In its third annual Design Is… Award competition, Shaw Contract Group, the leading flooring provider to the commercial market, recently announced seven firms whose projects define the concept of design. These projects surmount simple beauty by delivering innovative solutions that positively impact the people who inhabit a space and the functions that take place there. This year’s winners are:
Winner: Envision Design brings functionality, flexibility, and sustainability to the headquarters of the International Interior Design Association in Chicago. The design team’s goal was for the space to reflect the highest standards in the interior design industry in human health, well-being, materials and furniture, HVAC systems, and environmental responsibility. The end result is a LEED-CI Gold facility with a state of the art conference room, materials from throughout the industry, and a place that the design community can call home.
Winner: Gensler redesigned its Houston office, placing corporate identity, sustainable design, and a celebration of the firm’s capabilities at the forefront, all while maintaining a strict budget and a tight schedule. Using a studio design concept, the firm creates collaborative spaces with movable partitions and portable furniture to provide maximum flexibility in a space designed to accommodate 10% more staff in the same square footage. LEED Silver certification is an important measure of the design’s success.
Winner: MCM Interiors draws inspiration from client Electronic Arts’ business in video game design and development. To attract talent, inspire creativity, optimize staff and infrastructure efficiency, and enhance corporate communications and culture, the design team introduces light movement, color, scale, texture, and nature throughout the Burnaby, British Columbia facility. Common areas and wellness facilities deliver quality of life amenities that are important to the client’s values, while weaving layers of interactivity into the space.
Winner: OWP/P incorporates the Chicago cityscape in its design for the LEED certified offices of Transwestern Commercial Services. Through full height glass in corridor spaces, natural light creates a reflection element that is juxtaposed against shadow elements found in the carpet. Light and silhouette are used throughout the space to create an ethereal connection between the interior and the city beyond. The firm helps to bring a feeling of transparency to a traditionally closed door environment.
Winner: SABArchitects and Nell Studio break barriers between people and departments in their office design for Turner Construction Company, Seattle. Material choices, from wood walls to carpeting, help to define functional zones that still maintain a cohesive feel through use of color. By moving kitchen functions from small, isolated break areas to the large rooftop penthouse, space is used more efficiently while increasing interaction and collaboration between employees.
Winner: VOA Associates takes a holistic design approach to RMB Capital Management’s office renovation in Chicago. The redesigned space exemplifies international style, reflects the company’s values, and pays homage to the mid-20th century modern building where the company is housed. In order to establish a professional and inviting space that incorporates elements of home, the firm uses traditional pieces like bookcases, lamp, and plants within a business setting.
People’s Choice Winner: Partridge Architects brings confidence, warmth and security to asset management firm, Logan Circle Partners in Philadelphia. In a design that conveys affluence without arrogance, the team seeks to create an open environment that bridges departments and encourages employee interaction. Glass fronted offices surround an open trading area is surrounded by glass fronted offices, providing visibility onto the trading floor. The intense nature of trading is offset by amenities that allow employees to relax without leaving the facility.
“The Design Is… Award continues to promote successful design strategies that are improving the work of clients, while allowing those that inhabit these spaces to realize a greater purpose and
meaning for their activities,” says John Stephens, vice president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group. “This award competition celebrates the decision makers, the leaders in the interior design
industry that are redefining design, and the way it impacts our businesses and our lives.
“We hope that by announcing and promoting the winners of this year’s competition, Design Is… will inspire other organizations to rethink their role in smart design as a contribution to quality of life,
and the realization of human potential in every setting. Design Is… winners are the standard.”
Five distinguished members of the design community served as judges, who narrowed submissions based on a number of criteria which exemplified design solutions beyond aesthetic quality. Judges reviewed the challenges, processes, and results of each project and how each design team defined design. The judging process was moderated by Cheryl Durst, executive vice president and CEO of the International Interior Design Association.
The judging panel included: Kelly Bauer, principal of Richard + Bauer; Dan Lee, vice president of Halff Associates; Pam Light, senior vice president with HOK; John Lijewski, senior vice president / interior design executive with Bank of America; and Jack Weber, owner and principal with Gresham, Smith and Partners.
Winning firms will be recognized in an upcoming advertising campaign in leading industry publications and receive an original award sculpture by Bruce Mau Design. A $2,000 scholarship in the name of each winning firm will be awarded to the program or organization of the firm’s choosing. Shaw Contract Group will also promote its winners through promotional and marketing materials.
The People’s Choice Award was conducted by visitors to Shaw Contract Group’s website using a voting tool. Thirteen finalists were featured as candidates for the People’s Choice Award and over
5,000 votes were cast during June and July.