Wight & Company Honored with Six Industry Awards for Design, Engineering and Sustainability
Oct 31, 2013
Wight & Company, a leader in integrated architecture, engineering and construction solutions for the built environment, has been honored with six industry awards, including accolades from the AIA Northeast, ENR Midwest and Illinois Association of School Boards. Award details follow.
2013 AIA Northeast Illinois Design Awards
The Northeast Illinois Chapter of the American Institute of Architects 2013 Design Awards celebrates the outstanding talents of chapter members in a wide variety of categories. The awards ceremony was held on October 10, 2013 at the Elmhurst Art Museum in Elmhurst, Illinois. Wight & Company was honored with four awards, including:
New Headquarters for Service Employee International Union Healthcare (SEIU) - Excellence in Design for Interiors. Wight was awarded Excellence in Design for Interiors for its work on the new headquarters for the SEIU Healthcare, a service union representing healthcare, child care, home care and nursing home workers. Following a merger of three unions, SEIU Healthcare found a new headquarters in an 80,000-square-foot industrial property located in the Pilsen neighborhood, just outside of the Chicago Loop. The overall design aesthetic was crafted to provide a branded environment that is colorful and energetic yet comfortable and functional. The design solution delivered a space that conveys a culture of community and collaboration in an environment that fused the traditional industriousness with a modern workplace. Wight collaborated with developer Sterling Bay and Norcon (builder) on the SEIU project.
Seager Park Interpretive Center – Merit in Architecture. Seager Park is a 30-acre park located near downtown Naperville, Illinois. The 3,800-square-foot Seager Park Interpretive Center is situated over the footprint of an abandoned asphalt basketball court in order to minimize site disturbance of a wetland tributary area and roots of mature trees. Wight & Company’s objective was to create an educational gathering place for the community to further their understanding of environmental concerns connected to examples throughout the park. To demonstrate sustainable building design and promote energy and stormwater conservation, elements were designed to respect the park’s established environment. Wight & Company won a Merit in Architecture, Distinguished Building Under $3M Award for its work on Seager Park.
Student Resource Center at the College of DuPage – Merit in Architecture. The facade of the Student Resource Center (SRC) at the College of DuPage was dramatically transformed to lay the groundwork for a south campus renaissance. Wight & Company designers—who won a Merit in Architecture, Distinguished Building Under $3M Award —overhauled the outward image of the building, so much so the appearance would be a new, technologically innovative facility. Designed in 1983 by C.F. Murphy (Murphy/Jahn), the original facade was a curtain wall composed of weathering steel and dark-tinted glass. The curtain wall skeleton was preserved and the designers utilized its structural properties to support a new, custom-designed, energy-efficient glass facade. As the bustling, functional intersection of the campus, the SRC houses such programs as a cafeteria, campus bookstore, a large student library, executive administration offices, computer labs and continuing education programs.
Seaton Computing Center (SCC) at the College of DuPage – Merit in Architecture. The original 18,500-square-foot Seaton Computing Center, completed in 1990, was a foreboding, bunker-like concrete structure that was not only visually outdated and unwelcoming, but no longer accommodated the needs of faculty and students in today’s teaching environment. Wight & Company’s challenge was to transform the building into a bright and welcoming space where computers and technology could be celebrated, rather than hidden away behind concrete walls. Nearly unrecognizable from its former state, the SCC is poised to become an academic leader in 21st century computer technology. Wight & Company was honored with a Merit in Architecture, Distinguished Building Under $3M Award for its work completed on the Center.
ENR Midwest’s Best Projects of 2013
Engineering News Record Midwest’s Best Projects competition is an annual program recognizing outstanding design and construction in a variety of categories. Wight & Company was honored in the K-12 Education category for the addition and renovation project completed at Orchard Place Elementary School in Des Plaines, IL. The project was part of Wight’s implementation of an extensive district-wide Master Plan of the entire School District 62 in Des Plaines, Illinois that included the renovation of 11 existing elementary and middle school facilities completed in a three-phase implementation process.
The reconstruction of Orchard Place was accomplished in two construction phases. The first phase involved the construction of a new two-story classroom/gymnasium wing immediately behind the oldest portion of the building. Once that was completed, students and staff vacated the original 1947 wing and began using the addition. The vacated portion of the facility was then immediately torn down to make way for parking and drop-off lanes. Renovations for the remainder of the facility occurred the following summer.
IASB Exhibition of Educational Environments Awards
The Illinois Association of School Boards Educational Environment Awards honors top school designs, including two Award of Distinction winners (the top winners), three Awards of Merit and three Honorable Mentions. Awards will be presented to the winning school districts and their architects Friday, November 22 at the Joint Annual Conference. Wight & Company has been honored with an Award of Distinction for its work completed at Iroquois Community School in School District 62 in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Built in the late 1960s, Iroquois Community School required a complete renovation of its interior core. The major design challenge for the architects was to create a building that served the needs of students on opposite ends of the kindergarten-through-middle-school spectrum. A major area where the architects faced this challenge was with the recreation of the library, or Academic Research Center (ARC), as it was renamed. Inspired by energized dot-com work environments, the ARC incorporates many different seating options that define collaboration zones for large and small group activities.
Commenting on the awards, Mark T. Wight, the chairman and chief executive officer said, “We are proud to be acknowledged for high-quality work we undertake in various aspects of our business. It’s gratifying to help our clients and partners reach their project goals and we share the recognition with them.”