First Annual Innovative Architecture & Design Awards

Awarding Experience

Welcome to the results of our first annual Innovative Architecture and Design competition. We had an impressive response to our inaugural contest, with nearly 100 entries gracing our mailbox, from a community center addition in Altoona to an Olympic Park in Utah.

First and foremost, a big thank you to all who entered—what an eye-popping field of fascinating projects. You made the judging very tough. There were so many exciting and unique projects submitted, and all the entries helped raise the competition to an outstanding level.

With design innovation the title goal of the competition, we were searching for facilities, new or recently renovated, that are helping to set standards of excellence in the recreation community. Winners and Honor Awards were chosen by our panel of judges, with the hopes of highlighting the best and most interesting projects the recreation industry has to offer, from aquatic centers and health clubs to arenas and community centers—and everything in between.

With many factors were taken into consideration (interesting design, construction, programming, site, operational and budget factors, for example), we strove to have each facility judged on its own merits and scope, with our goal to reward creative design ideas, such as overcoming common obstacles, tight funding or limited space, to name a few.

It's important to note that this was not a contest of budgets. We didn't throw a tiny municipal pool up against a zillion-dollar health complex. It was not a battle of David vs. Goliath, nor really a battle at all, for we wanted to ultimately recognize some Davids and some Goliaths—those facilities that happen to be the most ingenious, inventive and resourceful, whatever their size or cost.

The key word our panel constantly considered was "innovative," hence again the title of this competition. A winning facility can be small and spartan or grand and huge, as long as its design is creative and serves the needs of its patrons above and beyond.

Each project was considered and scored under its own circumstances, given the picture the entrant painted for us. However, obviously, this was still a competition, and it was only natural that entries were ultimately compared to each other.

In addition to pertinent design, construction, programming, site, operational and budget factors, entrants were also asked to answer the following questions representing the core of the competition criteria: (a) What is the facility's recreational value? How is this facility serving its community's needs? (b) What is the project value? (value vs. cost, in terms of the bang for the buck) (c) What's innovative about the project? In what ways is it unique and creative in its design? (d) How is its aesthetic presentation? Does it create visual excitement and comfort, inside and out? (e) What is the design concept for this project? How well does it meet its functional and operational expectations?

It is our hope that we have selected facilities which will serve as excellent examples to our readers as well as generate good ideas and inspirations for other facilities.

So, without further ado, congratulations to our Winners and our Honor Award recipients. You do our industry proud.

And the Envelope Please…

Big congrats to the following facilities (in alphabetical order):

Belmont Hill School's Gerald R. Jordan Athletic Center
Fairmont Aquatic Center
Ford Community and Performing Arts Center
Jacob V. Brower Visitors Center
Motion Fitness and Racquet Club
Oakville YMCA
Recreation Services Building at the University of Central Florida
Shawnee West Pool
Veterans Memorial Pool

Honor Awards
Aurora Sports Park
Barnet Park
Fort Lewis College Student Life Center
The Haverford School Athletic Facility
Haymarket Park
John M. & Gertrude E. Peterson Events Center at the University of Pittsburgh
Johnson Athletic Center at Choate-Rosemary Hall
Oklahoma State University Athletic Center
Salem Community Center
Vandalia Recreation Center
YMCA Northside Branch/Young Leaders Academy Charter School

Careful Considerations

Here is a more detailed look at the criteria by which facilities were judged:

Recreational value serving patrons' needs, impact on community, fulfilling project's goals

Appearance, indoor creating visual excitement and comfort, good use of textures and colors, interesting focal points and features

Appearance, outdoor curb appeal, site improvements

Originality of plan and design proportion and scale, clever use of space, smart layout, interesting features

Craftsmanship attention to detail, harmony of materials, quality of construction

Green architecture incorporating efficient uses of energy or natural resources and its "fit" into the natural landscape

Functional and operational elements logical use of space, easy to manage and maintain, safe and efficient for staff and patrons

Innovative design overall impression of how this project fits this award, based on the facility's originality, creativity, uniqueness and project value

Our Panel of Judges

We wholeheartedly appreciate our panel members for sharing their time and expertise with us.

