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AIA Las Vegas Honors Excellence in Design, Sustainable Practice and Distinguished Service
October 27, 2007
The Las Vegas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects hosted their annual celebration of Excellence in Design and Distinguished Service Awards at the Red Rock Resort on Saturday, October 27th.

A Steelman Partners design, Jade Entertainment Complex, received two awards at the annual Banquet: AIA Unbuilt Category Citation Award and the AIA People’s Choice Award.

Steelman Partners is proud to recognize Michael Vihn and Afsheen Rais for their participation in the AIA Nevada Excellence in Design Awards.

Michael Vinh for his submittal of Jade Entertainment Complex
Afsheen Rais for his submittal of Aquarius and EcoCasino

For more information about the event, the judges and other award winners click here:
The Chapter honored AIA members for their contributions to building a better community and elevating the profession. In addition, eighteen architectural projects in five categories (Built, Academic, Interior Environments, Open and Un-built) were applauded for their exceptional design and sustainability elements. Special guest emcee for the evening was Flo Rogers, President and General Manager of Nevada Public Radio.

The distinguished jurors for this year’s design awards were HENRY SIEGEL, FAIA of Siegel & Strain Architects in Emeryville, CA, STEVE KANNER, FAIA of Kanner Architecture in Santa Monica, CA and PHIL WEDDLE, AIA of Weddle Gilmore Architects in Tempe, AZ.

At the AIA Nevada “Excellence in Design” Awards Presentation Ceremony, we honored the following projects and firms:

ACADEMIC CATEGORY

HONOR AWARD
Project Name: Interdisciplinary Design District
Designers: Soroyas Chuenchomphu, Leon Cifala, Christopher Mueller, Anthony Diaz from UNLV School of Architecture

Juror’s Comments: “The jurors all felt this was an exceptionally handled project. It is a complex project that was handled deftly and with different aesthetic solutions it was a very thorough presentation. We were impressed that this was a student project and that it was handled through a team effort so flawlessly. It speaks well for the excellent work being done at the UNLV School of Architecture.”

UNBUILT CATEGORY

CITATION AWARD
Project Name: “W” Las Vegas
Firm: Klai Juba Architects
Designer: John Klai, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “The juror’s felt that this project offers a lot to like. It presents a beautiful high-rise project with a great sense of scale that some towers lack. The stratification and modulation are narrow and delicate. We liked the lower level spaces, .the outdoor and the gardens on the roof.

We felt the street level experience was very nice and created a great pedestrian experience. It is interesting in that it offers a creative richness of space and visitor experience that we strongly applaud. This is a very thorough design with a beautiful tower and base and we hope it can be realized and not compromised when it is built. It is a clean contemporary design, and we hope it stays that way.

Project Name: Lee Residence
Firm: assemblage STUDIO
Designer: Eric Strain, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “This project presented very convincing drawings and presentation. The home is very inviting and we felt it would be nice to be inside. The interior lighting and the air ventilation were nicely resolved and beautiful. The project really worked on making the indoor / outdoor connection and utilized the desert environment. We especially liked the use of materials. This project is not necessarily pushing new ground and we initially had some concerns about all that glass in the desert but there is a strong effort to shade correctly and good site orientation. It is beautiful from a sculptural standpoint and the strong open plan is quite dramatic.

Project Name: Jade I
Firm: Steelman Partners
Designer: Paul Steelman, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “The ventilation system was very innovative in that the air shaft doubles as a dramatic center core…making the space very inviting. The interior spaces are quite dramatic and provide a sense of air and light. We were unsure of how it fits in the ground level but were quite pleased to see the gaming being handled in the sub-grade making a more pedestrian friendly entrance and a more gracious experience. The project is really quite sculptural in its form but it needs some nice detailing to pull of the design.

Project Name: Casa Agogo
Firm: assemblageSTUIDO
Designer: Eric Strain, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “The jurors felt that the large canopy provided an interesting solution so that the house could function below the shade structure. It provides a nice desert typology and allows graceful indoor and outdoor movement to encourage indoor and outdoor use of the total space. This project seems early in the design process but we felt the core concept was strong enough that it should be recognized.”

