Magnificent Metal Monday – AISC 2021 IDEAS2 Winners

The American Institute of Steel Construction recognize 10 projects that exemplify the potential of steel construction

MERIT AWARD WINNER (Less than $15 million): McDonald’s Net Zero Quick Service Restaurant Rebuild, Kissimmee, Fla. Steel Fabricator: P&A Welding and Machine, Inc., Mulberry, Fla. (AISC Member), Structural Engineer: CPH, Inc., Sanford, Fla., Architects: CPH, Inc., Sanford, Fla.; Ross Barney Architects, Chicago, General Contractor: Southland Construction, Inc., Apopka, Fla.; Photo Credit: Architect Magazine

As posted by Architect Magazine, the following is an April 12 press release from the American Institute of Steel Construction announcing the winners of its 2021 IDEAS2 Awards.

Ten innovative projects throughout the U.S. have won 2021 IDEAS2 Awards, the steel industry’s top design honor. Sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel (IDEAS2) Award program recognizes projects that illustrate the exciting possibilities of building with structural steel. “These projects showcase the versatility of structural steel,” said AISC President Charles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, “and they all demonstrate a remarkable amount of innovation and creativity. Congratulations to the team behind each project for a job very well done!”

This year’s projects range from a massive arena to a jaw-dropping school that appears to defy gravity to a sculpture that draws inspiration from West African “talking drums” to honor the founders of the National Bar Association.

Winners were broken into cost expenditure categories of less than $15 million, $15 to $75 million, $75 to $200 million, greater than $200 million, along with two special categories of Sculpture/Art Installation/Non-Building Structure and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Adaptive Reuse.

Less than $15 Million:

National Award: Jacksonport State Park Visitors Center, Newport, Ark. — Judge comments:

  • “Rarely does a finished building look as compelling as when it’s in construction; however, this finished structure exhibits all the beauty of the ‘in-construction’ images. That’s the sign of a truly integrated structural design.” —Anders Lasater, AIA, CEO and Principal Architect, Anders Lasater Architects, Los Angeles
  • “The exposed steel frame and glass façade of the Visitor Center seamlessly marries structure with architecture, resulting in a light and elegant appearance that highlights the historical beauty of the surrounding landscape.” —Stephanie J. Hautzinger, SE, AIA, Associate Vice President, CannonDesign, Chicago
Jacksonport State Park Visitors Center, Newport, Ark.; Photo Credit: Architect Magazine

Merit Award: McDonald’s Net Zero Quick Service Restaurant Rebuild, Kissimmee, Fla. (pictured above) — Judge comment: “The keyword for this project is ‘sustainability.’ To see a major corporation push to construct a net-zero restaurant is reaffirming the importance of the environment. And to have structural steel play such a big role in this movement is fantastic. It allows the world to start viewing steel as the sustainable material it is and encourages them to pursue future projects with this material that can be both sustainable and beautifully unique.” —Maysa Kantner, Atlanta Structural Steel Specialist, AISC

Merit Award: Ballston Quarter Pedestrian Walkway, Arlington, Va.  — Judge comment: “The crossover segment at mid-span creatively addresses the offset entrances of the connected buildings, and the steel HSS frame is an ideal choice to resist the complex forces of this innovative bridge design. The resulting structure has a sculptural quality that is visually captivating from both the exterior and interior.” —Stephanie J. Hautzinger, SE, AIA, Associate Vice President, CannonDesign, Chicago

$15 Million to $75 Million

National Award: Truist Leadership Institute, Greensboro, N.C – Judge comment: “This design exhibits a great integration of steel and wood structure. You get the feeling that there’s a meaningful relationship formed between the two materials that really support one another and the design intent.” —Anders Lasater, AIA, CEO and Principal Architect, Anders Lasater Architects, Los Angeles

Merit Award: Watershed Building, Seattle — Judge comments:

