Celebration of Architecture Awards


May 7, 2010 – Detroit, Michigan – The American Institute of Architects Michigan presented plaques for architectural excellence to the owners, architects and constructors of 12 buildings at its annual Celebration of Architecture on May 7 at the Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit. Seventy-one buildings were examined by a diverse jury of 8 architects from across the U.S. that are members of the National AIA Committee on Design. Carol Rusche Bentel, FAIA from New York chaired the jury.


The following is a list of the winning projects:

DTE Energy Campus Enhancements

Detroit, Michigan

Category:  Building

Architect:  Neumann/Smith Architecture

Owner:  DTE Energy

Contractor:  Walbridge

Landscape:  Grissim Metz Andriese Associates

Mechanical/Electrical:  Peter Basso Associates

Structural:  Desai/Nasr Consulting Engineers

Photos:  Maconochie Photography

Comment from Jury – This project improves the urban environment in a hopeful direction where the former building was greatly enhanced by the light and inviting base building addition.

Manufacturing Facility

The Shoals, Alabama

Category:  Steel Award

Architect:  Albert Kahn Associates Inc.

Owner:  National Alabama Corporation

Contractor:  Yates-Walbridge

Photos:  Justin Maconochie

Comment from Jury – This project is a thoughtful and contemporary realization of industrial architecture.  Generous day-lighting of the manufacturing floor is created by the refreshing return to the simple industrial design principles generated directly from the manufacturing process.  The honest use of structural steel, form and appropriate materials evidences a clear commitment to providing a safe, well-lit, and human-centered workplace.

Nissan Technical Center and Styling Studio

Farmington Hills, Michigan

Category:  Building

Architect:  Albert Kahn Associates Inc.

Luce et Studio, Design, Styling Studio

Owner:  Nissan Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc.

Contractor:  Turner Construction Company

Photos:  Justin Maconochie and Paul Rivera/Arch Photo

Comment from Jury – Thoughtful planning, detailing and material selection result in a sophisticated and well executed project.  This design successfully evokes the spirit of creativity and technical innovation embodied by the automotive industry.

Steelcase WorkLab

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Category:  Sustainable Design

Architect:  Progressive AE

Owner:  Steelcase Inc.

Contractor:  D&D Building, Inc.

Photos:  Fotoworks/Benny Chan

Comment from Jury – There are wonderful moments in this project.  The shapes of the various spaces delight the user and the details reveal careful design attention in beautifully resolved connections.

Michigan State University Owen Hall Renovation

East Lansing, Michigan

Category:  Interior Architecture

Architect:  SmithGroup

Owner:  Michigan State University

Contractor:  Triangle Associates

Photos:  Jim Haefner Photography

Comment from Jury – The interior spaces have been energized and enlivened by spatial gestures and color coded indicators.   The design is playful and inviting and creates overlapping non-room-like areas that encourage student interaction and a welcome residential experience.

Western Michigan University of Art Richmond Center for Visual Arts

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Category:  Building

Architect:  SmithGroup

Owner:  Western Michigan University

Contractor:  CSM Group

Photos:  Hedrich Blessing

Laszlo Regos Photography

Comment from Jury – This sensitively designed addition to the campus not only completes a quadrangle, but also ties several buildings together through circulation routes while establishing a visual arts presence for the campus.  The interior in energized by exterior courts and internal exhibition areas lit through interestingly clerestories and are visible from several locations within the building.

Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts

Interlochen, Michigan

Category:  Building

Architect:  Cornerstone Architects Inc.

Owner:  Interlochen Center for the Arts

Contractor:  Hallmark Construction

Photos:  Brian Kelly Photography

Comment from Jury – This is a perfect “Visual Arts” space with its airy and light filled rooms.  There is a careful use of natural materials within the structure, a restraint throughout the design, and a respect of the surrounding environment as the most important design material.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Category:  Building – Historic Preservation

Architect:  Quinn Evans | Architects

Owner:  St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Contractor: J. C. Beal Construction Inc

Photos:  Philip Dattilo (after images)

Quinn Evans Architects (before images)

Comment from Jury – The enhancements and restoration work were meticulously done with great effort to capture the original essence of the building both inside and out.  The detail work at the roof level is masterful.

University of Michigan Museum of Art

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Category:  Building

Architect of Record:  Integrated Design Solutions

Design Architect: Allied Works Architecture, Portland, Oregon

Owner:  The University of Michigan

Contractor:  Skanska USA Building Inc.

Photos:  Jeremy Bitterman

Comment from Jury – This elegantly understated, thoughtfully detailed, well proportioned, and carefully planned addition is respectful of the original Beaux-Arts building without replicating its form.  Quiet, yet beautiful new spaces and sensitively restored existing spaces house the University’s art collection that together energize and activate the entire building.

