2017 Best of Design Awards for Civic - Educational

Back to School

2017 Best of Design Awards for Civic - Educational

2017 Best of Design Award for Civic – Educational: Elmhurst Community Library

Architect: Marpillero Pollak Architects
Location: Queens, New York

With over 80,000 users speaking more than 57 languages, Elmhurst is the second-busiest circulating library of the 64 in Queens Library’s network. The building’s massing maximizes the impact of an existing community park and highlights the civic role of two reading rooms that emit a welcoming glow after sunset. The main circulation spine extends the streetscape toward a group of trees in the block interior. A system of brightly colored “portals” supports orientation and interaction among programmatic spaces catering to diverse age groups, reinforcing the library’s neighborhood significance. The main architectural elements are two structural glass cubes that position patrons within the community park and on the urban thoroughfare of Broadway. The park cube makes legibile the operations of the library’s two main floors with a monumental stair grounded by a bookshelf, while the Broadway cube floats above the main entry displaying the work 955 Shapes by artist Allan McCollum.

“This handsome new library takes full advantage of its site with its richness in textures and colors, and provides a welcoming cultural and educational resource for this Queens community.” —Irene Sunwoo, Director of Exhibitions, GSAPP (juror)

Structural Engineer:
Severud Associates

General Contractor:
Stalco Construction

Percent for Art (Selected Artist):
Allan McCollum

Structural Glass:
W & W Glass

Material Supplier for Terra-cotta Rainscreen:
Boston Valley Terra Cotta


Honorable Mention

Project: Lakeview Pantry
Architect: Wheeler Kearns Architects
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Lakeview Pantry has transformed a dilapidated pet daycare into its first permanent home. Located adjacent to an L station, the renovated building immediately sends a welcoming message to both neighbors and clients with its large storefront windows and colorful, bright interiors. The goal of the architecture is to create a space that provides dignity to those in a time of need, furthering the Pantry’s mission.


Honorable Mention

Project: University of California, San Diego Jacobs Medical Center
Architect: CannonDesign
Location: La Jolla, California

The ten-story UC San Diego Jacobs Medical Center functions as three medical specialty centers—housing inpatient services for high-risk obstetrics and neonatal care, cancer care, and advanced surgical care. The building’s overall curvilinear form was driven not only by the design of the patient units, but also by the goals of capitalizing on views, maximizing daylight, and minimizing solar gain and glare. The elevated gardens and terraces bring nature up to the patient level.