  • “This project combines high performance and aesthetics in a design that enhances the occupant experience as well as the community. The building’s added role as a stormwater treatment plant for the adjacent bridge run-off demonstrates how architecture can effectively and creatively integrate into city infrastructure.” —Wanda Lau, Editor, Technology and Practice, ARCHITECT magazine
  • “This is truly a lovely building in which the structural system makes the best use of the steel materials and contributes significantly to the overall success of the design. It feels like there are no extra parts to this building, and that the architecture and structure are in harmony and support of one another.” —Anders Lasater, AIA, CEO and Principal Architect, Anders Lasater Architects, Los Angeles
Watershed Building, Seattle; Photo Credit: Architect Magazine

$75 Million to $200 Million

National Award: The Heights School, Arlington, Va. — Judge comment: “The ambiguity of how this building is supported is one of the most fascinating features of the structure, and it is all due to the structural steel trusses behind the scene. Coordination and communication are required on every project but I imagine for this level of uniqueness, those two things had to be stepped up in a big way. It is so great to see what can be done with project teams when they all work together and think outside the typical box-shaped buildings!” —Maysa Kantner, Atlanta Structural Steel

Greater than $200 Million

National Award: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, Texas  — Judge comments:

  • “The arena design complements the area’s vernacular architecture while its striking roof design leverages the strengths of steel and post-tensioned concrete to help create a versatile, column-free arena for a vast array of rigging configurations and events.” —Wanda Lau, Editor, Technology and Practice, ARCHITECT magazine
  • “This is a collection of buildings with impressive logistics and impressive resolution. The stated goals were clearly and gracefully achieved. The steel structure feels like an integral and expressive part of the design, both in the exposed, rugged roof structures and in the more refined tactile structures like the stairs and railings. This is a great example of how all the pieces can come together to create a whole that’s more valuable than the individual parts.” —Anders Lasater, AIA, CEO and Principal Architect, Anders Lasater Architects, Los Angeles

Sculpture/Art Installation/Non-Building Structure

National Award: Moscone Center Expansion – Pedestrian Bridges, San Francisco — Judge comment: “The unique and innovative design of the East Bridge, utilizing an optimized box girder and suspended deck, results in a remarkably light and transparent structure, particularly given the 150-ft span.” —Stephanie J. Hautzinger, SE, AIA, Associate Vice President, CannonDesign, Chicago

Merit Award: A Monumental Journey, Des Moines, Iowa — Judge comment: “Steel takes a back seat in this structure as far as being the face and plays the humble role of supporting the greater cause. Although steel is doing the heavy lifting in this monument, there is a greater message that is meant to be the focus and that is civil rights, justice, and equality. And this monument, with the support of steel, relays that message so beautifully.” —Maysa Kantner, Atlanta Structural Steel Specialist, AISC

Presidential Award for Excellence in Adaptive Reuse

Presidential Award: Uber Advanced Technologies Group R&D Center, San Francisco — Judge comments:

  • “The scope of this historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse required notable courage, vision, and collaboration, not to mention expertise in structural and seismic engineering among other trades, to realize the project’s potential.” —Wanda Lau, Editor, Technology and Practice, ARCHITECT magazine
  • “It is hard to imagine that these beautiful buildings and pieces of history could have been lost if not for the thoughtful re-imagination by the design team. The exposed 1800s steel structure alongside the new modern structure creates an interesting and visually striking appearance on the interior of the buildings.” —Stephanie J. Hautzinger, SE, AIA, Associate Vice President, CannonDesign, Chicago

IDEAS2 2021 Award Jury:

  • Stephanie J. Hautzinger, SE, AIA, Associate Vice President, CannonDesign, Chicago
  • Mark V. Holland, PE, Chief Engineer, Paxton and Vierling Steel Co., Omaha, Neb.
  • Maysa Kantner, Atlanta Structural Steel Specialist, AISC
  • Anders Lasater, AIA, CEO and Principal Architect, Anders Lasater Architects, Los Angeles
  • Wanda Lau, Editor, Technology and Practice, ARCHITECT magazine

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