Page N2.1 . 14 November 2007                     
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    Chicago AIA Awards 2007

    by ArchitectureWeek

    AIA Chicago has announced the winners of its 2007 Design Excellence Awards. Chapter president Laura Fisher, FAIA, lauded the almost 300 submissions as reflective of the "versatility and creativity of Chicago's architecture and design community." Forty-six awards were given in the categories of distinguished building, sustainable design, interior architecture, and "divine detail," including 13 honor awards, the highest honor.

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    Distinguished Buildings

    The Gary Comer Youth Center by John Ronan Architects is a bright new building on Chicago's South Side. The youth center received multiple awards, including honor awards in both the distinguished building and divine detail categories and a special recognition in sustainable design for the building's green roof.

    As the home of the South Shore Drill Team, the facility centers around an adaptable gym space that converts to a 600-seat performance theater. Spaces for education and recreation programs wrap around the gym, some visible from the outside. Slot windows pepper a facade in which large expanses of glass are limited, partly to make the building and its inhabitants less vulnerable to gun violence. But the interior features extensive glazing, and skylights bring natural light into the gym and cafeteria. Jurors liked the way the building turned its "solid skin to the street side, and then opened up inside."   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Gary Comer Youth Center, designed by John Ronan Architects, was awarded two honor awards and one special recognition award by the Chicago AIA chapter.
    Photo: Steve Hall

    ArchWeek Image

    A double-height gymnasium lies at the heart of the Gary Comer Youth Center, located on Chicago's South Side.
    Photo: Chris Lake


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