Studio 804, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation committed to the continued research and development of sustainable, affordable, and inventive building solutions. The University of Kansas Department of Architecture offers this comprehensive education opportunity for graduate students entering the final year of the Master of Architecture program, transfer students, or professionals — anyone who wants to be a better architect by having had the experience of designing and constructing a sophisticated building in its entirety from the ground up.. All aspects of the design and construction process are carried out by the students over the course of a nine month academic year. This includes everything from initial design including all systems, construction documents, estimates, working with zoning and code officials, site layout, placing concrete, framing, roofing, siding, setting solar panels, landscape and more — there isn’t anything we don’t do ourselves.
Since the beginning, the work of Studio 804 has targeted energy efficient and sustainable design. Since the 5.4.7. Arts Center in Greensburg, Kansas, which was completed in 2008, each project has been LEED Platinum Certified and several of them have been Passive House US (PHIUS) Certified. All the houses have targeted net zero energy use over a calendar year.
2017_Keegan, Edward. "1300 Brook Street Residence," Architect Magazine, September 2017 PP 177-182
2017_Corner, et al. Prescott + NY Passive Houses, Passive House Details
2017_Schittich, Christian. "The Forum at Marvin Hall," Architecture+Urbanism Glass Facade, Japan, pp133-141 August 2017
2017_Transsolar, Bioclimatic Construction, DETAIL Germany Issue 5 2017, High Comfort-Low Impact, pp 74-78 DETAIL, English edition, Vol. 4, pp 64-68
2016_Kraus, Chad. Editor "Work Ethic, Ethical Work," Designbuild Education
2016_Aksamija, Ajla. Integrating Innovation in Architecture, CDR, pp 184-191.
2016_Gregorian, Cindy. "Kansas home by Studio 804", KC Star Nov 2016
2016_Curated, Valkommen Till Framtiden, Sweden, Forum, Penn St House
2016_Thallon, Rob. Graphic Guide to Frame Construction, contributor
2016_Seward, Aaron. "Verses on Design/Build," Texas Architect May 2016
2016_Welch, Maura. "A Forum for Practical Learning," GD+B, March-April 2016
2016_Editors. “The Forum at Marvin Hall,” Detail Magazine, China
2015_Gerfen, Katie, “Studio 804”, Custom Home International, Summer
2015_Briscoe, Danielle. “EcoHawks Research Facility,” Beyond BIM
2015_Editors, Honorable Mention, Architects Newspaper
2015_Stratford, Stephen. Studio19, Design Document Build, New Zealand
2015_Wood Design Awards, Celebrating Excellence in Wood Architecture
2015_Hill, David. “Study Hall,” Architectural Record, November
2015_Rooney, E.Ashley, Leeding the Way, Springfield + Prescott
2015_Wilmes, Adam. “Studio 804,” Altruism by Design, Spring 2015
2015_Lentz, Linda. “Dynamic Glass,” Architectural Record, March 2015
2014_Editors, “Field Guide to Architectural Education,” Azure, Nov/Dec 2014
2014_Hand, Gunnar. “DIY Lecture Hall,” Architects Newspaper, August 2014
2014_Dabkowski, B. “Illuminating Aluminum,” Design Bureau 100, Summer 2014
2014_Groom, Sean. “Breeding Grounds, Studio 804,” Fine Homebudiling Sp 2014
2014_Rand, Patrick. “Center for Design Research,” Materials for Design 2, 2014
2014_Loria, Keith. Design for Harsh Environments, Residential Architect, Sp 2014
2013_Editors, “Dan Rockhill on Studio 804,” Prefab Source Book ,by Dwell, 2013
2013_Gerfen, Katie, “EcoHawks Research Facility,” Architect Magazine, August 2013, pp96-103
2013_Malone, Allana, “Case Study: Galileo’s Pavilion,” GreenSource, May-June 2013, pp72-76
2013_Vierra, Stephanie, “High-Performance Design with Natural Stone,” Building Stone Magazine, Spring 2013, pp76-91
2013_Editors, “The Green Campus: Studio 804,” College Planning and Management, April 2013, pp28-38
2012_Moskovitz, Julie Torres, “Prescott Passive House,” The Greenest Home: Superinsulated and Passive House Design, 2012, pp32-37
2012_Editors, “Energy Efficient University Building,” Third Holcim Awards, 2011-2012
