2014 American School & University Architectural Portfolio Outstanding Design Award

WBA was honored to be chosen for an outstanding design award from American School & University.


North Engineering Research Center — UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

  • Outstanding Design: Post-secondary

The North Engineering Research Center is the fourth and final piece of the University of Alabama Science and Engineering Complex providing approximately 207,000 net square feet of research and instructional laboratories, research support amenities, faculty offices, graduate student workstations, conference and meeting facilities, and collaboration spaces over three floors and a basement. The design was focused on accommodating facilities for the “clean” engineering disciplines, with over 51 separate research laboratories in support of the faculty working in five areas of ongoing materials research. The complex system of supportive mechanical systems had to be housed within the framework of a strict classical architectural context, presenting a unique marriage of timelessness and cutting edge research. A key goal of this project was to create flexible research environments, including labs and core lab areas, which can grow and change easily over time. Another key objective was to create a facility that will excite and attract both faculty and students to the University – and in particular to the Engineering disciplines. In addition to providing modern, state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities, the design strives to leverage technology and transparency to enable building occupants and visitors the opportunity to view, and gain a better understanding of the exciting research and instrumentation being utilized and developed in the building. Filled with natural light, the atrium connects the two story lobbies at the south entrance from the Commons and the entrance lobby from north campus, while also vertically connecting all three floors and the basement.  The lobby detailing is consistent with the exterior to unify the style of the complex.

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.