On October 14, AIA Baltimore hosted the organization’s 59th annual Excellence in Design Awards. The jury from San Fransisco’s AIA East Bay recognized three GWWO projects—Berks Nature The Rookery, the Johns Hopkins University Ralph S. O’Connor Center for Recreation & Well-Being, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial—with the evening’s top honors.
The Rookery, a seamlessly contextual addition to the Nature Place and the headquarters of the environmental nonprofit Berks Nature, received two of the evening’s top honors—the awards for Excellence in Sustainable and Resilient Design and Good Design = Good Business—along with an Excellence in Design, Honorable Mention. The jury praised the design stating:
“The latest iteration of the nature center exhibits a wonderful indoor/outdoor quality with a lovely second-story outdoor space up in the canopy. True to its mission and ethos, the project is a showpiece of sustainable building practices from its bird-friendly glazing to its sheep’s wool insulation. The Rookery is a visually stunning design without taking away from the natural surroundings.”
GWWO’s work with the National Park Service to renovate and restore the roof and portico of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was recognized with this year’s Michael F. Trostel, FAIA Historic Preservation Award for its innovative and forward-thinking approach to the care of our nation’s monuments. The jury was:
“impressed with the restoration work done on the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. While often these technical projects are underappreciated, the presentation did an exemplary job showing the restoration process and the importance of the accompanying research to future treatment and care for monuments.”
The dramatic transformation of the Johns Hopkins University O’Connor Center for Recreation & Well-Being, designed in association with MJMA Architecture & Design, was recognized with an Excellence in Design Award.
“In a field of many renovation projects contending for awards this year, the O’Connor Center for Recreation & Well-Being stood out,” said the jury. The jury described this building as having “a very engaging facade with intriguing, mature design resolution.”
Notably, this is the second year in a row that GWWO has won both the Good Design = Good Business and Excellence in Sustainable and Resilient Design awards with the Cahill Fitness & Wellness Center and Jean R. Packard Occoquan Center as the previous recipients, respectively. “Central to GWWO’s design ethos is a commitment to improving the human experience through responsible design. We’re thrilled to be recognized with awards that are so closely aligned with our mission and grateful to our clients and our staff for their dedication to making a positive impact on our communities through design” said Alan Reed, FAIA, LEED AP, President and Design Principal.