2012_Ifengspace, Shanghai, “Prescott Passive House” + “Sustainable Prototype,” pp68-74, pp216-220, 2012
2012_Magarrey, Paige, “Higher Learning,” Azure, November-December 2012, pp66-73
2012_Editors, “Sustainable Residence,” Architecture of Low Energy Consumption, Shanghai 2012 pp144-147
2012_Tsiora-Papaioannou, Dimitra, “Epeynhtiko Kansas,” Ktirio, Greece, Spring 2012
2012_Lovric, Vladimir, “Eco House” Eko Kuca Magazin, Serbia, June 2012
2012_van Uffelen, Chris, “Passive Houses: Energy Efficient Homes,” Switzerland
2012_Nyary, Erika, “Épitészhallgatók Passzívháza,” Alaprajz Magazine, Hungary, January 2012
2011_Serrats, Marta, “1000 Tips by 100 Eco Architects,” Barcelona
2011_Keegan, Edward, “University of Kansas Center for Design Research,” Architect Magazine, October 2011
2011_Editors, “Passive House,” 101 Small Buildings, Fall 201, pp176-184
2011_Lee, Lydia, “Greenhouse Winner,” Eco-Structure, September-October 2011, pp70-75
2011_Editors, “3716 Springfield, Sensible House,” “Sustainable Prototype: Arts Center,” Source Book of Contemporary Green Architecture
2011_Editors, “Residential Architect Design Awards 2011,” Residential Architect Magazine, March-April 2011
2011_Editors, “Greensburg 5.4.7,” KTIPIA, Athens, Greece, Spring 2011, pp208-214
2011_Aquilino, Marie, “Greensburg,” Beyond Shelter, May 2011, pp234-245
2010_Frey, Pierre, “Did You Say Learning?” “Studio 804,” Learning from Vernacular, France, 2010, pp150-159
2010_Rockhill, Dan, “Studio 804,” Arcade, Design in the NW, Fall 2010, pp28-29
2010_Editors, “Sustainable Residence,” 21st Century World Architecture, China
2016_LEED Platinum, USGBC, the Forum at Marvin Hall
2016_Certified Passive House, Passive House Institute, NY House
2016_St Louis Architect & Designer Awards Finalist, New York St House
2015_Wood Design Award, Canadian Wood Council, Marvin Hall Forum
2015_Best of 2015 Design Award, Architects Newspaper
2015_LEED Platinum, USGBC, NY Street House
2015_Central States AIA Design Award for Excellence, Forum at Marvin Hall
2014_Wood Design Award, Canadian Wood Council, Marvin Hall Forum 2014
2014_Finalist, AZURE Design Award, EcoHawks Research Facility
2014_ Architizer’s A+ Awards. Juror’s Choice Award for Student Design-Build Typology. EcoHawks Research Facility
2014_LEED Platinum. US Green Building Council. EcoHawks Research Facility
2013_International Prize for Sustainable Architecture Fassa Bortolo. Honorable Mention. Galileo’s Pavilion
2013_Engineered News-Record. 2013 Best Projects: Green Project. Merit Award. Galileo’s Pavilion
2012_LEED Platinum. US Green Building Council. Galileo’s Pavilion
2012_American Institute of Architects Kansas Student Honor Award. Galileo’s Pavilion + Center for Design Research
2012_Construction Specifications Institute. Sustainable Education 2012 Award. Studio 804
2012_CPG. Excellence in Concrete 2012. Polished Concrete + Sustainable Concrete. Galileo’s Pavilion
2012_American Architects. Building of the Week. Galileo’s Pavilion
2011_LEED Platinum. US Green Building Council. Center for Design Research
2011_Pre-Certified Passive House. Passive House Institute. Center for Design Research
2011_Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction Award. Center for Design Research
2011_Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award Finalist in Architecture. Studio 804
2011_Evergreen Award, Greenhouse Award 2011. Springfield House
2011_Residential Architect Design Awards 2011. Grand Award. Studio 804
2010_Certified Passive House. Passive House Institute. Prescott Passive House
2010_AIA Central State Award. Prescott Passive House
2010_LEED Platinum. US Green Building Council. Prescott Passive House
2009_LEED Platinum. US Green Building Council. 3716 Springfield
2009_NCARB Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education. Greensburg KS
2009_European Centre for Architecture Art Design & Urban Studies. Green Good Design Award. Greensburg KS
2008_LEED Platinum. US Green Building Council. Greensburg KS
2008_Wood Design & Building Magazine. Wood Design Award. Greensburg, KS
2008_Lifecycle Building Challenge. Honorable Mention. Greensburg, KS
2008_Eco Structure Magazine. Evergreen Award Honorable Mention. Greensburg, KS
