The Architect's Newspaper has announced the winners of its 2016 Best of Design Awards, which celebrate the year's most exciting and innovative building projects across the United States. This year, SOM projects have been honored in three categories. The Strand, American Conservatory Theater won the Best of Design Award in Building Renovation; the Center for Character & Leadership Development at the U.S. Air Force Academy won the Building of the Year Award in the Southwest region; and The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground earned an Honorable Mention for Building of the Year in the East region.
The Strand, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T)
SOM's renovation of The Strand Theater resurrects an abandoned 100-year-old movie theater on San Francisco’s Market Street to provide a highly visible experimental performance space for the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). Care was taken to sensitively retrofit the shell of the former 725-seat cinema. The facade and structural supports were restored, and essential modern theater elements were layered over the raw backdrop of the original building. The redefined space houses a 285-seat proscenium theater, a public lobby and café, educational facilities, and a 120-seat black box theater and rehearsal space.
U.S. Air Force Academy – Center for Character & Leadership Development
The Center for Character & Leadership Development (CCLD) represents a symbolic addition to the U.S. Air Force Academy’s campus in Colorado Springs. As the first building constructed in the Cadet Area since the 1990s, the CCLD creates an architectural focal point for the campus and serves as a counterpoint to the iconic Cadet Chapel. The building’s most prominent feature is a dramatic 105-foot skylight that aligns precisely with the North Star, creating a meaningful architectural interpretation of the Academy’s aspirations and guiding values. The 46,000-square-foot education center contains a variety of flexible spaces for learning and collaboration.
The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground
Designed for the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA), this cutting-edge facility aims to become New York City's first net-zero-energy school. It is designed to meet this target by harvesting as much energy from renewable on-site resources as it uses on an annual basis. Located on the south shore of Staten Island, the 68,000-square-foot primary school is designed to comply with the SCA Green Schools Guide, a stringent rating system similar to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification process. As the SCA’s first “sustainability lab,” the Kathleen Grimm School serves as a model for energy savings in public schools throughout the five boroughs.