Quackenbush Architects Receive 3 2020 AIA Columbia Design Awards


COLUMBIA, SC – Quackenbush Architects + Planners received three American Institute of Architects Columbia awards for its innovative work on the Center for Health and Well-Being at the University of South Carolina, a Richland School District One addition to the Heyward Career Center, and its re-design of Boyd Plaza in Columbia. The annual awards, presented at the 2020 AIA Columbia Design Awards ceremony on November 5, recognize distinguished architectural achievements throughout the Midlands and honor collaborative efforts that improve environments and the quality of life through design excellence.

Quackenbush Architects + Planners received an AIA Columbia Merit Award for its work on the new University of South Carolina’s Center for Health & Well-Being in Columbia. The 68,0000-square-foot facility, designed in collaboration with Perkins & Will, creates a “campus centered around wellness,” promotes healthy living, has high benchmarks for sustainability, and is a model for university health centers nationally. It forms the edge of a major pedestrian corridor with a transparent facade and comfortable lobby that draws students in and encourages them to linger.

The jury praised the pedestrian passageway and noted that “the circulation along the exterior and interior of the glazing is very strong.” They also remarked on the “nice composition” on the front entry and west elevation’s façades. In particular, they added, “The interiors have a great color palette and we appreciate how the colors speak to nature. These interiors create a really nice color scheme for wayfinding.”

Quackenbush Architects + Planners also garnered an AIA Columbia Citation Award for the design of a Culinary Arts lab addition to the Heyward Career & Technology Center. The contemporary space features three-large stainless-steel cooking suites to enhance visibility and communication between instructors and students.

Jury members noted, “The design of this addition brings a very elegant simplicity to the exterior composition and is a great addition to the campus. The windows into the kitchen make for a wonderful place to be, and we really appreciate how the natural light penetrates through the space. This small-scale element has a powerful impact on the look of the campus.

Q+’s popular renovation of Boyd Plaza on Main Street in downtown Columbia — and developed for The Darnall W. and Susan Boyd Foundation — won the AIA Columbia People’s Choice Award. The firm replaced an existing outdated plaza with a totally new design featuring two pavilion structures, one of which includes a roof and skylight, flexible options with vertical screens, and a spill out space for functions connected with the adjacent Columbus Museum of Art. The second pavilion invites community use as a place to rest or picnic, and as a stage for events.

Nearly 600 community members “liked” Boyd Plaza on Instagram, noting its design and much-needed community gathering space in the heart of the Main Street District: “A special place in the heart of the city.” “Very cool!” “Beautiful!” “A very special place - gets my vote!” The Columbia Museum of Arts remarked, “Big thanks to The Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation Inc. and @quackenbusharchitects for this gift to the city!”

“We’re honored and proud to receive these design recognitions from our AIA jury and also from the community,” says Q+ President Doug Quackenbush, AIA LEED, AP. “The response reflects our team’s efforts to collaborate and create designs that have integrity and that serve our communities well.”

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