BVH Interns Receive National ASAI Award


BVH interns Josh Puppe and David Alcala have received a Student Award of Distinction from the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), one of the highest honors the architectural illustration profession can bestow. This exceptional award is among one of the 14 awarded nationally. Their project, “St. Joseph’s Catholic Church – Searching for the Ineffable,” was completed during their design studio last semester at UNL’s College of Architecture.

Here, in their own words, the two describe their process, their frustrations and finally, their intense satisfaction following their work’s conclusion.

What is the illustration of?

David: The illustration is a section cut through the architecture of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. It shows the community spaces, chapel spaces, columbarium space and how they relate to each other spatially.

What are the main concepts illustrated in this work and how did you illustrate them?

Josh: Our main concept is based upon light and dark to draw on the ineffable – ineffable meaning incapable of expression due to sacredness. The main chapel space is large and filled with light, whereas the private chapel/columbarium spaces – the vertical black volume – are very compact, dark and more intimate.

David: Another concept illustrated is the relationship between architecture and ascension, and how guiding someone through a building vertically can change their perception of the architecture and affect their experience.

How long did it take you to complete this project? 

David: It was a part of the comprehensive studio at UNL’s College of Architecture and from start to finish, it took the entire semester.

Josh: Rendering the image took roughly four hours. But producing all representations for the project’s final competition date took innumerable amounts of hours. If I had to guess, I’d say 120 + hours. The physical model took a very long time as well. David took incredible care and was meticulous with detail.


What was your favorite part about doing this project? 

David: My favorite part of this project was getting the opportunity to work with a partner. Josh and I have complementary styles of design with him being much more digital and me leaning towards the analog side of things. We have similar design ethos and a mutual level of respect that really helped us push the project forward and enrich it as much as we possibly could.

Josh: I couldn’t put it any better than David. I was really nervous about it being a required partner project. Going into the beginning of the semester, David and I did not know one another much at all. It worked out alright, though!

Is there anything else you want to add? 

David: All in all, St. Josephs Catholic Church is a project that I am incredibly proud of. I have never put as many hours or worked at that intensity for a project as I have with this. Working with Josh was incredibly refreshing, as he introduced a completely new way of thinking to my design process, making me a better and more well-rounded designer.

Josh: It was an incredible experience. I never before experienced such a strain on mental, emotional and physical well-being, nor such a lack of sleep. It was thrilling to say the least. But the grueling hours put in with David was well worth it. I came away from the experience having grown tremendously in many areas. There was one particular night that I will never forget; around 3 A.M. (early in the design process of the project) where we were close tears due to frustration. it took a long time but we finally hit a breakthrough and took off from there.


The duo also wants to give special thanks to their professor, BVH’s Creative Director Mark Bacon, for his care, guidance and investment during the studio.

As part of the award, Josh and David’s illustration will be featured in ASAI’s annual exhibition and catalog, “Architecture in Perspective 31.” They will receive their award at a special ceremony in Boston on Oct. 1, 2016.

From all of us at BVH, we congratulate you on this remarkable accomplishment!

Please click on the image below to see the full-size night render.