On February 28th, Chambless King Architects was honored by the Alabama Council of the American Institute of Architects for three design projects. The awards were presented to Chambless King at the Council’s annual Excellence in Design award gala held at the historic Florentine building in downtown Birmingham.
The renovation of Broun Hall at Auburn University and the DeKalb County E-911 facility were both awarded the Honor Award. An Honorable Mention Award was also received for the Dexter Avenue Pocket Park in Montgomery, AL. The Honor Award is the highest level of recognition that the Alabama Council AIA bestows to firms for projects displaying exemplary design.
Broun Hall Renovation | Honor Award
The former design & layout of Broun Hall limited the ability/willingness for students to interact with each other by compartmentalizing the circulation zones of the building and limiting their access to daylight. In addition, most of these spaces were articulated with harder, less comfortable interior materials. The existing design did not openly address the student traffic coming off the adjacent Ginn Concourse or provide exterior spaces for the Engineering students. This renovation opened the basement and first level corridor spaces by providing access to daylight from multiple directions and then transforming those spaces to provide the students a variety of study and interactive opportunities.
One of the juror’s comments: “This is just very clean and elegant, taking advantage of the existing lines of the modern building, and bringing them into the twenty-first century, with light, materials, and color.” – Nicola Springer
DeKalb County E-911 Facility| Honor Award
DeKalb E-911 is a 12,756 SF fully hardened communications facility providing emergency services for DeKalb County Alabama. The facility is designed to withstand an F-5 tornado and includes a multi-purpose auditorium/classroom space with seating capacity of 100, complex communications, security systems, office spaces and emergency call system.
Juror’s comment: “…the care and attention taken to everything from the way this column meets the other materials, and the way this Cor-ten is punctured in a way that evokes leaves, or trees in such a beautiful pattern that creates imagery.” – Nataly Appel
29 Dexter Pocket Park | Honorable Mention
The 29 Dexter Pocket Park is a playful urban space in the footprint of a demolished downtown building that allows egress and access for adjacent redevelopment projects.
The City of Montgomery originally bought 29 Dexter in hopes of restoring the building, which remained in disrepair from a 1984 fire. But as development to surrounding lots required additional egress access, and the building became structurally unsound, the City decided to create a public alley in its stead.
Though the original historic building façade was failing and had to the come down with the rest of the building, it was recreated using reclaimed materials from the original. The new façade maintains the historic urban edge and serves as the entry to the new pocket park.
Juror’s comment: “I think the park is a beautiful use of a remnant space, transforming it into something useful and attractive with economic means“. – Fernando Brave
The Alabama Council AIA is a non-profit professional association for architects that recognizes the exceptional design work of its members through its annual Excellence in Design awards ceremony. The goal of the awards is to elevate the quality of architecture in our region and to establish a continually progressive standard of excellence by which architects can assess their own work.