place one vote for one project, once per day during the showdown. Sponsor may take such actions as it deems necessary, in its sole discretion, to correct voter misconduct or otherwise ensure accepted votes conform to these requirements.

Finalists still active in the final round will be notified that one of them will be the Showdown winner. Finalists will be contacted to determine whether they will accept the prize, should they win the Showdown. Each finalist must respond by e-mail to, indicating they will accept and agree to the Winner Requirements, or to be eliminated from further consideration. Sponsor is not responsible for, and shall not be liable for, any late, lost, or misdirected notification, or for a winner’s unsuccessful efforts to claim any prize.

Winner Requirements: Juried Challenge winners and the top 3 finalists of the Showdown (participating in the last round) will be required to sign and return a release of liability, declaration of eligibility, and, where lawful, a publicity consent agreement, all within 10 days of notification. Within the same time period, winners will also be required to execute a license, and any other necessary documentation, authorizing Sponsor to reproduce, display, and otherwise use the winner’s photographs for any purpose, on the Sponsor’s web site and/or in such other materials and media, whether now known or hereafter created, as Sponsor may choose, without further compensation to the winner. By accepting and/or using prize, the winner agrees to the use of his/her name, voice and/or likeness, and of the photographs submitted with the winner’s entry for the purpose of advertising, trade, or promotion, relating to the Architects Challenge, in any medium now known or hereafter created. If a selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim a prize, or fails to timely return the completed and executed declaration and releases as required, the prize may be forfeited.

General Contest Rules: By entering, each participant agrees to be bound these Official Rules and decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final. Sponsor, agents and representatives of Sponsor, its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, promotion, PR and fulfillment agencies, and legal advisors are not responsible for and shall not be liable for: (1) late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, or postage-due entries; (2) telephone, electronic, hardware or software program, network, Internet, or computer malfunctions, failures, or difficulties of any kind; (3) failed, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions; (4) any condition caused by events beyond the control of the Sponsor that may cause the Contest to be disrupted or corrupted; (5) any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising in connection with or as a result of the prizes, or acceptance, possession, or use of the prizes, or from participation in the Contest; or (6) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Contest. Sponsor reserves the right, in is sole discretion, to suspend or cancel Contest at any time if a computer virus, bug, or other technical problem corrupts the administration of the Contest.

Resolution of Disputes: Each entrant agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and any judicial proceeding shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal or state courts within the State of Minnesota, USA; (2) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of- pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event shall attorney’s fees be awarded; and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant herby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, and consequential damages, and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Minnesota, USA, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether the State of Minnesota or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Minnesota.

Privacy: Sponsor and its authorized agents will collect, use, and disclose the personal information you provide when you enter the Contest for the purposes of administering the Contest and prize fulfillment. The Contest web site may be hosted on servers in the United States, and the personal information you provide may therefore also be subject to the laws of the United States. For further information about Marvin’s privacy practices, please see:

Winners List - US Residents Only: To receive a list of winners or copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope for receipt by December 31, 2015 to 2015 Marvin Architects Challenge, 2020 Silver Bell Rd. Ste. 15, St. Paul, MN 55122. The winner’ names also will be available online at, starting August 5, 2015.

Opt Out: To opt out of receiving notices of future skill contests offered by Sponsor, please e-mail your request to Marvin Windows and Doors at For questions about this promotion email

Footnotes (Non-US Entries): * The Official Rules Supplement, applicable to entrants from Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, is available via email at ∞ Entrants from Japan must include an additional, written consent from the owner of the building featured in the entry, as well as a declaration of conformity signed by the entrant. Consent forms are available from the Marvin at § Transportation for winners resident in Ireland or the United Kingdom will be from London; for winners resident in Spain, from Madrid; for winners resident in Japan, from Tokyo; for winners resident in Israel, from Tel Aviv.