The scope of the project is a design for the headquarters of RMS, a firm specializing in all aspects of timberland investments worldwide. The design concept reflects the company’s identity and values by creating a dynamic relationship between the wooded lake front and the daylight filled interior. The result is a pleasant office space that attracts and retains employees that are engaged by the company’s collaborative, entrepreneurial, forestry-focused culture. The design optimizes light and transparency throughout the space with unlimited views of the surrounding site.
We had a great evening representing the firm at the 2017 AIA Birmingham Design Awards, taking home awards for High Cotton, Lewis Communications and Nike Showroom.
- Honor Award
- Jury Award
This project is an interior renovation of a 57,000SF existing concrete tilt-up panel warehouse with no windows and a 24 foot tall structural deck. The program was to provide 15,000SF of office space and 43,000SF of production printing space for a company that requires security for the banking industry related business.
The design concept integrates the employees of the production printing side of the business with the administrative office employees for more effective collaboration, and efficiency and create a work environment that inspires, retains and attracts employees, while impressing potential clients.
- Merit Award
The 28,000-square foot renovated building is the new home for Lewis Communications, a marketing and branding company. The project is a historic tax-credit renovation of a Postwar International style five- story building in a dynamic and growing urban downtown setting. The design goal was to create an interior design that is simple, clean, and timeless. The new interior brings a contemporary edge and complements the historic interior elements remaining. The design captures the natural daylight and provides a creative, fun, collaborative and comfortable workplace for the employees.
- Honor Award
This project is a showroom space for Nike to serve wholesale customers who are major retailers of sporting goods shoes and clothing. The interior design expresses materials that are unique to the Birmingham locale including, blue mill scale steel, Sylacauga marble, and locally recycled gym flooring and bleachers for wood elements throughout the space.
The rustic, raw, Alabama marble and blue mill scale steel materials transition to more polished and finished materials to symbolize the shaping of a finely-tuned athlete through inspiration and innovation, hard-work, practice, and technique. The story of Nike is told through the treatment of the materials, the details, and the relationship materials throughout the spaces.
We had a great evening representing the firm at the 2016 AIA Birmingham Design Awards, taking home awards for Alagasco Metro and Cahaba Brewing projects.
Cahaba Brewing Company
- Merit Award
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.
Alagasco Metro Operations Center
- Merit Award
Located in the urban center of Birmingham, this facility serves as Alagasco’s primary service center. The three main buildings, two office buildings and a garage totaling +/-37,000 SF, as well as the outbuildings, including a truck wash, fuel island, and several sheds, were constructed using pre-engineered metal building structures. The main building construction include concrete slabs on grade, architectural metal panels, brick veneer, standing seam metal roofs, and storefront. A fence is provided around the entire campus for security, which includes a combination of masonry fencing, prefinished aluminum fencing, and vinyl coated chain link fencing.
2016 will be the year of communication. We will strive harder than ever to communicate our value as architects and designers to the general public around us. We have increased the awareness to many of what we have to offer, though there is still much ground to make up, and many, many more to reach. We will meet our clients on their terms and listen to their wants, needs and goals. We will bring awareness to those who don’t know we exist by being present in unexpected places, offering a glimpse that will lead to their wanting to know more about our profession. We will learn how to communicate in such a way that speaks universally of quality in the places we call home.
We will communicate to our profession the value of the AIA as an organization. We will listen to our peers as they speak of our shortcomings and areas we need to improve, and we will act. We will communicate with our young emerging professionals, letting them know what our organization does for them and how they can find their place with our support. We will learn how to communicate with those who are just beginning their architectural careers or education by understanding what it is that makes them unique, and so perfectly suited to elevate our profession to new heights. We will also communicate with our experienced colleagues who have so much to offer through countless lessons learned throughout their careers.
By communicating visually through examples of our work, we can expand our reach to vast numbers of potential clients, supporters and future architects who will gain understanding of the important roles architects serve in the places we live, work and play. We will have entertaining and informative opportunities to truly socialize with one another, and provide venues and events that will encourage coming together and building community. We will communicate with others within the profession, our schools, and other chapters by exchanging ideas and resources. We will occasionally get up from our desks, from behind our computer screens, and become active participants in our communities. What an immensely exciting time to be living and practicing in the cities that make up our Chapter and State!
We will communicate with our supporters and let them know how much we appreciate them. The successful programs we run, and are now taking statewide, are due in large part to their continued support over the years. We will also communicate to new potential donors the outreach we provide through our programs and how they can help advance our mission.
2016 will be an exciting year, and I am grateful and honored to be the Chapter President. It would be foolish to think that a small group can accomplish the things outlined above and continue to toe the line that others started to move in years past. This excitement comes with a need to increase our numbers, embrace new ideas and strive to strengthen and grow our footprint. Therefore, I’m excited to see our numbers grow, our participants increase and our message get out into the surrounding communities, cities and statewide. I look forward to hearing each of your thoughts, ideas, and challenges and I look forward to seeing and communicating with each of you at our upcoming events.
