2016 AIA Alabama Design Awards

WBA was honored to take home two awards from the AIA Alabama Design Awards Ceremony. 

The Alabama Council’s Design Awards Program encourages excellence in architecture through the commentary of our colleagues. From a group of statewide entries, the jury awarded a Honor Award, four Awards of Merit, two Honorable Mention Awards.
— AIA Birmingham
 

Homewood Board of Education

  • Merit Award

The new home for the Homewood Board of Education Central Office is the first phase of a 24-acre development plan for the Homewood School System. The New Central Office provides for the programmatic needs of the Homewood City Schools administrative staff which includes offices, conference rooms, and meeting rooms for professional development and public events.

The building is conceived as a “garden pavilion” integrated with the site, intended to mediate between public and private, man-made and natural. Sited to create synergy between the Central Office, Middle School, Community Garden and the adjacent residential neighborhood, the building is nestled behind a line of pine trees with a cantilevered porch roof extending just beyond the pines. With pavilion as precedent, the roof is accentuated in the form of a kite inspired by the social history of the site; fondly known as “Kite Hill”. The north façade - the public face of the building,is a solid “garden wall” with punched openings at offices. The private south façade provides a sense of immersion in the landscape, dematerializing from stone to glass to provide views of an existing stand of pine trees.

 

Cahaba Brewing Company

  • Merit Award

Located on 5th Avenue South in the historic 1925 Continental Gin Building complex, Cahaba Brewery & Taproom occupies 21,000 SF of their renovated 50,000 SF space.

A controlled material palette and priority on craft was leveraged in the creation of a memorable atmosphere unique among Alabama’s breweries. Custom tables and chairs made from reclaimed wood provide customers with various seating options and breaks up the expansive space. The overhead doors are often opened in the evenings allowing patrons to overflow onto the patio. Use of natural light from the monitor windows gives the reclaimed pine walls a radiance in the afternoons, highlights the existing steel structure all while providing the brewers and customers with adequate light.

The brew house was custom made in Wisconsin and is the only American-made brew house being used in Alabama. The brew house is treated as an art piece framed by steel and reclaimed wood.  Butt jointed glass allows customers an uninterrupted view into the production of their beer and a literal window into the building’s industrial past.

2015 Alabama AIA Awards

We were thrilled to receive a merit award for our work on Taylor + Maree Construction offices.

 

Taylor + Miree Construction

  • Merit Award

The design of Taylor + Miree Construction’s new office fits into the fabric of the small town community in a sensitive manner that highlights the skill and craftsmanship of the construction company. The project scope was to design a 5,385-square-foot building in a zero lot line within a “main street” setting to reinforce the scale and quality of the community and streetscape.

The exterior is designed with a finely articulated limestone and brick façade with a slate roof that respond to details found on neighboring buildings. Large picture windows reach out to the community to outwardly convey the culture of the company as well as to display their work and activity inside. The gabled structure at the front lobby and conference space creates a dramatic sense of arrival through the use of exposed steel trusses and wood decking.

The interior design is punctuated with recycled wood throughout to provide a warm interior space and promote the sustainable design approach. The central community work space opens on axis to an outdoor deck for dining and gathering. The grade drops from the front of the building, allowing a covered parking garage to be tucked up under the building and the entire footprint of the site to be fully utilized for office space above.

2014 AIA Alabama Awards

WBA took home several awards at the 2014 AIA Alabama awards in categories ranging from residential to institutional. 

 

Mountain Brook Municipal Complex

  • Institutional Merit Award
  • Honor Award for Designing with Brick

Nestled among existing oak trees, the new Mountain Brook Municipal Complex occupies the same site as the original Mountain Brook City Hall built in 1967. Designed as the new home for the community’s city council, mayor’s office, city manager and fire and police departments, the 53,000-square-foot complex provides much needed additional space and facility upgrades – including a 60-space, underground parking deck – while complementing the character and design elements, such as red brick with limestone trim and Tudor-style details, of the community village where is sits.

