PULLMAN, Wash. — Ligang Qiu’s computer-aided design concept for a courthouse in Berlin, Germany, earned a 1998 Citation Award from the Spokane Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Qiu completed his thesis project last May in Architecture 413, a fifth-year architecture course at Washington State University.
“The award not only represents strong achievement for this project, but also may be seen as new AIA recognition for the body of work produced at WSU,” said Richard B. Hastings, chair of the Spokane AIA awards program. A separate student category was added to the competition in 1998, he said, “largely due to WSU’s growing presence in Spokane.”
The intent of the competition, Hastings said, was to look at the work being done by architecture students so they will have a gauge of what is required of them in the profession.
“Individually, Qiu is one of the most talented students to come to our program,” says Don Mirkovich, associate professor of architecture who teaches the course. He explained that Qiu worked for 14 months in Paris before enrolling at WSU. During his travels through France, Belgium and Germany, he studied and sketched different type of architecture.
Of his award-winning design project, Qiu said he wanted to give it a different, more open appearance from a traditional courthouse. “I like to explore new technology and materials, especially glass, in my designs.”
Mirkovich said Qiu “was singled out by the AIA as being an outstanding performer and most likely to succeed in the profession” — which he has.
In June, he was hired by the Seattle firm of NBBJ Architects, where he is a member of a team designing a new U.S. Courthouse for Seattle.
Architecture courses are taught on the Pullman campus and at the WSU Spokane Interdisciplinary Design Institute at the Riverpoint Higher Education Park in Spokane.

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