Shadow Pavilion

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Category:  Low Budget/Small Project

Architect:  PLY Architecture

Owner:  Matthaei Botanical Garden

Contractor:  PLY Architecture

Photos:  PLY Architecture

Comment from Jury – This delightful garden folly is the product of a rigorous exploration in strength of materials and architectural form.   It is a wonderful surprise to discover within the meadow.

Park House

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Category:  Building

Architect:  PLY Architecture

Owner:  Ji Hye Kim

Contractor:  PLY Architecture

Photos:  PLY Architecture

Comment from Jury – This delightful house addition is a bold one – hardly a camouflaging tactic despite the colors – but worth the risk.  Design concepts are consistent throughout.

Thal Residence

Birmingham, Michigan

Category:  Twenty-five Year

Architect:  Luckenbach/Ziegelman Architects PLLC

Owner:  Bruce and Ileane Thal

Contractor:  Snyder and Snyder Construction Company

Photos:  Dan Bartush and Robert L. Ziegelman, FAIA

Comment from Jury – A simply perfect telescopic plan, unchanged in 25 years.  It provides a sustainable urban lifestyle for the original owners, with garden court and an expanding art collection.


Gold Medal: Dennis M. King, FAIA

Dennis M. King, FAIA is Chairman of the Board of the Harley Ellis Devereaux Corporation.  He has guided the growth of the 102-year-old company over the past 30+ years to the industry leader it is today.  His unwavering quality management vision has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including his firm being named one of “Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies To Work For,” 9 years in a row and Chicago’s Best and Brightest Company for the past 5 years.

Since his early position as the University of Michigan’s AIA Student Chapter President, Dennis has achieved a long and distinguished record of service to the AIA.  In 2005, he was awarded the AIA Detroit Gold Medal, the highest honor that can be presented to a member of the profession, for his notable contributions to the AIA and outstanding achievements in architecture. He also directed Harley Ellis Devereaux to AIA Michigan Firm of the Year honors in 2000. His other honors include election as a 1992 member of the AIA College of Fellows, AIA Detroit President in 1984, and AIA Michigan President in 2007.

Community service is an important part of his life.  He is on the Board of Trustees for Beaumont Hospitals and Friends of the William E. Scripps Estate, a director of the Oakland County Economic Development Corporation and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Architectural Foundation.

The Gold Medal is the highest honor that can be given to an AIA Michigan architect.  It is reserved for an architect who is distinguished in his career, works to advance the professional standing of all architects and lives up to the ethical standards of the American Institute of Architects.

Robert F. Hastings Award: Ralph W. Moxley, AIA

The Hastings Award is given for “significant contributions to the profession” and requires that a specific effort be identified.  When the Recognitions Committee nominated Moxley it was for his leadership in planning and executing the Education Facilities Conference.  This successful event, now in its 18th year, has attracted hundreds of architects and educators from around the state.  But there is a lot more about Moxley that deserves recognition.  He has designed 16 Habitat for Humanity homes.  Five of the homes were built in one week by the Grand Valley Chapter AIA and they funded one of them.  Over the years he designed or built 43 Habitat homes.

Moxley is an active member of the AIA and has served AIA Michigan in various roles for the past 30 years. He is a past-president of both the AIA Mid-Michigan chapter and the AIA Grand Valley chapter.  He served as Chairman of the AIA Michigan Educational Facilities Conference for seven years, and continues to serve on the Planning Committee for the upcoming 2010 Conference.

Moxley has been with URS for eight years, and is the Director of Educational Facility Planning for the Michigan offices. He has been heavily involved in the design and budgeting of various Michigan school projects for the past 35 years.  His expertise in the applications for Michigan School Bond Loan Funds, project budgeting, bond studies and programming of educational facilities, pre-school facilities and bond election strategies has been critical in the success of many Michigan educational projects.  He currently is active in organizing and leading the Sustainable Design Group at the Grand Rapids office of URS.

Robert Hastings, FAIA was a prominent Detroit architect who rose through the local, state and national components of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and became national president in 1970. AIA Michigan created an award in 1978 in his honor.  The Hastings Award is given in recognition of distinguished and significant service to the profession.

President’s Award: Glen S. LeRoy, FAIA

Glen S. LeRoy, FAIA, Dean of the College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has earned the President’s Award

Coming from both academic and professional backgrounds, Dean LeRoy sees great opportunities and challenges for design education. The challenges include the growth in information technologies, emerging methods for service and construction delivery, and the increasingly competitive climate for professional practice.  Today’s students must possess knowledge and skills that prior generations could not even imagine.  Dean LeRoy and his team are  working to fashion a curriculum that balances the traditions of design education with the “real world”  that students face.

