On September 29th, members of AIA Maryland gathered to celebrate the organization’s annual Excellence in Design Awards. This year, the jury from AIA South Carolina honored GWWO with five awards—a firm record—celebrating the achievements of four projects.
“This design mixes just the right amount of playfulness and versatility on the interior and exterior to make it a stand-out design yet still fit so perfectly into its context. Not only is this center a great departure from the traditional look and feel of an institutional building, but it provides a wonderful amenity to the community,” stated the jury.
Receiving both the Vision Award and a Merit Award, the Cahill Fitness & Wellness Center, a modern rec center that replaced a dreary 1970’s facility within Baltimore’s Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, was recognized as a testament to client vision, community collaboration, and design achievement, exemplifying an integrated design approach and the creation of a healthy, sustainable, and vibrant built environment.
The firm’s recent work to restore and repair the roof of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was recognized with an Honor Award for Historic Preservation. The jury noted:
“This is a stunning and well-documented achievement in preservation, community impact, and sustainability. The scope is precise and exacting, and the investment in ‘doing it right’ is notable, including the efforts to capture all waste and protect the tidal basin and in creating control stones for future study.”
The reimagined Johns Hopkins University Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation & Well-being, designed in association with MJMA Architecture & Design, received a Merit Award. The jury celebrated the transformative addition and renovation stating:
“the addition stands out as an elegant statement solution that showcases the active use of the campus wellness center through its dynamic exterior and bold interior design. The refined zinc-clad facade with a nicely integrated canopy and outdoor seating give the existing structure a new welcoming face and thoughtfully placed glass walls provide a strong connectivity between indoor activity and outdoor scenery.”
Lastly, the jury found the storytelling woven within the design of the Jean R. Packard Occoquan Center worthy of a Citation.
“Few submissions conveyed their story through parti as well as the Occoquan Center. The marrying of glass and timber on the exterior helped to drive home the story of the unions set to take place on the interior. Not only does the center provide wonderful event space, but it also provides a beautiful backdrop to highlight the history that has taken place within Occoquan Regional Park and the Chesapeake Bay.”
We are grateful to our clients, Baltimore City Rec & Parks, the National Parks Service, Johns Hopkins University, and NOVA Parks, for choosing us to be a part of their vision and for their dedication to providing exceptional design for the betterment of our communities and environment.