MERIT AWARD
Project Name: House in 2 Parts
Firm: assemblageSTUDIO
Designer: Eric Strain, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “Conceptually this design pushes what a house is and how it evolves through a family’s use of it. We felt that the idea that the house could evolve in its use as the family matured was quite interesting. It is extremely well presented with excellent use of materials. It evidences a strong notion of sustainable strategies, but they are not actually expressed. It would be nice to see them in the design execution. The house seems to float on its site.

HONOR AWARD
Project Name: Goldwell Artist Residency
Firm: assemblageSTUDIO
Designer: Eric Strain, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “This was unanimously a favorite project for the jurors. We liked the way the structure is sited and the pre-fab wall panels minimize construction on the site. We liked the way the floors are elevated to capture the natural breezes and allowing the structures to sit lightly on the ground plane. We liked the feel of this very contemporary insertion into a site with older structural relics.”

INTERIOR ENVIRONMENTS
CITATION AWARD
Project Name: Boa
Firm: YWS Architects
Designer: Jonathan Sparer, AIA


Project Name: Sushi Roku
Firm: YWS Architects
Designer: Jonathan Sparer, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “The jury determined that each of these projects needed to be recognized both are skillfully handled and we particularly enjoyed the use of materials and felt that the dramatic lighting was a strong feature. These are very elegant projects and are quite inviting. We loved the use of unusual materials. They are both themed in a very subtly and appropriately. The lighting, a particularly important design feature, is where it needs to be and creates a very nice atmosphere for each of the restaurants.”

OPEN CATEGORY
MERIT AWARD
Project Name: Protestant Church
Designer: Anthony Diaz, Assoc. AIA of UNLV School of Architecture

Juror’s Comments: “This project presents a strong plan solution. The chapel space is very inspirational and the use of the landscape and the daylight has a very nice feel to it. The large roof canopy provides easy indoor / outdoor flow of spaces. We liked the way the structure was sited and the fact that it contrasted from the neighboring residential. We felt the church was a very contextual response to the Mojave Desert even though it strongly contrasted its neighbors.”

HONOR AWARD
Project Name: Inn
Designer: Glen Curry, Assoc. AIA of UNLV School of Architecture

Juror’s Comments: “This project evidenced a total program re-thinking of how a building on “The Strip” should look. It is graphically unique and architecturally beautiful. It works on both the small and large scale. The façade is intriguing, like kinetic sculpture. We had a concern about the shading and we wondered how the interior program would affect the exterior. We were quite impressed with the quality of this work.”

BUILT CATEGORY
CITATION AWARD
Project Name: Springs Preserve Visitor Center
Firm: Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects
Designer: Windom Kimsey, FAIA

Juror’s Comments: “We were so impressed with the façade treatment and the use of materials. The rotunda space is very nicely done. It is a strong project with a nice use of materials. We thought the steel panels were beautiful…while providing passive cooling and shading. We loved the way the building is detailed.”

Project Name: UNLV Student Union
Firm: Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects
Designer: Windom Kimsey, FAIA

Juror’s Comments: “The juror’s loved the attention to the fabric structures and the trellis porch….nicely used as a shading device. The tensile structures are well utilized and provide a very distinct iconographic image for the project. On the interior we felt the stairwells were interesting in red and the translucent handrails. The building has a strong friendly feel incorporating the outdoor spaces.”

Project Name: Orientation Plaza at the Springs Preserve
Firm: Lucchesi Galati
Designer: Jeffrey Roberts, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “We felt the uses of the materials were well done and beautifully detailed. We felt the construction of the plaza and parking over the water reservoir was a great use of space. The integration of 2,200 solar panels into the shaded parking was handled very nicely. We also thought the landscaping and bio-swales added nicely to the visitor experience. The whole thing was very sculptural and strong geometrically.”

MERIT AWARD
Project Name: Prim Library – Sierra Nevada College
Firm: Lake / Flato Architects
Designer David Lake, FAIA

Juror’s Comments: “The detailing on the exterior is very nice. We liked the mountain rustic arch done in a modern way. The exterior and interior are rich in details and the project resolves daylighting very well. The spaces are inviting, open and uplifting. It fits will into its setting because of the use of wood and it feels like it belongs in a forest. It’s naturally ventilated and very well day lit.”