LeRoy has been Dean at Lawrence Technological University since July, 2005.  Before coming to Michigan, he was a principal of Gould Evans Associates in Kansas City.  He taught at the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas for 22 years, and led the Kansas City Urban Design program from 1987 to 2002.  He was an adjunct professor and advisor to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s program in architecture and urban planning.  He was president of the American Planning Association, Kansas City Section, and was president of AIA Kansas City.

The college enjoys a rich tradition of highly regarded professional preparation, and over 44% of all licensed architects in the state of Michigan hold degrees from LTU.  Among the school’s hallmarks are the award-winning Detroit Urban Studio, the Paris Study Abroad program, and a college-wide commitment to sustainability in design and construction.

The President’s Award was created in 1992 by The American Institute of Architects Michigan to honor architects who practice in the education or corporate field who have made exceptional contributions to the profession and their community through academia, business or government.

Young Architect Awards: Cory Lavigne, AIA and Slobodan “Bob” Varga, AIA

Cory L. Lavigne, AIA  is Design Director for inFORM studio, a Northville firm with offices in Myrtle Beach, SC and New York City.   The firm is recognized for its environmentally sustainable approach to design.  His commitment to the firm’s progressive work is illustrated within a broad range of projects.  He has played key roles in three internationally recognized museum competitions for Egypt, Canada and China.  Additionally, he has been involved in several projects which have been recognized and awarded by the American Institute of Architects.

His accomplishments range from community involvement to professional and academic contributions.  He served as a guest critic and participated on design studio juries at both the University of Michigan and Lawrence Technological University.  He received his under-graduate degree from Ryerson University (Toronto) in 1995 and his Bachelor of Architecture from Lawrence Technological University in 1996 where he graduated ‘with distinction’.

His work with inFORM studio has been published both nationally and internationally and presented in a number of exhibitions. In 2009 he participated in the documentary “Up From Ashes” which aired on PBS television. The film chronicled a unique approach to the building process;  harvesting and reusing dead trees devastated by the Emerald Ash Borer, in the construction of the new Traverwood Branch Library in Ann Arbor.  He lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Slobodan “Bob” Varga, AIA is a senior member of SmithGroup’s design group, he designs a wide variety of university, health and office projects.  He  is passionate about architecture and his designs are focused on enhancing a user’s experience.

He also has a love for teaching; he taught Design at Lawrence Technological University and finds inspiration in students’ who express an unbridled enthusi­asm for architecture.  This dedication shows as he has served on multiple juries at various other Universities.   He is in the AIA Mentoring Program where he works with architecture students to help them understand how they can best establish careers in architecture.

In addition to his successful  architectural career, Bob is heavily  involved in his local church, the  Apostolic Christian Church in Beverly Hills, as an active lay-minister and teacher.  Through his  personal experiences in life Bob helps the youth of his church find a  way to channel their energy towards  positive and beneficial roles in society.  He lives in Farmington Hills.

His Master of Architecture came in 1999 from the University of Michigan following his BS in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University in 1996.

Honorary Affiliate Members: Josie Barnes Parker and Randall K. Metz, FASLA

Honorary Affiliate Membership is one of the highest honors that AIA Michigan can bestow upon a person who is not an architect but who has made important contributions to the profession of architecture.

As Director of the Ann Arbor District Library for the past eight years,  Josie Barnes Parker has built three branch libraries using sustainable design principles. Two have received AIA awards for design.  One went last year to Inform Studio for Traverwood and Malletts Creek Branch won in 2005 for Luckenbach Ziegelman

She grew up in Mississippi and earned a BA in English from Auburn University and a Masters in Information and Library Studies from the University of Michigan.   She has worked as a public librarian in three systems in Michigan and served on the boards of the Michigan Library Consortium, the Michigan Library Association, and the Public Library Association.

Ms. Parker believes strongly that librarians must pay deliberate attention to the built environment, and, that they have an obligation to do so, is as important to future generations as access to information.  For her recognition of  good design and for her commitment to a sustainable future, Josie Barnes Parker is will become an honorary member.

Randall K. Metz, FASLA has a 30-year career as a landscape architect.  Early on, he established a design philosophy that seeks to integrate building and site, artfully merging interior and exterior space through creative design solutions.  His work draws from architectural influences, as well as his own inherent creativity.  It is characterized by innovative use of materials, architecturally responsive design solutions and meticulous sensitivity to design detailing.

Currently, he is President and Design Principal at Grissim Metz Andriese Associates of Northville. where the firm continues to benefit from his leadership, energy, and design philosophy since 1985.  He was recently named to the American Society of Landscape Architects Distinguished Council of Fellows and the firm has just been nominated for a prestigious Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award.  His firm has received nearly 75 design awards, including The National Landscape Award presented by the First Lady on four occasions.

