On September 21st, members of AIA Maryland gathered to celebrate the organization’s annual Excellence in Design Awards. The jury from AIA Connecticut reviewed over 100 entries, honoring GWWO with four awards.
Located 14,115 feet above sea level, the new Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center, designed in association with RTA Architects as Architect-of-Record, received a Jury Citation. The jury took note of the careful placement and sensitive design of the highest facility of its type in the world expressing that:
“the visitor center is an impressive solution to building in a challenging site while exhibiting restraint from disturbing the natural environment and celebrating American history.”
Berks Nature’s The Rookery, a seamless addition to the Nature Place constructed over and adjacent to the existing building, doubled the size of the campus while limiting site disturbance and preserving the pristine natural setting. The jury presented the project with a Citation stating that
“purity of aesthetic and focus on materials in the design are perfect for this project’s goals and mission. The building responds to the surrounding nature cohesively without complicated architectural form.”
Finally, the jury bestowed the new Nancy R. & Norton T. Dodge Performing Arts Center & Learning Commons at St. Mary’s College of Maryland with an Honor Award and named the project the 2023 Public Building of the Year. Designed in association with GUND Partnership, these two new buildings integrate new program spaces into the core academic district to support programs for the arts and learning, knitting the spaces together with campus housing to the north and enlivening and energizing the learning environment. As stated by the jury:
“Public buildings can act as harbingers, as event spaces that foreshadow or anticipate cultural experiences that harbor cultural memories and potential change. Theaters are just such a projective space. The Nancy R. And Norton T. Dodge Performing Arts Center and Learning Commons at St. Mary’s College of Maryland is a careful and thoughtful part of larger community context and university campus. It sensitively knits together the campus buildings with exceptional proportions, materials, and details that gives the campus a dignified and unified architectural character and sense of place. It also invites the larger Tidewater community to become part of the theater and musical performances. The Dodge Center’s crowning jewel 700-seat auditorium, along with its recital hall and support areas, successfully deliver masterful acoustic and visually exquisite spaces. The design provides harmony in the distinct campus setting while amplifying the importance of the arts.”
The Dodge Performing Arts Center & Learning Commons joins two other GWWO designs to be named Public Building of the Year, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center (2020) and the Morgan State University Calvin & Tina Tyler Hall (2021).
Thank you to our clients, the City of Colorado Springs, Berks Nature, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland, for their vision, partnership, and collaboration that has resulted in three exceptional designs that each uniquely support their missions.