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Lane Tech Students Win Competition to Study at Frank Lloyd Wright Studio

By Patty Wetli | February 13, 2013 9:07am
 Lane Tech High School students Ronan King and Angel Estrella won a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Arizona.
Lane Tech High School students Ronan King and Angel Estrella won a trip to Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio in Arizona.
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Lane Tech

ROSCOE VILLAGE — Two Lane Tech High School students will spend their upcoming spring break traveling to the winter home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Juniors Angel Estrella and Ronan King earned the all-expenses paid trip to Taliesin West — now the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture — through a competition sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Over the course of a week, the teens will study at the Wright School, visit nearby universities' architecture programs, and tour examples of notable architecture in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson.

Jesse Berlanga, the young men's teacher at Lane Tech, said he expects Estrella and King to come away with a deeper appreciation of architecture as well as a greater understanding of Wright's work.

"Some of the things he talked about back then are prevalent today," said Berlanga, citing Wright's focus on sustainability and use of locally-found materials.

Lane Tech's three-year architecture program enrolls sophomores through seniors, with a curriculum that encompasses residential and commercial construction and design.

Berlanga, a 30-year veteran teacher, builds competition entries into students' coursework as a way to provide real-world design experience. Many of his students go on to study in related fields such as engineering, construction management and real estate, he said.

The success of students such as Estrella and King suggests his methods are working.

"Some of the stuff is getting through," he said.