Alan DeFrees

Alan DeFrees

Professor of the Practice


Prof. DeFrees has taught at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture since 1994. His professional practice spans nearly 30 years and includes office and retail buildings, sports facilities, restaurants, and school, church and hospital additions. Since 1990 he has focused on a range of residential work from low-cost urban in-fill projects to high-end residences and condominiums, including many homes along Lake Michigan. Prof. DeFrees has used computers in architectural applications since 1979 including computer programming for structural engineering, energy design and perspective drawing. His computer-aided drawing and graphic-design experience date back to 1988. Prof. DeFrees is an accomplished woodworker whose work in sculpture and furniture has appeared in many exhibitions and publications. In 2001 he was nominated for the American Institute of Architecture Students National Educator Honor Award. He was voted €œEducator of the Year € by the student groups AIAS-ND in 2001 and by AIAS-ND, SNU-ND, SCA-ND, and SAWA-ND in 2012. He is a 1974 graduate of Notre Dame's architecture program and has done graduate work in Fine Arts at Indiana University. In 2008, he received the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Recently Taught Courses

ARCH 20511 Structural Mechanics

ARCH 40411 Environmental Systems I

ARCH 40421 Building Technology II

ARCH 40511 Structural Design for Architects

ARCH 47411 Independent Research: Urban Issues

ARCH 50419 Environmental Systems II

ARCH 54321 Historic Construction and Preservation

ARCH 57611 Environmental Issues in Historic Architecture

ARCH 60421 Building Technology II

ARCH 60431 Environmental Systems I

ARCH 60511 Sturctures I

ARCH 70441 Environmental Systems II

ARCH 70531 Structures III: Wood and Steel

ARCH 81161 Terminal Design Project

Select Publications

University of Notre Dame

Bachelor of Architecture      1974

Rome Studies Program      1971-1972      

Indiana University, South Bend Graduate Studies   1984-1989


Indiana 3670       Since 1979

Michigan 27820       Since 1980

NCARB Certification 24198       1980



"America's Most Admired Educators" - DesignIntelligence, 2015

"Educator of the Year", University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, 2015

Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, 2013

Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, 2008

€œFeatured Educator € article in  Licensed Architect  magazine, Summer, 2001

€œTeacher of the Year € Award €“ AIAS, Notre Dame Chapter, 2001

Nomination for the national AIAS  Educator Award  (one of three in the nation), 2000


Design Charrette: Downtown South Bend, Indiana, 2001

Design Charrette: Greenville, Alabama, 2003


Conference: Traditional Architecture and Urbanism - The Original Green

€œSaving a Treasure € by Angie Long, Greenville Advocate, January, 29, 2003

€œAn Incredible Weekend € by Angie Long, Greenville Advocate, January, 29, 2003

€œImprovement Ideas Studied € by Alvin Benn, Montgomery Advertiser, January 26, 2003

€œCemeteries Require Sense of Permanence € by Andrew Hughes, South Bend Tribune, May 27, 2002

€œStudents Visit, Hear Plans, Staff, Times Argus, January 31, 2002

Co-author,  Kinetic Skyscraper, presented at conference in Hong Kong, 2000


American Institute of Architecture Students

Notre Dame Sustainability Committee 2008-2009

Notre Dame Center for Building Communities Advisory Board 2007-2009

Dean €™s Review 2008

School of Architecture Task Force on the Environment 2007-2008

Center for Social Concerns Ganey Grant Review 2008

Academic Metrics 2007-2008

University Council on Academic Technology 2003-2007

Computer Committee 2000-2009

Publication Committee 2002-2009

Web Design Committee 2000-2009

Marketing Committee 2006-2009

Facilities Committee 2007-2009

Ad Hoc Committee for the NAAB interim visit 2007

Faculty Advisor, Notre Dame Chapter, American Institute of Architecture Students

Instructor, Notre Dame High School Career Discovery Program, 2002-2012

Respondent, Cathedrals for a New Century, Notre Dame, Indiana, October 2001

Research Field Trip Leader:

Greenville, Alabama, 2003
Marshall, Michigan, 2002
Montpelier, Vermont, 2002
Chico, California, 2002


Historic Preservation:
Feasibility study for rehabilitation of the South Bend Natatorium Building, 2002
Structural inspection and investigation at Copshaholm €“ Northern Indiana Historical Society, 2001

Professional Practice:
Hannah and Friends Farm Main Building, St. Joseph Co., IN, 2007
The Price Residence, New Buffalo, Michigan, 2002
The George Residence, New Buffalo, Michigan, 2002
Building Envelope Analysis, The Pointe at North Shore Woods, 2001-2002
Urban In-fill Residences, various cities in Indiana and Michigan, 1996-2000
The Thomas Residence, South Bend, Indiana, 1998
Logan Center Housing for mentally handicapped study, 1998

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