W8 wins awards!
Sometimes projects come along that you immediately recognize as ones that are unique, have a lot of potential for exciting design, and get your creative juices flowing. For me, the Stanley Marketplace was such a project. Three years ago, when I started at WORKSHOP8 as a project manager, Stanley was my first project. The whole WORKSHOP8 team was really excited about this opportunity. I remember at some point, early on, during another AIA award ceremony our office attended, I said, “That is going to be us in a few years with Stanley.”
a vegas visit
The AIA Western Mountain Region awards were held in Las Vegas this year. I have not been to Vegas since 1993 and was excited to go and see all the changes that have happened. I have some friends that live in Vegas that I have not seen in 20+ years. Right away they offered me a place to stay! I arrived in Vegas on Friday the 13th. I met Bill and Lisa, my gracious hosts, for dinner on the strip and we spend some time catching up. After dinner we walked around the strip and visited the new Linq development. Part of the Linq is a huge Ferris Wheel called High Roller.
Photo credit: wonderfulengineering.com
We took the High Roller around, a 28 minute ride that provided some spectacular views of Vegas.
The following day I took a trip to the Hoover Dam and the new Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge that takes Hwy 93 across the Colorado River.
Although dams have a significant initial negative impact on the rivers it dams in (don’t tell that to the reportedly 10 foot long catfish that are getting fat at the bottom of the lake), the structure is awe inspiring! The Hoover Dam as well as the Memorial Bridge make one feel incredibly small and insignificant.
The dam has significant benefits as well; according to information I read during my visit, the growth of Los Angeles would not have been possible without the dam, nor would the region’s irrigated farmlands (which produce 80% of the nation’s winter fruit and vegetables) have been able to produce such bounty.
the AIA awards ceremony
Saturday evening I arrived, in true Dutch fashion, 10 minutes early and was one of the first ones there. I met several local architects and ended up striking up a conversation that lasted through dinner with Ryner, a project manager with Gensler. Luck had it that Ryner was the project manager on the Linq project. Architecture nerd alert: I will spare you the details but we discussed the many thousand cubic feet of concrete and ridiculous number of piers (going to bedrock) below grade holding the High Roller in place–it was fascinating! I was like a kid in a candy store….a really, really large candy store.
At the start of the AIA Western Mountain Regional awards presentation (covering a six state region), the announcer apologized for the majority of the 11 design awards going to firms in Colorado and Arizona…he followed by saying that the rest of the states need to step up their game.
As I went up on stage receiving not one but TWO awards for WORKSHOP8, a quote from one of the presenters from a past AIA Conference came to mind: “The road to poverty is paved with architecture awards.” We have had discussions in our office regarding this and we all agree that we would do another challenging project in a heartbeat; you cannot put a price on a project where you can get your creative juices flowing like an un-dammed Colorado River!
I have worked on a handful of projects over the years that won awards, however, the awards were never given out while I was still at that firm. This was a first for me, and it was a great honor to be able to go up an represent a truly amazing team that made these projects into, not just what the clients desired, but award-winning solutions.
Community Preservation Award
To sweeten the month even more, once I got back from Las Vegas, we got word that the Stanley Marketplace was honored with a Community Preservation Award from Historic Denver. We’re very excited to have worked on a project recognized for its important historic preservation!