Because he believes that design should transcend aesthetics and be a part of a greater vision that includes lifestyle, social and environmental responsibility, Metz will be included in AIA Michigan’s roster of outstanding individuals as a Honorary Affiliate Member.

AIA College of Fellows:

Michael Corby, FAIA

C. Richard Hall, FAIA

Benedetto Tiseo, FAIA

Michael Corby’s fellowship is based on advancing sustainable design as an indispensa­ble vehicle for environmental stewardship. He has served in a leadership capacity with AIA Grand Valley and AIA Michigan. He is a member of the Board of Governors at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning where he earned his degree.

Corby is a passionate advocate for the practical application of sustainable strategies. Under his leadership his firm, Integrated Architecture of Grand Rapids, has developed a portfolio of “green” projects that includes several sig­nificant “firsts” including Michigan’s first Gold LEED-certified office building, the Herman Miller MarketPlace in Zeeland.

C. Richard Hall, FAIA earned his Fellowship by being a national leader in advancing healthcare architecture as both art and science.  He distinguishes his practice through: leadership of a national healthcare studio; a portfolio of award-winning, innovating architecture; advancing evidence based design, developing a leading practice in simulation centers and an exemplary multi­-disciplinary approach that influences architects and healthcare organizations across the country.

Principal and Director of Healthcare Design Services at Harley Ellis Devereaux in Southfield for the past 13 years,  Rick founded and developed national healthcare studio from six people in Michigan in 1992 to its current 95 practitioners.

Benedetto Tiseo, FAIA reinvented AIA Michigan’s advocacy process beginning in 1990 by creating one of the first Professional Practice Committees in the country to combat unlicensed activity.  His efforts eventually led to the first ever change in Michigan licensing laws that permitted private actions to enjoin unlicensed activity.  Based upon this initial success, Ben assumed numerous leadership positions in both AIA Detroit and AIA Michigan.

Tiseo teaches professional practice at Lawrence Technological University.  Through his “citizen architect” program, he has taught over 1200 students to be active members of their community and to be personally involved in the laws and codes that impact our built  environment.

Legislator of the Year: Representative Barb Byrum, 67 District

The selection of the Legislator of the Year is based upon several qualities; dedicated public service, devotion to enhancing the public’s health and safety and understanding the contribution that design professionals make toward a better quality of life.  Representative Byrum played a leading role in the passage of P. A. # 149 of 2009 that amended  the architect’s registration act that allows graduate architects to sit for their registration exams right after college while the information is fresh in their minds.

She is a strong supporter of public education and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness Management from Michigan State University.  Later she earned a law degree from MSU College of Law.

Representative Byrum is a member of the House Committees on Commerce, Education and Health Policy, and is Chair of the House Insurance Committee where her number one priority is enhancing consumer protections.   She holds a leadership position in the House as Caucus Chair.  She is serving her second term as State Representative.

She is a small business owner, owning Byrum Hardware in Charlotte for over ten years.   She is married to Brad Delaney, an Ingham County Deputy Sheriff, and live in Onondaga with their sons.

Firm of the Year: Quinn Evans Architects

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Quinn Evans Architects has developed a diverse portfolio of projects in historic preservation, interior design, new architecture and master planning.  Since its inception, the firm has operated out of two full-service offices in Washington, DC and Ann Arbor.  Recently, they added a satellite office in Madison, Wisconsin.  They have worked on a number of nationally significant landmarks such as the John F. Kennedy Center and the historic City Hall in Milwaukee.  In the last decade and a half the firm has also become a leader in the sustainable preservation movement, developing innovative strategies for the updating historic building with state-of-the-art green products and systems.

More than 60 projects in the firm’s portfolio have been honored with over 100 awards from their peers for quality design, outstanding restoration work and innovative approaches to adapting existing facilities for new uses.

Seamless retrofitting existing buildings with new systems may not be glamorous, but Quinn Evans Architect’s creative design solutions have made for beautiful and unobtrusive results.

The award recognizes an organization of architects who have consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least 10 years.  The firm shall have great depth, breadth, be widely known for quality and its work shall be a product of a collaborative environment.

The American Institute of Architects Michigan, headquartered in the historic Beaubien House across from the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, established its awards program to bring to public attention the value and importance of architectural excellence and to recognize those whose notable achievements encourage all to make excellence in

The American Institute of Architects Michigan, headquartered in the historic Beaubien House across from the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, established its awards program to bring to public attention the value and importance of architectural excellence and to recognize those whose notable achievements encourage all to make excellence in architecture the standard.

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