View All 2016 Design Award Winners

The American Institute of Architect, Georgia Association Honor Eighteen Recipients for the 2016 Design & Honor Awards

Contact: Lynn Robinson
[email protected]

For immediate release:
Atlanta, GA – April 16, 2016 – 
The American Institute of Architects, Georgia Association (AIA Georgia) has selected eighteen recipients for the 2016 Design & Honor Awards and awarded seventeen Design Awards and two Honor Awards. AIA Georgia’s Design & Honor Awards program, now in its 44th year, was established to recognize the best in design by Georgia Architects on projects both local and abroad. These awards were conferred at Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

The jury recognized projects in three submission categories: Design+Innovation, Built; Design+Innovation, Unbuilt; and Student Project. Awards were given representative of Merit, Honor, Excellence and People’s Choice. This year 98 projects were submitted total and over 5,000 votes were cast in the People’s Choice Award. The descriptions below give a brief summary of the projects. You can learn more about these projects by clicking on the name of the project/firm name.

Student Projects
Recognizes design excellence in student works, including research, installations, conceptual projects, or competitions

Honor Award
The Oxygen Pavilion
Katrina Alano | Kennesaw State University

The challenge of this project was to create a healing center for lung cancer patients next to the highly public site of Martin Luther King’s National Historic Park. Previously, the site suffered from a lack of connection from the urban context around it. To enhance the healing process for the individual, internally, the Oxygen Pavilion creates an ambiguous interior and exterior experience. By bringing internal clean breathable courtyards, it allows the patients to feel they are away from the city, and be one with nature. The program of the project includes consulting healing rooms, first aid room, staff offices, service areas, and a public cafe.

Merit Award & People’s Choice Award
O2O4W: Oxygen House in the Old Fourth Ward District
Laura Sherman | Kennesaw State University

This project is a lung cancer community center project in the heart of Atlanta’s historic Martin Luther King Jr. memorial site. The project is an adaptive reuse of the to-be-demolished MLK Natatorium building footprint. The site is on an inaccessible inward-facing urban block at the bottom of a 14’ retaining wall. Urban context is unified by a building program that addresses a highly-private program of lung cancer patient consultation and is fortified with a supporting community center. Through creating a “breathing building”, the architecture takes a net-zero stance against a continuing trend of pollution in Atlanta, GA.

Merit Award
International Living Future Institute, South East Headquarters
William Lentjes | Kennesaw State University

A project for the third year in the architecture program at KSU, this proposal for the International Living Future Institute’s ‘South-East Headquarters’ took a stance of sustainability from the start. Utilizing the large southern exposure of the site, a slim, linear floor plate maximized natural daylighting and potential for solar power. Incorporating all seven of the Living Building Challenge’s ‘petals,’ this project would be off the grid, promote community involvement as well as socioeconomic equity, and give a healthy sustainable work environment to its inhabitants.


Design+Innovation, Unbuilt
Recognizes design excellence and innovation in unbuilt projects of any size, including but not limited to Architecture, Interior Architecture and Planning.

Merit Award
Max Neiswander and Luke Kvasnicka, with BLUR Workshop

Drawing from the patterns of simple harmonic motion, (SIN)UOSITY transforms the 10th street bridge into a sculpture that creates both a dramatic pedestrian experience above as well as a landmark to motorists below. Operating at multiple scales, this bridge symbolizes a future of new urbanism in Midtown for the passing motorist while realizing a safer and more enjoyable piece of infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. At night, the sinuous curves and soaring ribs come alive with strategic lighting which highlights an elegant yet imposing sculpture that celebrates the exciting growth and vibrant future unfolding in Atlanta.

Merit Award
Atlanta Dairies
Perkins + Will

The program includes a mix of specialty shopping, dining, entertainment venues, and creative office space, all connected by greenspace and anchored by 300 units of multifamily apartments. Original elements such as catwalks, loading docks, concrete structures, and the iconic milk carton sign will be carefully restored and integrated into the new development. The design of the two entirely new structures on the site, the new 4 story office building and the 1,800 seat music venue, uses a contemporary façade language that together with the second story addition on the adaptive reuse building, compliments the historic Streamline Modern building.


People’s Choice Award
Buckhead Green

The Buckhead Green will significantly enhance and expand on-going improvement efforts in the Buckhead area and provide an opportunity for a great urban park in an area where open land is not available. The project includes new and improved MARTA portals, event spaces, dynamic urban plazas, restaurants and cafes, and iconic gateway elements. The urban form is complimented by a variety of design opportunities such as fountains, artwork, topography, benches, and plantings providing year-round appeal to a diverse and growing population.


Design + Innovation, Built
Recognizes design excellence and innovation in built projects of any size, including but not limited to Architecture, Interior Architecture and Planning.

Excellence Award
Drew Charter School; Atlanta, GA

The Junior and Senior Academy represent the next step in the area’s revitalization and the culmination of decades of grassroots planning. This project combines a middle school and high school on the site of a former golf course. The 39-acre campus is comprised of three buildings the main academy building, the double story gymnasium, and 500-seat professional performing arts auditorium. The main design gesture for the project became a sweeping arc of glass and fieldstone, rising from the ridge of the site. In a city without grand views, the campus is designed to literally lift kids up, inspiring them to look ahead.

