Monday, November 2nd, 2015

For Immediate Release

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE, NOVEMBER 02, 2015 –The American Institute of Architects (AIA) East Tennessee announces the recipients of the 2015 Design Awards, recognizing excellence in architectural design in East Tennessee. Selected from a pool 20 submissions, 7 recipients were recognized at the 2015 Design Awards Gala on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

Thomas Jacobs, AIA – recipient of a national AIA Young Architect recognition and principal with Krueck+Sexton – was the 2015 Jury Chair. In addition to Mr. Jacobs, the jury was comprised of representatives from the Chicago architecture community including Catherine Baker, AIA – Principal with Landon Bone Baker Architects – and Dan Wheeler, FAIA – Founding Principal of Wheeler Kearns Architects.


The 2015 (Juried) Design Award recipients are:

Category: UnbuiltAward: MERIT AWARD

Project: St. John’s Anglican Church (Franklin, TN)

Architect: Sanders Pace Architecture

The design of this church campus, located on a former horse farm, is a direct reflection of the congregation’s needs as well as their desire to commune with one another in more ways than just worship. Programmatic elements are separated by courtyards and plazas which allow for access to the site, recalling cloisters found in various religious typologies.

Jury Comments: “A well-studied response to site and program. Plazas and courtyards organize the building volumes in a convincing way and connect interior and exterior spaces to provide for a rich experience of site and landscape.

“The project potential lies in an outcome in which the land is made even more beautiful once this gets built – we hope it will!”


Category: Renovation/Restoration


Project: Addition of an Office + Golf Cart Garage (Knoxville TN)

Architect: BARBERMcMURRY architects

This addition to a residence built in 1980 is in response to the changing needs of the original homeowners now transitioning to retirement. It is located between a golf course and a river in Knoxville. The clients wished for the addition to blend seamlessly with the existing house, have minimal impact on the existing flow, and to maximize natural daylight and views within the office.

Jury Comments: “A wonderful example of carefully adding to, improving, and elevating a building to a work of architecture. Who knew that a golf cart and office enclosure could work so hard? Great massing and use of color. This is much harder than it looks – an addition that doesn’t look like an addition. Hats off to Barber McMurry and their discerning client.”

Project: Seymour Tanner House by Sanders Pace Architecture (Knoxville, TN)

Architect: Sanders Pace Architecture

This historic preservation and renovation of an International Style house of circa 1939 is located in the hills of East Tennessee overlooking the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

The residence – possibly the first split level house in the Country – is returned to its pure roots as a modest and modern residence uniquely positioned within the landscape. T
he exterior was preserved by maintaining the original multiwythe terra cotta block wall system, and all original steel casement and fixed windows were maintained and refurbished to operational condition.

Jury Comments: “A sensitive and careful upgrade to an important building – a pragmatic and low-tech approach on the exterior, and restraint in detail and materiality on the inside pay off in a convincing way as they balance the need for restoration and modern living needs. Staircase and bathroom treatment deserve special mention. Very glad this house was cared for in this way, it’s good for another 50 years -thank you.”


Category: Architectural Interiors


Project: Kendrick Place Rowhouse (Knoxville, TN)

Architect: Sanders Pace Architecture

Located in downtown Knoxville, this project features selective renovations to a 100 year old, original rowhouse. Careful allocation and prioritization of financial resources led to 2 areas of focus: reconfiguration of an existing basement space with a 6’-6” ceiling into a guest retreat and media room, and replacement of an existing checker-plate clad stair enclosed with a chain link fence stair-rail.

Jury Comments: “The careful detailing and execution of the stair screen wall recalls a belief held by Charles Eames – quote The details are not the details, they make the design. end quote. The deployment of the wood members creates a rich physical and visual texture, and the skillful craftsmanship allows the beauty and precision of this simple yet high-performing design to blossom. A divine detail indeed.”


Category: New Construction


Project: Residential Pavilion (Knoxville, TN)

Architect: William Starke Shell, AIA

This Knoxville residential pavilion for a retired individual is perched on the edge of the Tennessee River bluff and placed in a forest clearing. Specifically designed to illustrate that architecture is a visual art, the pavilion uses a rigorous, 2×2 foot module which underlays the structure, elevations, and finishes. 8 structural columns support exposed steel beams and bar joists which form the roof.

Jury Comments: “A carefully choreographed arrival sequence, as one finds the pavilion on foot through the trees. Reminiscent of past master works, particularly Mies’ later work and research into square shaped, long span structures. If Edith Farnsworth’s life in a glass box is any indication, this inhabitant will have no shortage of company – a wonderful set-up for a retirement filled with discussion, contemplation, and joy.”




Project: Red Bird Water Kiosk (Red Bird, KY)

Architect: John McRea, FAIA / UT College of Architecture and Design Students

This water distribution structure, which will provide clean and safe drinking water for 9,000 families, is located in Clay County, Kentucky, considered the poorest county in the nation. The structure, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, contains two water dispensers, a covered area for a farmers market, and a cistern for rainwater collection for use in the adjacent greenhouse.

Design Studio members included students from architecture, interior design, landscape, nursing, engineering and law enforcement departments, and the kiosk was prefabricated over a 3 month period and constructed during a one week period in spring 2015.

Jury Comments: “Laudable and impressive effort of students of varied disciplines collaborating to design and build, in a very short time, a place of real utility.

This is where design education shows how valuable it can be to solving community issues. Very encouraging to see the Universities support for design-build projects – please don’t hold back doing more.”



Project: Noris Lake House (Sharps Chapel, TN)

Architect: Sanders Pace Architecture

This modest cabin for a couple and their child is located on Norris Lake in Sharps Chapel, East Tennessee.

Generous space and sustainable features are achieved within a limited budget through careful siting and orientation, compact footprint, operable windows for passive ventilation. Large bi-fold doors on the south façade are shaded by a large roof overhang, the main space defining feature of a screened porch offering comfort and great views.

Jury Comments: “The architecture is deftly composed, with careful juxtaposition and proportioning of modernist and regional methodologies, language, and materiality. The resulting tension creates a welcome freshness, and represents an innovative approach to an age-old building type.”



The 2015 People’s Choice Award recipients are:

In addition to the 7 juried design awards given, awards for the online People’s Choice Vote and a membership vote was given.


Awards: Online People’s Choice Award & Members’ Choice Award

Project: Contemporary Women’s Health

Architect: BARBERMcMURRY architects

A new medical office for a women’s care group to provide for spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. A respite housed within a calming & nurturing environment.



About The American Institute of Architects

For 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real.


Media Contact: Richard A Foster, AIA

865 584 5000

[email protected]

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