CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, AIA West Virginia, has announced the winners of the AIA’s top design awards for 2021, and four of the winners are in Morgantown.
Thirty-two project submissions and one submission for craftsmanship from the Chapter were reviewed by a five-person jury headed by the team of Marc Goldmon and Paul Matheny, principals at Matheny Goldmon Architecture + Interiors, LLC an award-winning firm in Huntsville, Ala. Two Honor Awards, two Merit Awards and three Citation Awards were selected. The announcement was made during a Festival Event on June 22 at the Clay Center in Charleston, W.Va.
Paradigm Architecture of Morgantown won both an Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and a Merit Award. The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics Startup Engine project won the Honor Award and is approximately 7,500 square feet of incubator and co-working space for new businesses underneath the University Place Garage in Morgantown, West Virginia.
The project consists of office space, accelerator space for new businesses, meeting space for over 200 people, offices for program directors, a community kitchen area, and conference rooms. In addition, the entire space is readily available with top-of-the-line technology capabilities such as video conferencing and virtual presentations. The program’s mission is to attract, select and accelerate startups focused on the sectors/industries identified in the West Virginia Forward report with the objective of supporting the diversification of the state’s economy. The Startup Engine supports this diversity through sector-specific, cohort-based business development programs. The program helps startups hone their ideas, access seed capital, develop mentor relationships, and partner with existing businesses.
The Merit Award celebrates the work by Paradigm Architecture for their work on The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park, an 89,000 square foot state-of-the-art swimming and diving facility that houses an Olympic size competition pool, diving well, as well as a community recreation pool and outdoor splash pad.
The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park is more than just a new recreational amenity for Morgantown. It is a “Quality of Life” facility that sets a new standard for opportunities to improve the health and wellness of residents. It also adds athletic, entertainment, and economic energy to serve as a valuable catalyst for community and regional growth.
Desmone Architects of Morgantown was awarded a Citation for the design of Leidos at Westridge Commerce Center. The New Construction of a 30,000 square foot, single story building for the Morgantown, W.Va. office of the Leidos information technology company. The two metal buildings are linked by a long, conventional steel-framed area where one of the main corridors is located. The office and employee areas are placed in the larger form and several conference rooms and a reception space are located in the smaller form.
The interior spaces are arranged along a central axis-corridor, with widened nodes of space where cross-corridors intersect with it. High, open ceilings, clerestory windows, and an abundance of interior and exterior glass provide ample natural light to the users.
Williamson Shriver Architects, Inc of Charleston design of Suncrest Elementary School won a Citation. Suncrest Elementary School is a new K-5 elementary school in Morgantown W.Va. established by closing the existing Suncrest PK3 Primary School and the redistricting North Elementary School boundaries to alleviate overcrowding. This project was funded jointly by Monongalia County Schools and the School Building Authority of W.Va. in the spring of 2014.
The primary design focus of this school was a large STREAM Lab (Science Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) for the entire school to utilize. The SREAM Lab included a large flexible teaching space with two adjacent classrooms delineated by operable glass partitions. One of the classroom spaces provides specialized learning equipment centered around the science curriculum. The second is a more flexible use space with direct connections to the adjacent art lab. Located in the large area are a work room and circulation desk for the Media Center spaces. An Art Walk corridor was incorporated behind the administrative area that provided an area to display student work. This corridor is traveled by students daily as it connects the academic areas to the dining room and gymnasium.
Silling Architects of Charleston received an Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and a Merit Award. The Honor Award was bestowed on the new Martinsburg Police Department and Municipal Court Project. With a growing Police Department and Municipal Court operations the City of Martinsburg was in need of additional space for these services. Working closely with representatives from the City, Police Department and Municipal Court, Silling performed programming services and developed a graphic test-fit as a means to demonstrate how the program could fit in a new building constructed on the purchased property.
Overall, the design of this new justice facility is contemporary and relevant within its historic context. It is transparent and accessible while maintaining safety and security. It cares for the well-being of its public users of the courts as well as its judicial and law enforcement staffs, and it is executed in a way that elevates the spirit of place and adds value to its context.
“To say that I am proud of this building, would be a huge understatement. I’m simply elated by it. I think it is the prettiest municipal police department and courtroom in the state of West Virginia,” said Chief of Police Chief Swartwood.
Silling Architects were also presented a Merit Award for the Lofts on 5th Project located in the historic district of downtown Fernandina Beach, Fla.
Edward Tucker Architects of Huntington won a Citation for Highlawn Elementary School in Cabell County. The new school was located on the site of the former Enslow School, which had been vacant for many years. The Enslow structure was demolished to make way for the new building, with only the existing gymnasium remaining to be integrated into the new design. The existing alley and utilities that bisected the site were re-routed to allow for a more secure campus plan.
The design of the new building features brick detailing that pays homage to the historic neighborhood context, while incorporating modern elements such as wood timber framing and metallic panels. Natural materials and earth-toned colors create a comfortable learning environment, with abundant windows providing a sense of openness and access to daylight. The building edge defines a central courtyard for the playground area.
“These awards are a celebration of architecture in West Virginia,” said Matt Breakey, President of AIA West Virginia. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to gather with peers, clients and partners in the design and construction industry to recognize design excellence and celebrate the role of design in our built environment and its importance to the communities in which we all live and work. We are excited to celebrate in person at the Culture Center in October and appreciate the response from the public who viewed the winning designs in June.”