Regional Architecture and Mayor Rogero Honored by AIA East Tennessee

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored the work of local architects at their annual Design Awards Gala, held on October 28, 2014. This event is to celebrate built and unbuilt works of distinction and to promote broader discussion of the role architecture has on our community.

Awards for design excellence were designated by a jury of nationally-recognized architects chaired by Elizabeth Gray, FAIA, principal at Gray Organschi Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut. Ms. Gray announced the eight award winners and shared jury comments on the merits of each project. The Award of Honor was granted to two projects, including an orthodontics office in Lenoir City and a walk-in health clinic in Knoxville. Hicks Orthodontics, designed by the Knoxville firm BarberMcMurry Architects, was honored for achieving a high level of design on a relatively tight budget. The jury appreciated that this project raises awareness to contemporary design in a setting where it might not be expected. RedChair Architects won an Award of Honor for their design of the Cherokee Health Systems Fifth Avenue Clinic in Knoxville. The jury celebrated the smart collaboration of a thoughtful client and talented architecture firm to produce an outpatient clinic in service of the area’s low-income and homeless population. The jury noted, “This project truly serves people well, creating emotionally satisfying interior spaces for a population in need.”

Associated Music Center Architects—a joint venture of BarberMcMurry Architects and Blankenship & Partners—was recognized with an Award of Merit for the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center designed for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Sanders Pace Architecture received two Awards of Merit for residential projects, the Holston River House in Mascot, Tennessee, designed for Carlos Anderson and Laura Sohn, and the interior renovation of a loft in the Park Place Condominiums in Knoxville for Adam and Carrie Bolling. Elizabeth Eason Architects, LLC, received an Award of Merit for the Shelton Group Office, an interior renovation project on Jackson Avenue in Knoxville. Finally, two unbuilt competition projects were recognized with the Award of Merit, including Heirloom’s design of the emPOWER House in Chattanooga for the green|spaces NextGen Homes Design Competition, and Fork Design’s competition entry of new furniture proposed for the Art + Architecture Building at the University of Tennessee.

All projects submitted for a design award through the East Tennessee AIA Awards Program were also entered into a competition for the People’s Choice Award recognizing design excellence. For the first time in the chapter’s history, the People’s Choice Award was determined by an online public vote creating a platform for sharing the excellent work of East Tennessee architects with a broader audience. The website received more than 19,000 page views, 5,000 unique visitors, and over 2,800 counted votes. BarberMcMurry Architects was honored with the People’s Choice Award for their design of the Hicks Orthodontics Clinic in Lenoir City.


In addition to design awards, the East Tennessee Chapter honored two individuals with special awards recognizing their significant contributions to the profession of architecture. John McRae, FAIA, a Professor and former Dean of the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, was honored with the Gold Medal as an individual in the field of architecture who has made outstanding contributions with far-reaching impact. The Honorable Mayor Madeleine Rogero was recognized with the Friend of Architecture award for her ongoing support of architecture and its impact on the community. The evening’s festivities also included a recognition of young professionals in East Tennessee who achieved architectural licensure in the past year, including Jeffrey Castor, Shannon Debenport, Kelley Hicks, Katherine Kirkham, Matthew Lewis, Haley McManigal, Dianna Osickey, and Gregory Terry. AIA East Tennessee Chapter President John Thurman recognized Jennifer Akerman, Pat Donaldson, John Sanders, and Susanne Tarovella with Citations of Appreciation for their service and contributions to the chapter.


Jennifer Akerman, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design chaired this year’s design awards program. She can be reached for further information at 865-228-8178 or [email protected].


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