Every year, AIA chapters across the country come together to celebrate the design achievements of their members. In Tennessee, the chapter salutes design excellence within the community with the annual Design Awards Program which honors built works designed by AIA Tennessee members and brings attention to outstanding examples of architecture.
For 2017, ten projects out of 98 submittals were chosen for distinction. The jury noted that "the work [this year] was not stylistic, but very rooted in place. We reviewed a broad range of work that illustrated a genuine investment in the cities of Tennessee. There was a strong appreciation for the renovation and transformation projects due to their influence on the community fabric and the linking of the past to present."
Balter Beerworks in Knoxville, TN—designed by Sanders Pace Architecture & Trapp Associates LTD—was one such project. The full-service restaurant and brewery is an adaptive reuse of an existing automobile service station. The jury noted the design for having "a clever project narrative surrounding the nature of 'fuel'" and further stated that "the existing and new components were clearly delineated in a way [that] enhanced the architecture of the whole."
Memphis' archimania swept the awards ceremony taking home 4 Merit Awards as well as an Award of Excellence. The progressive firm known for modern and innovative solutions took home separate awards for their designs of a Teacher Residency in Memphis, Mama Gaia Organic Restaurant, an outdoor performance venue, a personal residence, and a new office for the nonprofit Tech901.
Other works of distinction included a basement-turned-creative office by Pfeffer Torode Architecture in Nashville; the historic rehabilitation of a derelict hotel into a full-block development and a downtown mixed-use both by Looney Ricks Kiss; and an education center for Beardsley Community Farm designed by Jennifer Akerman, Elizabeth Eason Architects and students at the University of Tennessee College of Architecture+Design.
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