Project Name: Riverpoint Center
Firm: Carpenter Sellers Associates
Designer: Rick Sellers, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “This is the corporate office complex and headquarters for the University of Phoenix. The project is beautifully detailed and beautifully put together. It’s on the I-10 freeway corridor in Phoenix and we felt the project has raised the level of design expectation for that part of the city. There are multiple buildings and they all relate well to each other without being repetitive. The project moves toward sustainability. The buildings have been organized for correct solar orientation. The shading devices on the south elevation are well integrated into the facades.”

Project Name: Waterworks Facility at the Springs Preserve
Firm: Lucchesi Galati
Designer: Jeffrey Roberts, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “We felt the uses of the materials were well done and beautifully detailed. The use of the water pipe as an entrance is a strong metaphor and the kind of themeing we like. The 12’ diameter pipe is a learning center not just a delivery system. The project evidenced a strong use of materials. It was oriented correctly and provides decent shading and daylighting. The whole thing was very sculptural and strong geometrically.”

HONOR AWARD
Project Name: Desert Living Center & Gardens
Firm: Lucchesi Galati
Designer: Jeffrey Roberts, AIA

Juror’s Comments: “This is a LEED Platinum project…. very green and utilizes a range of alternative building materials. The cooling towers make a real architectural element and the legibility of the sustainable elements are very well incorporated. The whole project is very well resolved and achieves the highest aesthetic goals as well as the sustainable goals. It is formally beautiful exhibiting solid elements next to delicate elements. It really looks like a desert project. It belongs here and it integrates into its site extremely well. “

FIRST ANNUAL AIA NEVADA SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED

This special award recognizes businesses or individuals who have contributed to the sustainability of the environment, culture and business through their professional and personal practices. This is an ideal recognition for architects, for clients and for business leaders who practice what they preach and are truly committed to sustainable practices and making a difference in their community and in their world.

The Nevada Chapter of the American Institute of Architects is happy to announce that this year’s recipients are the Las Vegas Valley Water District and SHARCHITECTURE. They have received this honor due to their commitment to a more sustainable world, their leadership in adopting sustainable practices, and their dedication to creating an enduring prosperity for all living things.

2007 AIA NEVADA DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD WINNERS

The distinguished jurors for this year’s service awards were KARL BERG, FAIA of Denver, CO, KIM FERNANDEZ, AIA of Albanese-Brooks Associates, PC in Tucson, AZ and BRUCE HAWTIN, FAIA of Hawtin Jorgensen Architects in Jackson, WY.

At the AIA Nevada “Distinguished Service” Awards Presentation Ceremony, we honored the following individuals:

Service Award
CURT CARLSON, AIA, LEED AP of SHARCHITECTURE in Las Vegas, NV
This award is awarded to the individual AIA member who has contributed significantly to the profession of architecture through the American Institute of Architects.

Young Architect Citation
ROY BURSON, AIA of JVC Architects in Las Vegas, NV
and CHRIS FENTON, AIA of Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects in Henderson, NV The AIA Nevada Young Architect Citation is given to individuals, who at an early stage of their architectural career, have shown exceptional leadership in design, education, and/or service to the profession.

Associate Member Award
DEEPIKA PADAM, ASSOC. AIA of Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects in Henderson, NV Awarded to the individual AIA Allied member who has contributed significantly to the profession of architecture through their membership and participation in their local Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Allied Member Award
MAGGIE ALLRED of Mercury/LDO Reprographics in Las Vegas, NV
Awarded to the individual AIA Allied member who has contributed significantly to the profession of architecture through their membership and participation in their local Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Randy Lavigne, Hon. AIA, Executive Director of AIA Las Vegas stated, “We are very fortunate to have such talented and exceptional architects and firms in Nevada. My congratulations to each recipient of this year’s AIA Nevada Design and Service Awards.”

For more information on the AIA Nevada Distinguished Service Awards, including project images, contact Debi Raffi at AIA Las Vegas at 702.895.0936 or draffi@aianevada.org.
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In 2016, Steelman Partners was ranked the 91st largest architectural firm by Architectural Record Magazine and was on Engineering News-Record's Top 500 Design Firm list. Created in 1987, this successful firm specializes in designing profitable entertainment based projects.

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