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September 6, 2017
Member News

Cecil Baker + Partners Recognizes Michael Pearson Architecture Prize Winner

By Mary Tasillo
Jacob Gulezian designed this vinicultural center, intended to spark economic growth in Areni, Armenia, where the world's oldest known winemaking facility was recently discovered.

Jacob Gulezian of Cecil Baker + Partners has received the 2017 Michael Pearson Architecture Prize from Drexel University. The Pearson Prize is presented annually to the architecture student who produces the best thesis project and shows exceptional spirit in pursuing the work. Chosen by faculty vote, Jacob received the Prize upon completion of his undergraduate studies in May.

Jacob joined Cecil Baker + Partners in 2014 as an Intern Architect, while completing his degree under Drexel’s 2+4 option – an accelerated route that includes two years of full-time coursework followed by four years of full-time employment in the building industry coupled with part-time academic classes in the evenings.

At Cecil Baker + Partners, Jacob has provided drafting, rendering and modeling support on a broad range of projects, including high rise condominium buildings, affordable senior housing, and zoning and feasibility exercises. He also brings prior experience in lighting design.

Jacob's interest in architecture stems from its ability to serve as a lens through which to experience the world. For his thesis, Jacob traveled to the small village of Areni in southern Armenia, where his family has roots. He studied the history of vinification there and designed a vinicultural center close to the newly discovered archeological site of the oldest known winemaking facility in the world. The discovery created the need for a supporting facility to study, store and display the findings. It also led Jacob to study how such a facility could act as a catalyst for economic growth in the region by continuing the tradition of wine production using modern techniques.

Originally from the Washington, DC area, Jacob has lived in six different neighborhoods of Philadelphia during his six years in the city. He has enjoyed the uniqueness of each one, and looks forward to continuing to explore and shape more corners of his adoptive city.

The recipient of the Pearson Prize receives a gold medal and a stipend for extended travel for the study of architecture.

Cecil Baker + Partners is an architecture firm providing design services to governmental, educational, institutional and private sector clients. Established in 1982 and based in Philadelphia, the firm's services include feasibility studies, programming, design of new structures, adaptive reuse of existing structures, and interior design.

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