Mark J. Bodien

Mark Bodien, AIA, is principal and director of MoodyoNolan Sports. He joined the firm nearly two decades ago and has participated in more than 100 sports and recreation projects throughout the country.

As an author and lecturer on best design practices for sports/recreation facilities, Bodien directs the efforts of a dedicated sports and recreation studio that serves clients nationwide.

Bodien has a bachelor's of science in civil engineering and a master's in architecture, both from Washington University. He has also studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Colorado Recreation Design & Management School.

He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Architects Society of Ohio.

Michael H. Bourque

Michael Bourque is an interior design principal of the 250-person Sasaki Associates, Inc., which has offices in Boston and San Francisco. With more than 25 years of professional experience, he designs and manages projects for corporate, financial and professional services firms.

Using his broad experience in the brand enhancement of business spaces, Bourque, a fitness enthusiast, has branched out into the design of health and fitness centers for corporations and independent health and fitness providers.

He has served on the LEED Commercial Interiors Committee of the US Green Building Council and was the 1999 to 2001 Chairman of the College of Fellows of the International Interior Design Association.

Paul Brailsford

Paul Brailsford is co-founder and CEO of Brailsford & Dunlavey, which provides facility planning and project management services for the development of revenue-generating "quality of life" facilities for independent school, higher education and municipal clients. An economics graduate from the University of Maryland, Brailsford is also a principal of CENTERS, LLC, a company that offers comprehensive management services for campus and municipal recreation centers.

As an innovator in the application of market and financial analysis to programming and development, Brailsford started his career as a real estate economist specializing in urban mixed-use, hotel, resort and residential projects, eventually turning his focus toward facility planning within the nonprofit sector.

Since its inception 10 years ago, Brailsford & Dunlavey has planned almost 400 projects in 46 states and one foreign country with an aggregate project value exceeding $6 billion.

D. Scot Hunsaker

Scot Hunsaker is the president of Counsilman/Hunsaker & Associates, a leading firm in aquatic design and consulting for more than three decades.

As a graduate of Indiana University School of Business, Hunsaker leads a team that is responsible for more than 50 aquatic projects per year, many of which have been recognized and honored by top industry organizations in a variety of venues: indoor, outdoor, university, park and recreation, resort, and municipal markets.

Having served on the editorial committee for the Official Swimming Pool Design Compendium and as president of the National Swim and Recreation Association, Hunsaker is constantly researching the ever-changing trends of the recreation field. He has published several articles in leading aquatic trade magazines and is a frequent presenter and guest lecturer at industry functions and universities.

Philip Neeley

Philip Neeley, ASLA, is a senior landscape architect in the Urban Design & Planning Group of Carter & Burgess, Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of park and recreational planning and design.

Neeley joined Carter & Burgess in 1983 after receiving his bachelor's of architecture degree from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he later received a master's of landscape architecture in 1986. He has been with Carter & Burgess his entire professional career. He is active in numerous professional and community organizations, including American Society of Landscape Architects, National Recreation and Park Association, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Texas Recreation and Park Society.

Neeley has been the project manager for numerous landscape architecture projects throughout Texas including the Dallas Park & Recreation Long Range Development Plan, known as the "Renaissance Plan," a strategic plan for recovering the city's 400-plus public parks and recreation system.

Reed I. Voorhees

Reed I. Voorhees, AIA, is an architect and senior designer with St. Louis-based Jacobs Facilities Inc, a nationally recognized architecture, engineering and consulting firm. He has more than 20 years experience in the design of recreation facilities for municipalities and higher education institutions.

Voorhees is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design with a bachelor's of architecture and a bachelor's of environmental design. His experience has earned him national recognition in the design of sports and recreation facilities, including several AIA design awards.

He is involved with national and state park and recreation associations and has addressed sessions at various state park and recreation association conferences. Voorhees has served as secretary on the AIA-St. Louis Executive Board and as a director for AIA-Missouri.

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