2008_American Institute of Architects. Education Honor Award for Excellence. Studio 804
2008_Venice Architecture Biennale. Participant. Into the Open: Positioning Practice. Greensburg, KS
2007_Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture. Studio 804
2007_Boston Society of Architects. In the Pursuit of Housing. Mod 3 + 2005 Mod 2
The learning curve is steep,almost straight upward.
2008 John Gillham, W. Des Moines, IA
For better or worse, Studio 804_08 and the 5.4.7 Arts Center represent perhaps the most significant project I will ever be a part of in my life. From the story, to the materials, the history of the 804 Studio, the timetable, the town, to the beauty of the finished product, it is in my mind an amazingly fitting tribute to the program and what it ultimately seeks to represent; sustainability, prefabrication, and most importantly, the dedication of its students. I will carry this experience with me forever as a fitting and lasting end to my pre-professional career, giving me the confidence to pursue my professional goals head on. It has taught me more about myself, my abilities, my strengths, and my weaknesses than I ever thought possible, yet it has also done something else. It has given me a sense of accomplishment which no one will ever be able to take away.
2008 Krissy Buck, St. Louis, MO.
Though I started with what I thought to be a good grasp on the building process and architectural field, I found this grasp to be somewhat biased and unfortunately limited. I can say with certainty, I leave my final year at the University of Kansas with a much more comprehensive view of the practice due to my involvement with Studio 804. I know now that my ideas are backed by an irreplaceable knowledge and unparalleled educational experience.
2009 Jared Eder, Minnesota
The technical skills and building process knowledge gained are an invaluable part of the experience and a great supplement to any architectural education. However, and maybe most importantly you learn how to work effectively in a team, how to teach, how to listen, how to communicate, and how to compromise. The roles of teacher and student are interchangeable when you are placed in a situation that requires creativity and collaboration.
In life we all need to be pushed to really know who we are and what we are actually capable of.
2010 CJ Amstrong, Lawrence, Kansas
I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with a large firm in Chicago as part of the design team on many large scale projects in Shanghai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Seoul and several projects in the U.S. They ranged from mixed use skyscrapers to several million square foot residential complexes, hospitals, schools and museums. I engaged the design/ construction process at a level far beyond that an intern does. While I learned a great deal during this period of time, there is a very specific reason I chose this specific graduate program over others at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Columbia and U.Penn. After an architectural education career which consisted of countless design studios and structural/graphic design/research classes, something was still missing; and again in my professional career, something still seemed to be lacking. What I have found in Studio 804 which I have not been able to in the past 10 years is confidence; the confidence to stand up among the architectural community and defend the work we have produced as something far more than just a building. The confidence to know that I can enter the practice as a force to be reckoned with and produce architecture which responds to its time, place and purpose without regret.”
2015 Alex Wolfrum
Then came the real challenge: assembling the parts. More than the cutting and nailing, it’s about gaining the confidence to make that first cut and drive that first nail. This is the unique experience that Studio 804 thrives on. It pushed us outside of our comfort zones to a place where actual learning happened. The intense satisfaction is a feeling I’ll be trying to regain for the rest of my architectural career.
