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Second chance at life

Historic renovations and adaptive reuse facilities highlight this year's award winners

October 01, 2002 |

Just as modern medicinemay give an aging and ailing body a second chance at life, this year's recipients of Building Design & Construction's 19th annual Reconstruction Awards revived age-old buildings, transforming them into vibrant structures with a whole new lease on life. The award recipients reflect major reconstruction trends, including historic renovation, adaptive reuse, and the exposure of building systems on the interior.

About one-third of the entrants in this year's competition were buildings more than a century old. A majority of the projects underwent large-scale interior reconstruction, while a few were exterior masonry upgrades. Among building types represented were hotels, multifamily housing, and educational facilities.

As has been the case in previous years, many of the 2002 submittals qualified for the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Office Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program. In doing so, government-subsidized tax credits were able to be used to substantially enhance the projects (BD&C, Oct. '01, page 23).

Winners reflect diverse uses

Recipients of this year's two Grand awards, the highest honor bestowed in the competition, are Montezuma Castle in Montezuma, N.M., and Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Merit awards went to Frank Lloyd Wright's Polk County Science Building at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., the Essex & Sussex retirement apartments in Spring Lake, N.J., and the ASQ Center in Milwaukee.

Among the historic renovation projects are the 117-year-old Montezuma Castle and the 435,000-sq. ft. ASQ Center, built in the 1880s. Adaptive reuse submissions included the Essex & Sussex senior living facility and the Boardwalk Hall sports and entertainment arena.


Grand award recipient Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, N.J.

Because of their age and new applications, the majority of the historic renovation and adaptive reuse projects received massive systems upgrades. Due to their location and the services they provide, many have had a positive impact on their communities.

Visible upgrades

Judging from the submissions, many of today's design professionals — and their clients — do not hesitate in the least to reveal their handiwork in the final product. Nowhere was this trend more apparent than in the exposing of interior building systems. Typically, a lack of space forced building teams to leave mechanical and electrical systems open to view, instead of attempting to hide the new infrastructure. But some aesthetically pleasing effects have been rendered by doing so.


Merit award winner Polk County Science Building, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Fla.

At the Polk County Science Building, large ducts run below the ceiling in the labs, vertically scaling the atrium walls and columns in the labs and covering much of the roof as well.

"With a historic rehab, you want to have the new work show," says Daniel Fowler, principal with Lakeland, Fla.-based Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects. "We want people to know that there has been a new update. Even if you can see the tell-tale repair, that's fine because it shows how the building has aged."

The editors of Building Design & Construction proudly present the 19th annual Reconstruction Award recipients.

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