JACKSON, Mississippi — Jackson architectural firm Duvall Decker Architects, P.A. took home two top regional design awards during the American Insitute of Architects Gulf States Region Design Awards ceremony in Denver, CO. The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center at Tougloo College and the Oak Ridge House in Jackson were the only projects from Mississippi to be honored in the the regional program this year.
The Bennie G. Thompson Academic & Civil Rights Research Center at Tougaloo College received an AIA Gulf States Honor Citation. The 27,000 square foot academic facility is a key project of the College’s master plan which restores the spatial enclosure of the campus center, houses an art gallery, archive, lecture hall, classrooms, conference center, and an on-campus office for Congressman Thompson. Award jurors remarked the project “is a noble building that is well integrated with the campus,” and utilizes a “very effective site strategy that reinforces the campus form and structure.”
The Oak Ridge House was recognized with an AIA Gulf States Honor Award, the program’s top honor. This private residence was designed to meet individual needs while encouraging the family to be together, to take advantage of Mississippi’s wonderful environment, to interact with friends and family, to have a private respite, to work at home, to be healthy, and to be energy efficient. This single family, three bedroom home, with open living/dining space and detached screen porch and pool, is shaped to draw the outdoors in and lure the family outside. The design comfortably accommodates daily living patterns and is durable and ecologically sensitive. Jurors identified this project as a “home of dignity and grace that is achieved in an understated way without a sense of struggling.” They noted that the home’s interiors are “spacious and simply have a delightful ‘southern-air’ about them.”
The professional Charleston, SC area jury awarded 16 projects selected from 120 entries, all from the five-state Gulf States region (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee). The jurors noted that architects practicing in the region have similar sensibilities about culture and place which they see as exciting and challenging opportunities to explore that culture and sense of place.