Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clay Rokicki - J. Neel Reid Prize Winner, 2010

Clay Rokicki is the winner of the J. Neel Reid Prize for 2010. He's from Poland, Ohio, a suburb of Youngstown. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from University of Notre Dame in 2006. After graduation Clay joined Historical Concepts where he is a Senior Intern. I assembled this post from Clay's prize lecture on March 3, 2011. (Read more about the prize winners.)

Clay used the prize for a "Brief Tour of Southern England" where he produced work like this:

Emmanuel College, Cambridge
"In keeping with the legacy of Reid, my objective was to study a choice selection of English towns, buildings, details, and gardens."
With a rental car and "big American backpack" Clay hit the road starting in the cathedral town of Winchester.

Clay toured clockwise from here, ending in London.
"I documented my trip through a sketchbook, analytical measured drawings, photographs, and journal-keeping."
Mompesson House

Clay's sketch of Mompesson House
"By experiencing and drawing these places, streetscapes, buildings, and their elements, I aimed to compile priceless knowledge that would be a tremendous design resource."

Clay's sketch of Winchester Square
"Through careful study and observation, I hoped to refine my sense of proportion, scale, and the harmonious arrangement of elements."
Measured drawing of Baluster at Stourhead House.

Measured drawing from Tintinhull House, Somerset. We'll return to the Tintinhull/Atlanta connection later.

Bath: Kingsmeade Square and Post Office.




Great Dixter

Great Dixter

St. Paul's

Sir John Soane House breakfast room.

Returning to Tintinhull house:
"Just as Neel Reid did, it is my intent to bring the lessons I learned back home; to bring my experience to bear on real projects here in Georgia."
Tintinhull (c. 1720) is the model for the Charles C. Case House in Atlanta. (1918, Hentz, Reid & Adler Job 371 thanks to William R. Mitchell, Jr.)

Tintinhull on the left, Case house on the right.

Clay found used elevations of both to demonstrate how Reid had adapted/perfected the design for Atlanta.

Tintinhull on the left, Case house on the right.

Clay Rokicki has been heavily involved with several major projects for Historical Concepts:

Fairburn Education Campus Clay was heavily involved all the way from schematic through construction. See the pdf.

Historical Concepts' entry into the HUB Charleston competition
, a proposal for a transit station for Charleston. The site is a parking lot on Meeting Street. The design won a 2011 Shutze Award and was the only traditional entry to receive an honorable mention.


If you'd like to try this for yourself here is Clay's to-do list prepared with a lot of help from his friends.

What Clay Saw
DAY 1: Winchester, Avington Park
DAY 2: Salisbury, Mompesson House
DAY 3: Stourhead Estate, Tintinhull House and Garden, Wells
DAY 4: Bath
DAY 5: Bath
DAY 6: Biddestone, Castle Combe, Tetbury, Cirencester, Blenheim Palace
DAY 7: Oxford (various colleges)
DAY 8: Cambridge (various colleges)
DAY 9: Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Great Dixter House and Garden
DAY 10: Royal Tunbridge Wells, Groombridge Place Gardens, Standen House, Goddards House
DAY 11: London- Syon House, Victoria & Albert Museum
DAY 12: London- St. Paul’s Cathedral, St. Stephen Walbrook, Sir John Soane’s House, Covent Garden
DAY 13: London- Harrods, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall Road, Trafalgar Square, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the National Gallery

I know this isn't the best picture and I didn't know it at the time but I was fortunate to capture William R. Mitchell, Jr. author of J. Neel Reid, Architect which funds the prize and Clay at the prize lecture, Bill in glasses, Clay in the tie, Domenick Treschitta (Historical Concepts) in between.


Thanks to Clay for bringing your down south and for sharing your work with us.



  1. It was a great presentation and made me want to pick up a pencil to improve my drawing skills.

  2. I had seen the elevation of the Case house compared to the elevation of Tintinhull, but never seen them overlaid at the same scale; this was very interesting. And the sketches are wonderful.


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