Thank you so very much for your passion and dedication to our profession!
Bill Segrest, AIA
2016 AIA Birmingham President
This appears in the AIA Birmingham January 2016 newsletter found here →
Taylor + Miree Construction
- Honor 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.
On axis with the front entrance as one moves deeper into the building is a clerestory lit, central collaborative work space with community work tables for reviewing plans with exposed steel structure and wood. This collaborative work space is surrounded by offices with glass fronts where natural light is softly filtered into the offices from the central clerestory because the zero lot line siting limits the opportunity for windows into each office.
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.
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.
We had a remarkable night representing WBA at the 2014 Birmingham AIA Awards taking home a merit award for the UAB Comprehensive Care Center.
UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Merit 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.
WBA was honored to take home a merit award for our work on Shades Valley YMCA and an honor award for Redella Residence.
Shades Valley YMCA
- Merit Award
This YMCA project actually began four years before construction broke ground with a community fundraising campaign to help garner support for the renovation of the 50-year-old building. The YMCA wanted to create a more user-friendly and family-friendly space while continuing its service to the community during construction – never closing its doors during the nine-month process. The revitalized facility now features a welcoming entrance, inviting Members into the space which was completely reorganized to maximize existing square feet and optimize circulation. An additional 4,000-square-feet was added to make room for new exercise studios, free-weight areas, a technology center and a new pool complete with water slides and a splash park. YMCA Members now enjoy a vibrant, energetic environment awash with abundant natural light.
- Honor Award
This private residence located in the renowned community of Seaside, Florida perfectly captures the essence of a traditional beach town. Generous living spaces are kept light and airy with the use of natural light, a neutral color palette and an open-concept floor plan. Site limitations created the need for two main entries to the 2,000-square-foot home so a symmetrical layout with a central corridor connects both entries and is punctuated with a dramatic, three-story spiral staircase. The staircase sits at the heart of the home and vertically connects both interior floors to the expansive third-story, rooftop terrace which beckons you with its comfortable seating areas and panoramic ocean views.
We took home multiple awards from the 2010 AIA Birmingham awards ceremony. Awards included; a merit award for our work on parking deck no. 3 in Birmingham, an honor award for Alagasco Center for Energy Technology, a residential merit award for Park Place and a merit award for the offices of Proassurance.
BIRMINGHAM PARKING DECK NO. 3
- Merit Award — Commercial
The Birmingham Parking Authority Downtown Parking Deck No. 3 is a $13 million, 700-space expansion of an existing deck, providing a total of 1,445 parking spaces. This deck, which spans an entire city block, is located along a primary one-way traffic artery and gateway to downtown Birmingham and was designed to replicate the aesthetic of an office building. No parked cars are visible from the street and the colonnade of windows at the base of the building create a visual sense of retail stores which enhances this pedestrian streetscape in the heart of the financial district.
ALAGASCO CENTER FOR ENERGY TECHNOLOGY
- Honor Award — Renovation/Adaptive Reuse
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.
- Merit Award — Residential
The Park Place Apartment Complex is Birmingham’s first development funded under the federal Hope VI program – a program designed to replace the nation’s worst public housing developments with more inviting and livable neighborhoods that draw diverse groups of people and incomes. The design solution reflects the city’s rich heritage of historic buildings and turn-of-the-century apartments. Eight unique building plans are configured in combinations of townhomes and stacked flats and the design provides a doorway and streetscape scale identity for residents to personalize their respective porch, stoop or street entry. This project was a catalyst of transformation for housing developments throughout the city, revitalizing declining neighborhoods and reinstating the sense of community in these areas.
- Merit Award — Commercial
Looking to create a new image for its corporate headquarters, ProAssurance, Inc. enlisted Williams Blackstock to revitalize the lobby, both inside and out, of the six-story office building it calls home. The new exterior design features a dynamic bridge entry leading to the limestone portal building entrance which opens directly to the reception desk serving as the centralized check-in location for visitors. Designed to create a sense of warmth, the lobby interior showcases cherry wood paneling and travertine marble which also helps to establish a feeling of permanence, security and quality – all characteristics that ProAssurance conveys as a corporation to its clients.
WBA was honored to take home an award for adaptive reuse for our work on Innovation Depot at the Birmingham AIA awards.
- Merit Award — Adaptive Reuse
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.
The Birmingham News
- Merit Award
This 110,000-square-foot, $20 million facility serves as the corporate headquarters for The Birmingham News. The four-story structure is designed to promote departmental interaction with its large, open atrium allowing visibility between departments on all floors both vertically and horizontally. The atrium’s secondary purpose is to introduce generous daylight into the center of the building which reaches all open office work areas. The exterior details of the building draw inspiration from the early 1920s architecture of downtown Birmingham, with its rich tradition of brick warehouse and office buildings. To capture that character, it was designed to look like two industrial warehouse structures connected by the contemporary glass and steel atrium, thus creating a modern space for a state-of-the-art office environment.
UAB CAMPUS RECREATION CENTER
- Honor Award
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.