In its sixth year, the Shaw Contract Group Design Is… Award program honored oustanding projects by architecture and design firms. Through these winning projects, selected from commercial and hospitality spaces from around the globe, design is teaching, inspiring, healing, and uniting.
The following six firms are the Design Is… Award winners for 2011:
Winner: AECOM (Phoenix)
The design team looked not only at the aesthetic qualities of the CNM Student Resource Center, but the social, environmental and functional parameters as well. Technology helped shape the design, giving way to a variety of flexible spaces for students to interact. And the project’s environmentally friendly materials were chosen for low maintenance while providing a sophisticated aesthetic.
Winner: Park Plaza Hotels (London)
The largest hotel in London, Park Plaza is grand in scale but never intimidating. There’s always a balance between clever and practical, comforting and functional. Subtle design touches keep each guest experience personal – right down to song lyrics printed upon the carpet – to make a lasting impression.
Winner: id+s Design Solutions (Montreal)
Rather than isolating Astral’s jovial, approachable founder to an executive floor, the design team chose to create a light-infused space that reflects his personality as a means to welcome every employee from all five floors. The resulting space is contemporary, but timeless, echoing the values and roots of the firm.
Winner: Gensler (Atlanta)
Challenged to create a space representing “The Aflac Way,” the design incorporated touches of branded elements throughout the space. A re-envisioned corporate cafeteria and conference center facilities draw staff from around the campus for cross-department collaboration. With a fully functional gym, the importance of health and well-being is evident throughout this LEED Gold certified facility.
Winner: Gensler (Santa Monica)
The design team was challenged with reconciling the Beckman Coulter’s culture-transforming goals with a tightly constrained budget. Their design strategy focused on impactful moves aligned with workplace tactics, creating a fresh, open facility that has become a deciding factor in bringing new talent on board. Collaborative space increased by 30%, energy costs in this LEED Gold certified facility have been lowered by $900,000 per year.
People’s Choice Winner: RDG Planning and Design (Omaha)
A 160-foot LED-lit glass wall illuminates First National Branch Bank at Metro Crossing, creating a bank building as a billboard. Etched with patterns of local prairie grasses and flowers, the glass feature carries through the interior of the building and delineates private spaces from public. To support the feature’s striking presence, the rest of the interior is kept clean, modern and simple, establishing a sense of stability.
“The Design Is… Award program celebrates more than just beautiful spaces. It speaks to the power of design to transform any space in any environment, across the commercial and hospitality landscape,” says John Stephens, vice president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group. “Every project is unique except for the uniting factor of how design can impact people working, people healing, people learning, and people creating. After six years and more than 1,100 entries from 22 countries, the Design Is… Award continues to champion design excellence across market segments and around the world.”
The judging panel included D.B. Kim, associate principal, Pierre-Yves Rochon; Gayle Lane, director of interior design, EwingCole; Fedora Peschard, principal, Peschard Architects; Eileen Jones, principal, Perkins+Will; and John Peterson founder, Public Architecture.