SCUP Excellence Awards

Strategic, integrated planning results in exemplary buildings, grounds, institutional success, and careers that inspire.

The SCUP Excellence Awards program is a juried competition that showcases how using strategic, integrated planning can result in exemplary buildings, grounds, institutional success, and careers that inspire! It is open to professional service providers and institutions that have prepared designs or plans for two year and four year colleges, universities, academic medical and research centers, public or private institutions. Entries are accepted from SCUP member and nonmember consultants or institutions. Submittals must be made by a team including the institution and the planning, landscape architect, or architect professional(s).

This award recognizes that comprehensive campus planning and design are collaborative and involve campus planners, architects, administrators, faculty, professional consultants and many stakeholders. We recognize that some plans may take years to fully implement, but it must be evident that a significant event such as a strategic, physical or facilities change, a change that triggered expansion, executive board actions, or establishment of a new strategic partnership has taken place.

  • Excellence in Planning for a New Campus This category recognizes an exemplary physical master plan for an entirely new campus or for planning a new satellite or branch campus physically separated from the established college or university campus.
  • Excellence in Planning for an Existing Campus This category recognizes a comprehensive campus-wide plan for adding, updating, augmenting or rearranging existing spaces due to institutional or community changes. These may include shifts in surrounding land use, enrollment, mission, academic or student life programs, property ownership, partnerships, and system mandates on an existing campus.
  • Excellence in Planning for a District or Campus Component This category recognizes an integrated plan for an entire geographic or functional sub-area of a campus. It includes plans for components of a campus such as athletic and recreational areas, housing districts, or academic medical centers. It could also be an historic preservation plan for a campus precinct that has undergone restoration, renovation or adaptive re-use due to obsolescence, deterioration over time, or deferred maintenance.

This award recognizes excellence in the planning and design of campus grounds for higher education. It includes the sensitive and skillful design of open space and landscape elements such as streetscapes, transit corridors, pedestrian routes, courts, quads, and garden areas, natural areas, and storm water management. The category emphasizes the distinctive use of paving materials, plantings, furnishings, fixtures, and special amenities that enhance the use and enjoyment of the outdoor campus environment. This category focuses on landscape as a system as opposed to a project. (The project should represent the mission, vision and values of the institution and support teaching and student life.) There are no time constraints concerning completion of the project with regards to your entry. Include information on institutional involvement that may have occurred throughout the project, if applicable.

  • Excellence in Landscape Architecture for General Design This category recognizes site-specific works of landscape architecture or urban design. Typical entries include: historic preservation, reclamation, conservation; green roofs, stormwater design, sustainable design; design for transportation or infrastructure; landscape art or installation; interior landscape design; and more. Entries in this category must be built. There is no time limit to when the projects were implemented.
  • Excellence in Landscape Architecture for Open Space Planning This category recognizes the wide variety of professional activities that lead to and guide landscape architecture design. This category focuses on landscape systems as opposed to a specific project. Typical entries include campus landscape master plans, development guidelines, transportation planning, cultural, historic, and natural resources planning, landscape operations and maintenance, stormwater planning, sustainability innovation, and more. Entries in this category do not need to be built or implemented. 

This award recognizes comprehensive campus design and planning are collaborative and involve campus architects, planners, administrators, faculty, professional consultants and many stakeholders. Submittals must be made by a team including the institution and the architect(s). Your project must have been completed and occupied within the past five years.

  • Excellence in Architecture for a New Building This category is for a completely new building(s) designed for single or multiple purposes. The design must respond to the institutional mission, academic and student life program requirements, architectural and cultural heritage, community context, and the campus master plan.
  • Excellence in Architecture for Building Additions, Renovation or Adaptive Reuse This category is for expanding or adding space to an existing building for the same or related use; or it could be for the addition, renovation or adaptive reuse of buildings that no longer suit their original use or architectural intention.
  • Excellence in Architecture for Rehabilitation, Restoration or Preservation This category is for demonstrated skill and sensitivity in restoration or preservation of an existing historic structure for its original or related use, respecting traditional and new building technologies.