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Local American Institute of Architects awards focus on sustainability COURTESY PHOTO

Local American Institute of Architects awards focus on sustainability

BY Thursday, November 12, 2020 02:15pm

Integrated Architecture LLC was among several local firms recognized at the Grand Rapids chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ 2020 awards, receiving multiple commendations for its design of the new ADAC Automotive headquarters. 

The Grand Rapids-based architecture firm received a building award and people’s choice award for its design of the headquarters in Cascade Township, which was built by Rockford Construction Co. 

Integrated Architecture also received a building award for its design of Whirlpool Corp.’s childcare center The Eddy at its Benton Harbor campus. That facility was built by Pioneer Construction Inc.

“As we look at the AIA’s framework for design excellence, you can see a lot of elements of our project that align very well with that framework, and especially design for well-being,” Mike Corby, executive vice president of Integrated Architecture, said in a pre-recorded video acceptance of the award.

The company’s carbon footprint was also reduced significantly by shifting from four buildings to a new state-of-the-art, efficiently designed headquarters, Corby said.

The virtual awards ceremony on Oct. 29 recognized several architects, firms, projects and individual honorees throughout the region. This year, AIA Grand Rapids encouraged members to think about their project submissions through the lens of AIA’s “framework for design excellence.” This includes following 10 guiding principles that point toward zero carbon, equity, resilience and a healthy built environment.

At the AIA’s 2019 national convention, the organization adopted a “Resolution for Urgent and Sustained Climate Action,” challenging members to holistically address climate change. This also prompted an update to the AIA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct with recommendations for addressing environmental equity and injustice. 

All of this year’s entries were eligible for the 2020 Sustainability Design Award, which this year went to Progressive AE Inc. for its design of the Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids. That project was constructed by The Christman Co.

Individual winners

Matthew Slagle, director of K-12 education at TowerPinkster, received this year’s Architect of the Year award. Slagle has spent his career in architecture and specializes in designing for school bonds and K-12 schools. 

“Architecture inspires me because it offers us an opportunity to shape the world around us,” Slagle said. “My advice for emerging professionals is to get involved. Get involved in AIA and local boards in your community in any way you can.” 

Steven Johnson was given the David D. Smith Humanitarian Award for his work as founder and former president of Oasis Community of West Michigan, which works to create housing solutions for adults with disabilities. 

Johnson started Oasis Community with a group of other parents who had young adult children with disabilities to create a supportive community for each other. Recently, the group’s vision has expanded to provide housing to its members, Johnson said. 

“Housing was one bridge we knew we had to cross at some point in time, and we realized there was nothing acceptable and nothing affordable,” Johnson said in his acceptance speech video. “There are group homes and many could be the best possible option for an individual with higher needs, but most of our sons and daughters did not have high needs. They could live on their own if they were adequately supported.”

Oasis Community is partnering with Inner City Christian Federation on the Emerald Flats redevelopment of Eastern Elementary School into apartments. A portion of what will be 50 apartment units in the development will be set aside for Oasis Community members.

Architecture should be addressing the needs of the disability community and designing in a way that is more responsive to the needs of people who are intellectually and developmentally disabled, Johnson said. 

“People with disabilities are an asset to our community and they’re being overlooked,” he said.

Other 2020 AIA Grand Rapids award winners include:

  • Lawrence Technological University master’s student Nicholas Schmitt received a $1,000 scholarship from the national and local chapter of AIA.
  • Andrew Dancer, who was active in the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) and now works at Progressive AE, was awarded AIA’s Henry Adams Medal.
  • Andrew Queenan of Walker-based Pure Architects received the Young Architect Award.
  • Logan Wyse of KCAD won the Student Design Project Award.
  • Mathison | Mathison Architects won the Residential Architecture Award for its design of the Hudson Valley Residence in Crayville, N.Y., as well as an interior architecture award for its design of Van Dyken Mechanical’s new headquarters in Grandville, constructed by Dan Vos Construction Co. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to say the Jack and Mary De Witt Center for Science and Technology was constructed by The Christman Co.

Read 4927 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 November 2020 13:46
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