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Art + Design building gets top honor from architects

October 5, 2003
The Courier-Journal

The Kentucky Museum of Arts + Design received the top Honor Award.
Geoff Carr

Making what amounts to a round peg fit into a square hole is what earned the new Kentucky Museum of Art + Design the top Honor Award at the annual convention of the Kentucky Society of Architects. It was among six awards presented last Friday at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville. Thirty-six entries were received for the competition.

The adaptive reuse of two 19th-century buildings to form a larger home for the museum on Louisville's Main Street was applauded by a jury of Seattle architects: "The flowing plan organization contrasting the orthogonal constraints of the existing structure mirrors the craft artist exhibits," wrote jurors Norman Strong, Lee Copeland and Evett J. Ruffcorn. The designers were Chu + Gooding Architects of Los Angeles, working with Michael Koch and Associates Architects and Planners of Louisville.

Merit Awards were presented to the Southeast Postsecondary Education Facility in London, Ky., designed by Omni Architects of Lexington for Kentucky's community and technical college system, and to the residence of Johanna and Bill Rice of Lexington for a contemporary rural house designed by Guyon Architects of Lexington.

The postsecondary school was selected for its use of multiple materials and integration of interior details with the "expression" of the exterior. The Rice residence was selected because it accomplished the architect's goal: "to reconcile the tough beauty of a barn with the intricacy of modern architecture" in a utilitarian building that jurors described as "strong, simple and direct."

Citations went to the renovation of Louisville's YMCA Building for St. Francis High School and other owners Holly Wiedemann and AU Associates by Potter & Cox Architects of Louisville; the pediatric floor renovation at TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow by GBBN Architects of Lexington; and, by the same firm, the renovation of the Talcott Kentucky Residence Hall and Annex at Berea College.

These individuals and firms also received awards:

Bravura of Louisville, Distinguished Firm Award.

Architect Thomas G. Fernandez of Fort Thomas, Distinguished Service Award.

Business First President and Publisher Tom Monahan, Citizens Laureate Award for advocacy of quality architecture.

Former Louisville Mayor Dave Armstrong, Honorary Membership Award for promotion of quality architecture.

Southbank Partners of Newport, Ky. (a nonprofit group working for the improvement of Northern Kentucky riverfront communities), the Allied Professional Award for harmonious work with architects.