MAITLAND, FL, May 2019 – Several years ago, Charlan Brock Architects (CBA) announced the sponsorship of an awards program specifically designed for UF College of Design, Construction and Planning students who were participating in the Advanced Graduate Architectural Design 2 studio. This particular course investigates architecture as a function of human action and looks at the potential inherent in the tectonics of construction to eventually culminate in a highly resolved set of projects.

This semester, those projects focused on an issue that is near and dear to many people throughout Florida: the state’s plaguing affordable housing crisis. Recent headlines from the Orlando Sentinel and Miami Herald proclaim, “Central Florida, worst in nation for affordable housing, gets no housing money in House budget” and “Miami’s housing affordability crisis is dire,” respectively.

All submitted projects were judged initially by a team at the university, before handing over the judging of the six finalist projects to a diverse panel of jurors from CBA. Those six finalists included: Daniela Coppola, Jose Mieja, Graham Oakley, Nicholas Ray, Derek Trumpp, and a team submission by Roque Perez and Kyle Zais. Ultimately, three awards were given – a first-place award to Jose Mieja, who received a $2,000 prize, and two second-place awards given to Daniela Coppola and Graham Oakley, who each received a $1,000 prize. These prizes can be applied toward their financial aid.  

In Advanced Graduate Architectural Design 2 studio, students are expected to develop a philosophical position and operate with a research-based design process in the design of multiple projects over the course of the semester. Students are expected to develop their ideas conceptually and architecturally to provide a strong foundation in critical thinking and architectural design. 

CBA has a longstanding relationship with the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning. Firm founders Butch Charlan and Gary Brock met at the school in the 1970s. Last year, CBA hosted Dr. Chimay J. Anumba, the recently appointed Dean of the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning, at their Maitland offices.

“This was a fascinating process, and it’s quite apparent that the future architects coming out of this program take a thoughtful, holistic approach to the design process,” said Gary Brock, AIA, Principal and Partner, CBA. “We were so impressed by their enthusiasm for this challenge, and we’re looking forward to continuing this tradition both on UF’s campus in Gainesville as well as within the CityLab program in collaboration with the City of Orlando.” 

Charlan Brock Architects is an architectural firm that meets the changing needs of the broad multi-family, housing, and lifestyle center development industries. CBA has become the go-to firm for integrating housing of all typologies across the market spectrum, creatively designing financially successful products that are marketable and buildable. The company stays abreast of emerging trends, applying experience and knowledge in their consistent pursuit of excellence and innovation. CBA’s process is highly collaborative, developing close relationships with clients and outside consultants before, during, and after construction. For more information, visit

Photo Attached: Team members from CBA, led by founders Butch Charlan and Gary Brock, serve on a panel of jurors to review entries for an awards program within the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning. The program, sponsored by CBA, required participating students in the Advanced Graduate Architectural Design 2 studio to conceptualize, design, and present their architecturally based solutions to the affordable housing crisis.