Excellence Award
Georgia Bioscience Training Center; Atlanta, GA
Cooper Carry

Georgia Quick Start, a division of the Technical College System of Georgia, operates the Center.  The approach to the Training Center was to synthesize multiple levels of transparency, material contrast, and engineering to create a strong juxtaposition against the natural backdrop.  Guests are engaged by a main entrance canopy structure that is engineered as a double cantilever.  Labs, classrooms, offices, and multipurpose/event spaces were designed with a module to enable future flexibility.  Modular planning provides flexibility for future companies that may require space modifications.

Honor Award
The Northwest Library at Scotts Crossing; Atlanta, GA
Collins Cooper Carusi Architects, Inc.

Within the 25,000SF building is 5,700SF of adult collection with stacks, group/individual study rooms, reading and informal lounge areas. Zones available to teens and children providing books and other media, reading tables, gathering space, technology and a tiered read-aloud storytelling area. In addition, a conference room and a flexible multipurpose room are placed in a location to host meetings after business hours. Addressing the Atlanta music industry, a music studio was integrated into the design to provide space for lessons, voice and instrument recording/editing and production.

Merit Award
Palmetto Library; Palmetto, GA
Houser Walker Architecture

In response to the program needs, we took the volumetric profile of the existing structure and sliced it into quarters, with each section containing one portion of the full program. Through a series of adjustments to its volume, views, winds, and daylight, each “box” was adjusted, rotated, and openings inserted. The adult and children’s resource areas will act as large reading rooms, with ceilings soaring to 18+ feet and carefully controlled natural light filtering through the space. A community meeting room occupies one ‘box’ and the back of house staff workplaces another. Filling the space between the “boxes” are a sky-lit entry sequence and building services. 

Merit Award
Paty Modern; Atlanta, GA

The Olympic Place Courtyard House uses an L-shaped typology to create structure while integrating elements of its cultural context, program, and site. The L-shaped geometry of the house responds to both existing site conditions and city zoning setbacks to optimize on natural day lighting. The front porch is a modern reinterpretation of southern vernacular housing. Public functions are placed at courtyard level while private functions hover above to provide shading and enclosure. Native Georgia materials such as cypress, marble, and granite create a natural palette.

Merit Award
Clayton State University Science Building; Morrow, GA
The S/L/A/M Collaborative

The three-story lab building is designed as a modern home for the sciences, featuring stacked biology and chemistry suites, each integrating research, prep, and teaching labs. Flanking the labs are 64- and 32-person classrooms and faculty office suites. A challenge of the project was to create a modern STEM building, including teaming spaces, in an efficient footprint. The project solved this challenge by utilizing an innovative laboratory pod layout to maximize efficiency, freeing up square footage for a variety of types of collaborative spaces, each appealing to different types of learners.

Merit Award
Western Michigan University, Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine on the W.E. Upjohn Campus; Kalamazoo, MI
The S/L/A/M Collaborative

The program includes formal and informal spaces for a projected class size of 320 students consolidating all functions into one building allowing opportunities for inter-professional education and collaboration. Teaching, study and informal spaces are centralized around a three-story atrium connecting the existing building to a new elliptical pavilion addition. A 22,000SF Simulation Center allows medical students to experience “doctoring” with simulated patients before beginning clinical rotations and a defined learning communities and a boundary-less library offering access to information and study space anywhere in the building.

Merit Award
Cardlytics at Ponce City Market; Atlanta, GA
Smith Dalia Architects, LLC

Glass is used ubiquitously for “felt” depth, flexibility and transparency, and for shared daylighting and collaboration. Daylighting provides connection to the outdoors, psychologically increasing the “lightness” of the space. Natural materials lend texture and warmth, ameliorating some heaviness. Coupling conduit together served to make the ceiling appear “quieter.” Other design features: A 50/50 ratio of open desk area to “the rest” of the office (conference rooms, breakout, amenity spaces, etc.) successfully diminishes the potential for a “nameless worker” feel. 

Merit Award
Georgia Institute of Technology, Engineered Biosystems Building; Atlanta, GA
Cooper Carry

This project is a six-story, 218,000-square-foot research facility. Challenging traditional laboratory design — typically composed of small silos of individual research teams – EBB creates a system of open lab neighborhoods that foster engagement. The building is organized into a series of layers which includes research support labs and a linear equipment corridor. EBB’s interactive and open-lab environment is enhanced by transparency and an ease of collaboration that extends to its two-story break area spaces which bookend the building.

People’s Choice Award
Georgia State College of Law; Atlanta, GA
Stevens & Wilkinson

The master plan for the College of Law site includes space for additional GSU programs yet to be determined but well positioned to anchor the emerging campus sense of place. The law building’s library sits on the fifth and sixth levels, which is the largest part of the overall concept. The top level includes an exterior garden terrace with native plantings and an interior reading room with a view overlooking the library and adjacent Woodruff Park. The College of Law is designed for compliance with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code and is targeted for LEED Silver certification.

This year’s Honor Awards were awarded to the Architecture Firm of the Year and Emerging Professional of the Year, respectively The Cowart Group P.C. of Savannah, GA and Nicole Seekely, AIA with Smith Dalia Architects, LLC.

The jury for the 2016 Design Awards includes: Rico Quirindongo, AIA (Chair), DLR Group; Diane Reicher Jacobs, AIA, Holly Street Studio; and Thomas Robinson, AIA, LEVER Architecture.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit