The Commercial Appeal

Architectu­ral firms win regional honors

- By Thomas Bailey Jr.


Two Memphis architectu­ral f irms claimed three of 16 design awards from among 120 entries submitted by architects in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississipp­i, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Winning Honor Citations in the 2013 Gulf States Region of the American Institute of Architectu­re were archimania and brg3s/TRO Jung Brannen.

archimania won an Honor Citation for the in- terior design of the new Leadership Memphis headquarte­rs on South Main.

The organizati­on that develops civic leadership wanted a new street-level location that was open and visible.

One juror wrote, “This interior renovation introduced new energies and vibrancy into the leadership program — both figurative­ly and literally.”

Another said, “The simple and elegant organizati­on of elements created a graphic plan that works both in two dimensions, as well as three.”

A juror also said, “The bold yellow divider and extension is exciting and creative.’’

The design of the Memphis Area Transit Authority Airways Transit Center won an Honor Citation for brg3s/TRO Jung Brannen. About 75 percent of the 30,000-square-foot building at 3033 Airways is used by Greyhound.

One juror commented: “Whereas most buildings usually have canopies that take away from the overall design, the architect created bus canopies that actually take the spotlight of design and made this proj- ect into one that caught the jury’s attention.”

The 30-foot deep bus canopies angle up about 20 degrees, suggesting the wing of an airplane and the movement of travel.

Another juror wrote, “The canopies are a strong element that looks to the future of intermodal transporta­tion.”

And, “Site strategy is strong with the flow of the buses determinin­g the slight canting of the building which then drives the angularity and sense of ‘freedom’ that travel embodies.’’

archimania also won a Merit Award for its interior design for the Mercer Capital offices on the 26th floor of Clark Tower, 5100 Poplar.

A juror said of the design: “Understate­d, yet refined detailing and use of minimal color palette results in a strong crisp interior.’’

Said another “The architect showed a good balance of restraint and refinement with just the right moves to bring it all together.’’

Another juror said, “It is very effective in its challenge to connote a differ-

ent sensibilit­y for its client with a new, yet classical and timeless motif.”

The awards were presented this month when Gulf State architects gathered in Denver to celebrate the 2013 Honor Awards program.

According to organizati­on officials, jurors noted that the Gulf States architects seemed to have “similar sensibilit­ies about culture and place.”

The jurors, architects from Charleston, SC., were headed by program chairwoman Belinda Stewart of Eupora, Miss.

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