May 15, 2017

Quackenbush Architects + Planners announced that the firm has won an American Institute of Architects (AIA) award for its Russell House Leadership and Service Center project at the University of South Carolina.


The AIA South Carolina Honor award was presented to the Q+ team at the AIA South Carolina Awards Banquet on April 17, 2017, at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Charleston, S.C.


The 3,740-square-foot renovation was recognized for how the design transformed a typical office suite into an open and technologically-driven multi-purpose space that encourages student and staff interaction. The new design includes the subtle use of partitions to create flexible spaces, complete with mobile furniture that can be easily reconfigured to accommodate different uses.


AIA SC jurors praised the center’s detailed and more broadly defined design elements. One juror commended the interior space on how well it blended “harmoniously with the lines and features of the main building,” while another called the spaces “fresh and simple,” lauding the high quality of light. Still another commented on the “finesse in the details.”


A key feature of the center’s design is a prominent cantilevered bay window that provides optimal north-facing daylight. Located close to the Russell House entrance, the bay window provides what one juror suggests is a new identity for the center, observing “what a difference” the bay window makes to the space.


Another distinctive design element is the “high performance” walls that not only house interactive digital media, but also create a central transition zone. Remaining walls are transparent or semi-transparent glazed surfaces, continuing the open air feeling and allowing natural light to penetrate the suite. These walls, noted one juror, help to create both a “nicely minimalist and rigorously detailed” design.


Presented each year, the AIA SC awards recognize the very best of architecture in the state, with the aim of honoring design excellence in the profession and increasing public awareness of the value of  exemplary design.


Quackenbush Architects + Planners is a full-service architecture and planning firm located in Columbia, SC. The firm specializes in institutional, civic, educational, and commercial projects. Its services span from building design to land planning to interior design. The firm’s portfolio includes projects for universities, cities, colleges, government agencies, school districts, and private clients. The team’s work reflects commitment to innovation, sensitivity to our regional context, and the richness that comes from collaboration with our clients and the community.

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