2015 Pia Westen
When it comes to design build programs around the country, I think Studio804 is as good as it gets, but I may be biased (I don't think I am). Few who see the work 804 has produced actually believe that it’s all student built, beginning to end. I spent a good chunk of time researching all the different design build programs around, and while there are multiple around (Yale, U of Washington, Tulane, Auburn, etc.), I think 804 is the most comprehensive, developed, and sophisticated one out there. You would be hard pressed to find another program that has met LEED Platinum and Passive House standards, not to mention doing so year after year. Everything is done by Dan and the students from start to finish, including project procurement, securing donations, design, sourcing materials, permitting, accounting, and of course every aspect of construction. While everyone comes in with varying degrees of work experience and construction know-how, there is not much, if any, favoritism placed on what you come in with. It was my experience that the amount of responsibility given to each student is dictated by work ethic and initiative, two things I think Dan respects and cultivates in students. It’s not about who you are or what you know when you start, but the time and effort you put in to learn the things that you don’t.
2016 Max Wurster, Noblesville, Indiana
When first visited KU and Studio 804, the program was in the middle of constructing The Forum. I was sold instantly on the school. Dan Rockhill is one of the most driven and passionate professors I have had the pleasure to work with.
2016 Alyssa Johnston, George West, Texas
I chose to come to the University of Kansas specifically for Studio 804. After researching many schools across the country, I could find no program consistently producing projects of this caliber every year. Some people are able to understand things visually, but I learned early in school that the tangible learning experiences leave a long-lasting impact. Professor Dan Rockhill has set the bar higher than any studio I have ever participated in, and the final product certainly speaks to it.
2016 James De Fries, Warrensburg, Missouri
Studio 804 places eighteen students in areas that include not just design and construction but in budgeting, marketing, philanthropy, wood working, scheduling inspections, LEED certification, acquisitions of donations and professional relationships, and so on and so forth. I have found that it takes a special kind of teamwork to accomplish the feats that are accomplished in Studio 804. The lessons that are taught in this studio are invaluable assets that have already proved very rewarding.
2016 Allison Wilke, Saint Charles, Missouri
This program has given me the confidence that I could design a building beyond the conceptual and schematic phases, which is much more than I could say at this time last year.
I’ve acquired an even greater appreciation for refined, contemporary architecture and now can fully appreciate what Charles Eames meant when he said, “The details are not the details. They make the design.”
2016 Nolan D Fike, Manhattan
The journey between sketches on paper and renderings on a screen to walking through a fully finished project, clad in materials that you picked, you purchased, and you applied can only be described with one word, “satisfying”.
2017 Chris Roybal
804 is truly a unique experience, all (well most) problems are solved by you and your classmates, there will be mistakes and that is how you learn.
2017 Charlie Rotter
The Studio 804 program gives students the opportunity to participate in, what I believe is, one of the world's most comprehensive practices of architecture out there. The biggest takeaway each student gets from 804 is the confidence gained, that when presented a challenge, they have every tool they need to overcome whatever lies in their way.
2017 Brittany Hediger
Studio 804 is the most valuable exposure you can get to the built environment and unequivocally prepares you for the architectural profession. In a short ten months, you learn how to work through all facets of design and construction from concept conception to the final product.
2017 Faysal Bhuiyan
Studio 804 breaks the chain that ties us students to our desks and exposes us to the actual environment of the mainstream construction industry. We just do not learn it, we live it.
Available December 1, 2018 from Oscar Riera Ojeda Publishers
Studio 804 Design Build Expanding the Pedagogy of Architectural Education
By Dan Rockhill (with text prepared from interviews by David Sain)
ISBN # 9781946226211
The book can be purchased online at:
And over the counter at:
Barnes and Noble on the Plaza
420 W 47th St, Kansas City, Missouri 64112
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Museum Shop
4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Kansas Student Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, Kansas 66045
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Museum Store
4525 Oak Street Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Rainy Day Books
2706 W 53rd St, Fairway, Kansas 66205
The Raven Book Store
6 E 7th St, Lawrence, Kansas 66044KU Union Bookstore