 

North Engineering Research Center

  • Top Block Award

Situated at the northwest corner of the Science and Engineering Complex at The University of Alabama, the $58 million North Engineering Research Center provides approximately 207,000-square-feet of research and instructional laboratories, research support amenities, faculty offices, graduate student workstations, conference/meeting facilities and collaboration spaces. With more than 51 separate research laboratories to support specialized research disciplines, this building also supports the campus with a centralized 7,800-square-foot Cleanroom facility which meets ISO 5, 6 and 7 Cleanliness Classifications. Overall, the building was designed to create flexible research environments that can grow and change over time – accommodating new research tools and equipment without additional investment or major disruptions of ongoing operations.

 

Redella Residence

  • Residential Merit Award

The Redella Residence is located on Robert’s Way in the new urbanism development of Seaside, Florida, a community renown for its innovative and elegant approach to capturing the character of traditional beachside towns. The site for the 2,000 square foot house backs up to Rose Walk, a tree-lined sand pathway that is a primary route for pedestrian traffic from the residential streets into downtown Seaside.  The importance of Rose Walk and the necessity to have a front door on the street side of Robert’s Way drove the design to essentially have two entry porches and two front doors, generating a symmetrical layout with a central corridor that connects both entries on the first floor. A three story spiral stair pierces through the rooftop connecting the two floors of living space with an expansive rooftop terrace and is a focal point to both the interior spaces and the Robert’s Way façade. 

 

UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Institutional Honor Award

This dramatic transformation of the dated Comprehensive Cancer Center is a key step in translating medical research into clinically based programs aimed at improving cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. In addition to providing updated facilities, a key goal of the renovation was to foster collaboration amongst the researchers. A five-story, sky-lit atrium serves as the new heart of the building with offices clustered around this central collaborative area. The typical maze of corridors and labs commonly found in older research buildings was converted into new research spaces organized around the dynamic atrium core. The renovation also redefined the identity of the building on campus with a new, two-story lobby and revitalized exterior presence serving as the grand entrance and providing connection to the adjacent medical center’s pedestrian concourse.

2011 AIA Alabama Awards

ALAGASCO CENTER FOR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY

  • Honerable Mention
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Contemporary finishes and systems were incorporated into the interior design of the Alagasco Demonstration Center for Energy Technology to reflect the high-tech, innovative nature of the activities contained within. Storage modules for tables and chairs located below glass panels create a spatial separation between the central lobby and the large and small meeting rooms on each side, while large glass doors into the meeting spaces and continuous glass panels above provide views of the heavy timber trusses spanning from space to space, respecting the historical aspects of the original structure.

2007 AIA Alabama Awards

Innovation Depot

  • Honor Award

The renovation of Innovation Depot was a challenging project aimed at bringing new life to an abandoned Sears department store. The design concept opened up the existing windowless building by replacing the graffiti-covered masonry walls with a sleek, glass façade – pulling ample natural light throughout the entire space. The large floor plate, more than one football field in length, serves as a “main street” corridor leading to office and shared administration space and is punctuated with a monumental stair and steel-framed elevator shaft in a central, two-story atrium. Existing concrete ceilings, columns and building systems were left exposed to symbolically mirror the innovation and creation process that occurs within the incubating businesses in the building.

2006 AIA Alabama Awards

UAB CAMPUS RECREATION CENTER

  • Merit Award
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The UAB Campus Recreation Center, a 152,000-square-foot, $22 million facility, serves as a vibrant activity hub for the campus, promotes health and fitness for the entire campus community, and acts as a cornerstone of the future campus green. The jogging track is the defining architectural feature of the building. Passing through every major interior space, it also penetrates the north and west facades, affording joggers views of the surrounding campus context and beyond to the mountains bracketing the city to the south. Also, the complex features a large expanse of exterior glass that provides a view of all activities taking place inside the center. This visual connection to the exterior reinforces the design focus of the youthful, active and vibrant functioning of the building.

2005 AIA Alabama Awards

Auburn Library

  • Merit Award

This 28,000 SF, $3.2 million public library was designed for a rapidly growing community that serves as the home of Auburn University. The building has an inviting entrance plaza that reaches out to the public from the major vehicular approach to the building. The façade is punctuated with a rotunda-style entrance element that extends through the interior of the building in the form of a tall, clerestory surrounded atrium lobby. The steel framed structure is wrapped in an attractive multi-colored brick and cast stone, which at night is accented with dramatic lighting to showcase the building as well as the extensive book collection, which is clearly visible to the public from the exterior. In 2005, Williams Blackstock received the Alabama Council of AIA Merit Award for the Auburn Library design.