17:20 PM

Richter Architects Receives Two AIA Corpus Christi Design Awards for College’s General Academic and Music Building Phase II Project on Heritage Campus

Firm also received national award from Brick Industry Association for same project; Board of Regents recognized architects’ accomplishment and design work for DMC during March 7 regular meeting

Article by Melinda Eddleman

David Richter and Elizabeth Chu Richter_Aaron Geiser

The awards are only given every three years. During the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Corpus Christi Chapter’s ceremony for their 2022 Design Awards on Jan. 19, Richter Architects received two of those awards for their design of Del Mar College’s (DMC) General Academic and Music Building Phase II, known as GAMBII, located on the Heritage Campus.

A jury panel of eminent architects from Dallas, Austin and San Antonio selected Richter Architects’ GAMBII project for the “Award of Merit” while Mayor Paulette Guajardo chose the design for the “Mayor’s Choice Award.” David and Elizabeth Chu Richter, principals of Richter Architects, presented  the two framed certificate awards to the Board of Regents during the “recognition” segment at the March 7 regular meeting.


One of the most rewarding things we do is to create spaces that people love to use. Thank you for the opportunity to design this complex. It’s very special to us.

Elizabeth Chu Richter, Richter Architects
John Strybos_DMC Vice President and Chief Physical Facilities Officer with AIA Design Award

The AIA Corpus Christi Design Awards serve as a means for member architects to receive recognition by their peers for outstanding achievements and dedication to excellence in architectural design.

David Richter also shared that the firm submitted their work to the Brick Industry Association more than a year ago and won a national award from the association for the same project. When addressing the Board, he noted, “I couldn’t be more proud of this building. And, it’s more than just a building. It contributes to the campus, which was long overdue for outdoor spaces, and stitches the campus together.”

The College opened GAMBII in January 2020 for spring semester classes but officially dedicated the facility and the Mike Anzaldúa Plaza in April 2022 due to campus closure caused by the pandemic. Construction of the nearly $46 million complex began in 2017 and is the largest project of the  

College’s $157 million bond referendum that Del Mar College District voters approved in 2014 to fund capital improvements on the Heritage and Windward Campuses. Richter Architects and BRW Architects are both credited with its design, and the contractor was Bartlett Cooke & Beecroft, JV. 

GAMBII consists of four interconnected buildings and now anchors the College’s oldest campus. Notable features include exterior bricks chosen to match the blond color of the bricks historically used on the Heritage Campus; the buildings are linked on upper floors by windowed bridges; and Mike Anzaldúa Plaza is a shaded green space and pedestrian way with gardens, loggias and courtyards that memorialize one of DMC’s most beloved educators with a series of 37 aluminum plaques engraved with some of his favorite quotes.

Additionally, GAMBII’s interior has an industrial feel with high ceilings, glazed concrete floors and exposed concrete columns. Windows allow natural light into virtually every classroom and office, and glass walls are shaded with fritted glass.

The two buildings supporting the College’s Music Department encompass 53,717 sq. ft. overall and feature three 1,500 sq. ft. rehearsal rooms, faculty studios, practice rooms, classrooms and other support spaces. A highly-advanced feature is the Virtual Acoustic Environment technology in the practice rooms that enables students to simulate venues with a keypad, such as auditorium, cathedral and arena. They can also record and play back their music or vocals.

The other two buildings include 87,712 sq. ft. of programmed space that includes upgraded, state-of-the-art classrooms, conference rooms and faculty offices; a lounge and wellness center for faculty and staff, including lockers, showers and fitness equipment; and designed space for the Center for E-Learning and Dual Credit Program and the following academic pathways: Communication, Fine Arts and Social Sciences; Kinesiology and Education; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.


About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.