Three Garvin Design Group projects won accolades at the American Institute of Architects Greater Columbia’s annual Design Awards presented November 3 at City Market. Hammond School’s Science & Innovation Center received a Merit Award for New Construction, Central Energy/Downtown Church received a Merit Award for Historic Preservation/Adaptive Reuse, and Homeless No More’s Education Facility won a Citation Award for New Construction. Representatives of each project’s development, design, and construction teams accepted the awards.

Presented annually, AIA Greater Columbia’s Design Awards recognize excellence in architecture throughout South Carolina’s Midlands. Projects designed by current AIA Columbia members are eligible for Design Awards regardless of their location or residence of the architect. Winning projects are selected by a jury of architects and designers from outside the state. This year the jury received 29 submissions.

Completed in 2018, Hammond School’s 30,000 sf Science and Innovation Center is designed to prepare K-12 students through engaged, hands-on learning. With features like a SciDome and a saltwater aquarium, the facility is a building that teaches. The Design Awards jury described the Science & Innovation Center as a “well-detailed, sophisticated addition [that] highlighted group learning and collaboration very well.” They noted in particular how the entry statement honors the existing campus courtyard while engaging the indoor-outdoor theatre seating for informal student gatherings. The Science & Innovation Center also won a 2021 Merit Award for New Construction from AIA South Carolina and a 2019 Honorable Mention for Education design from the International Interior Design Association Carolinas (IIDA Carolinas).

Adaptive reuse of the 1981 Central Energy facility at the historic Bull Street District created a new home for Downtown Church. Design transformed 12,731 sf of purely functional space into a church and community building while respecting the facility’s humble beginnings. The Design Awards jury lauded the design team for using small additions to maximum effect, and for pairing the retained boiler stacks and steel structure with new warm wood accents to achieve compelling parity. Central Energy/Downtown Church also won a 2019 Golden Nail Award from the Columbia Chamber, a 2019 Merit Award for Adaptive Reuse from AIA South Carolina, and a 2019 Preservation Award for New Construction in a Historic Context from Historic Columbia.

Design for Homeless No More’s new 5,000 sf Education Facility was inspired by South Carolina’s historic Rosenwald Schools. It pays homage to the neighborhood’s own long demolished Rosenwald School while creating a thoroughly modern space where children, teens, and parents can feel safe and inspired. The new building serves approximately 150 families experiencing homelessness each year. The jury noted how, “the vernacular of the traditional single family home serves […] to foster a sense of safety, stability, and comfort.” The jury commended the building’s embodied optimism and relation to the history of the area.

See more award-winning work from Garvin Design Group here.