Architecture accolades

Awards are divided into three categories, with the most prestigious being the Honor Award, followed by the Merit Award and Citation Award. Projects are categorized into commercial, residential, interior and restoration entries, and the jury awards citations in each of the categories.

Elliott+Associates Architects took home the most awards with three. The projects and their awards were an Honor Award for the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, a Merit Award for the Devon Boathouse and a Citation Award for the Chesapeake Child Development Center. All of the awards were in the commercial category.

Rand Elliott says the tower was designed to be the signature of the Boathouse District. The tower, which is a four-floor facility, is FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) approved to be used for international competitions. Elliott says the buildings along the river are inspired by the beauty of the racing shells and as a metaphor for racing.

“If you pulled up the area on Google Earth, you’d see that the buildings all have a sharp nose that faces the river,” he says. “The concept reflects the shape of the boats. It is architecturally inspired by the idea of speed and grace.”

The boathouse itself is not only an approved Olympic training facility, but it also functions as the home of the Oklahoma City University rowing program. Featuring a one-of-a-kind indoor, dynamic propulsion tank, the facility is state-of-the-art in every way. The blue LED lights connect the facility both to the water and to the OCU program.

“The building is designed as a metaphor for racing,” Elliott says. “The nose looks like the tip of the boat in the water, and it’s meant to connect thematically to a boat that is light, thin and fast in the water. We wanted to make the whole district representative of the sport itself.”

Of the Chesapeake Child Development Center, Elliott says he is most proud that he gets to create architecture for children.

“We
designed the facility so that people whose eye level is at three feet
above the ground have the best perspective,” he says. “It’s literally
designed for children; adults are just visitors.”

The
colorful design is not just based on aesthetics; Elliott intended it to
be a participatory experience. Colors, shapes and shadows are all
designed to help with the process of educating children.

“We didn’t want it to just house children,” Elliott says. “We wanted it to have a lasting impact on their lives.”

Butzer
Gardner Architects was the only Oklahoma City firm to win two Honor
Awards, both for residential projects. One, located in Crown Heights, is
a multi-unit residence, and the other is a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired
home from the 1940s.

Jeremy
Gardner of Butzer Gardner describes 7 at Crown Heights as a restoration
project designed to keep elements of the original 1938 art deco style
intact.

“With the
rehabilitation of a dilapidated art deco fourplex, the reinterpretation
of a condemned garage and the addition of a contextually sensitive yet
distinctively contemporary threeplex, this formerly decaying property
has become the jewel of one of the most beautiful historic neighborhoods
in Oklahoma City,” Gardner says. “Through meticulous attention to
craft, detail and proportion, the new construction is made to complement
the original 1938 art deco structure.”

Butzer Gardner also won for the Woodland Residence, a Bruce Goff design from the 1940s.

Jeremy
Gardner says, “Designed in the late 1940s with inspiration clearly
drawn from Bruce Goff’s arrival in town and a local resurgence of
Wrightian architectural tendencies, the original house had become warn
and overwhelmed by years of misunderstandings and illconceived
modifications. Just days prior to the new owner’s closing on the
purchase, a bag of coins found in a bedroom and valued at over $1
million served as a reminder of the potential the new owner saw in this
hallowed home.”

Fitzsimmons
Architects received two awards at the conference: an Honor Award for
the interior of Dry/Shop, a new business in Midtown, and a Merit Award
for restoration for Guardian Lofts, also in Midtown.

Dry/Shop
is not a hair salon; it is a blow-dry bar and boutique. The emphasis is
on styling, not cutting and coloring. Terri Sadler with Fitsimmons says
the concept was to take advantage of DryShop’s “quirky space.”

“The
concept was to utilize the quirky layout, industrial character and
different levels of the existing raw space to organize the various
functions of the Dry/Shop and also to explore how the ‘bar’ of the
blow-dry bar could be used to create unity between the various spaces,”
she says. “The raw space was softened with furniture, fabrics and color, and life was given to the space with bold graphics and shapes.”

The
Guardian Loft Apartments is part of a three-phase building project in
Midtown that also includes Park Plaza and Guardian Parking. Sadler says
the 90-year old, 40,000-square-foot facility was a renovation and
adaptive reuse project.

“It
provides thirty-seven apartments and a ground level restaurant with
shared entries onto the adjacent public Park Plaza that was converted
from a former rundown alley,” she says. “The original building design
itself is unique, with large casement windows fully restored with
insulated glass providing some of the most expansive views available of
downtown Oklahoma City. The exterior features of gothic/art deco hybrid
detailing [were] used as inspiration for the expanded metal panels’
stepped configuration within the stairwells and common spaces.”

The
Oklahoma City office of Londonbased Allford Hall Monaghan Morris won an
Honor Award in restoration for the Hart Building. Associate Director
Wade Scaramucci says the project is part of the restoration of Film Row.

“The
building was designed for a specific tenant, to be the headquarters for
Claims Management Resources,” he says. “Our client requested a simple,
beautiful, timeless building that was highly flexible and costeffective.
The existing building fabric of a collection of warehouse buildings —
the former home of the Hart Industrial Supply Company — is restored and
combined with new elements to create a truly mixed-use workplace.
Flipping the building’s front from the north to the south reorients the
original entrance sequence to connect to the new, landscaped parking lot
and engage an old, forgotten alleyway. The new layout accommodates a
pinwheel of activity arranged around an internal street that is both
circulation and social core with public spaces and shared amenities
coming off it.”

LWPB
Architecture also won an Honor Award in Commercial Architecture for the
Patience S. Latting Northwest Library. The striking design is easily
visible on NW 122nd Street, just east of MacArthur Boulevard. It is the
first branch library constructed by the Metropolitan Library System in
thirty years. Lisa Chronister, a principal at LWPB, says the library
“combined imagery from the Oklahoma prairie with the technology and
purpose of a modern library.”

“Study
areas are housed in glassenclosed rooms that are reminiscent of the
derricks and windmills of Oklahoma’s oil and agricultural industry
heritage,” Chronister says. “Various library functions are tucked away
behind wood-slat walls inspired by oil field equipment crates.”

Chronister
says LED lighting, incorporated directly onto the bookshelves, saves
energy and allows for flexibility in rearranging the stacks. Acrylic end
panels printed with colorful Oklahoma scenes transform the shelving
into large-scale artwork.

In
addition to awards received at the Oklahoma chapter of the American
Institute of Architects, four metro firms won awards at the Central
States Region Design Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., in October. The
region covers Iowa, Kansa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Fitzsimmons Architects won
two Citation awards, one for residential and one for commercial
projects. The residential award was for One If By Land, a private
residence in Nichols Hills. The commercial award was for the new Gibson
Dental Clinic at 3906 NW 10th St.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, a
London-based firm with an office in Oklahoma City, won a Citation award
for historic preservation/adaptive reuse for their conversion of the
Hart Building on Film Row. The firm won an award at the Oklahoma chapter
for the same project.

Butzer Gardner Architects won a Citaton award in the category of interior architecture for the Nichols Law Firm building on E. Main Street in Norman.

TAP Architecture won
a Citation award for historic preservation/adaptive reuse for the West
Town Campus, a formerly empty warehouse that now serves as the home for
the Homeless Alliance and more than 15 other ministries and services for
Oklahoma City’s poverty-stricken and homeless communities.

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