2015 Professional and Student Design Awards

Student Design Competition Winners

1st Place: Lawrence Technological University titled Unite + Revive + Celebrate 
2nd Place: Washington University at St. Louis titled Roue | Treme
3rd Place: Tuskegee University titled Claiborne Reconnection
Honorable Mention: University of Florida titled Claiborne Haven

Professional Design Award Winners

Meharry Medical College Cal Turner Family Center
Moody Nolan Architects

On a highly prominent site of the campus, a new family center was built directly in front of the university amphitheater, which houses graduation ceremonies and other important events. The design takes advantage of the stage-like character of the site to build a dramatic backdrop that extends the public space of the street and graduation grounds into the interior.

Jurors’ comments include:
Curvilinear bands of interweaving balconies produces powerful spatial effects and creates an informal, animated lobby and transition areas.
The multi-level lobby utilizes well a suspended structural system to create column-free areas.
The fully glazed façade provides a transparent, highly visible and elegant backdrop for the amphitheater.
The contrast of glazed façade to punched sides and back is effective, judicious and conceptually clear.
The jurors particularly commends the beautifully done diagrams that elegantly and effectively illustrate the spatial concepts and key ideas of the building. We suggest more firms provide this kind of compelling visuals to illustrate key concepts of their entries.

The Ark of Return: United Nations memorial to honor the victims of slavery and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade Rodney Leon Architect

In the words of the author: “Spiritual vessel meant to transport psychologically and spiritually humanity back to the place where acknowledgement, reflection and healing can take place.”
A powerful use of the idea of passage through the monument as a metaphor for the painful passage of slaves to the western hemisphere.
One enters and first sees a bas-relief in stone of a map of the slave trade, a similarly carved slave ship plan and a full-scale sculpted figure depicting a slave on the ship.
A tear of water flowing from the face of the figure initiates the flow of water into a basin, which serves as a meditative, healing source. Visitors are invited to pour libations or say a prayer in memory.
It is an evocative, thoughtful and simple shaping of experience.

Jurors’ comments include:
Highly abstracted ship-like shape is effective metaphor.
Literal presentation of history with inside contrasted to highly abstracted, sculptural exterior. Contrasted and complements. Overall form is triumphant,
Technical execution is outstanding, beautifully detailed and structured.
Important social role of having such a prominent piece on the UN plaza. Sharing the story with the world.
Form is irresistible, sculpted, intriguing, which helps draw people in to experience the memorial.

The second and highest level of awards are the merit awards.

Purdue Sports
Moody Nolan Architects

Purdue University is a big name in collegiate sports but the original quality of their university athletic facilities did not match this reputation. This design totally transformed a dated, closed and labyrinthian complex into a modern, open, welcoming and unified world.

Jurors’ comments include:
Clever solution knits together disparate portions of existing sports facility. Upper level promenade works well as a pedestrian street, unifying the facility from front to back.
Good example of project that takes residual spaces and transforms them into community and connecting space.
Creation of fitness neighborhoods provides orientation and human scale to large complex.
Admirable integration of socializing areas between fitness spaces.
Transformed banal and closed exterior to highly open, visible and welcoming front.

Stephen’s Creek:
MWA Architects

In an era when public and affordable housing is increasingly needed but devalued, it is heartening to see a shabby and outdated public housing project torn down and replaced with this thoughtful, sensitive and well-designed complex. Despite doubling the original density, the design provides a well-considered site strategy highlighted by the training center and child care buildings, which provide a dramatic introduction and bridge to the surrounding neighborhood. The juror commends the architects for taking on an important social housing project and solving it well.

Jurors’ comments include:
Connects and relates well to surrounding context.
Uses community functions effectively to create a gracious and welcoming front door for the entire complex.
Site plan successfully solves difficult elevational and density challenges.
Commendable sustainable solutions including green roof.
Interior and exterior finish materials beautifully chosen and detailed.
Design provides dignified entries and sense of home for dense units.
Attractive, strong presentation.

NOMA congratulates Moody Nolan, Rodney Leon Architects, and MWA Architects on a job well done.

View the slideshow of all four 2015 Professional Design Award winning projects here.