Omni Receives Two Awards from AIA Kentucky

Awards wall
Two projects merited awards at the AIA IN/KY Convention

Omni Architects received two of six design awards bestowed by AIA Kentucky during the institution's 2023 awards season. The Jefferson Community and Technical College Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology Center in Louisville received an Honor Award, and the Bullitt County Central Library in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, was recognized with a Merit Award. The honors were presented at the 2023 AIA Indiana/Kentucky annual conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The awards jury comprised AIA members from greater Washington, DC, who evaluated the anonymous entries after reading project descriptions and viewing photographs supporting the design solution.

Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology Center (AMITC) is on JCTC's downtown Louisville campus, just off First Street near Broadway. The facility provides educational and training opportunities for Jefferson Countians while supplying a steady stream of work-ready graduates to the regional manufacturers that advance Kentucky’s economic growth. Designed in collaboration with regional manufacturers and AMITC faculty, the building facilitates the college's academic and societal mission in a technology-rich space that simulates the real-world manufacturing environment and prepares students for a successful transition to a lucrative manufacturing career. In response to the building's design, the jury commented, "The building is a thoughtfully composed project where the diagram reinforces the architectural solution. The scale of the building fits nicely into its context, and it is not over-designed. There is a strong relationship between the exterior and interior spaces, and the simplicity and selective use of color in the interior spaces make the project stronger. We appreciate the idea of exposing training spaces to the exterior spaces toward the street. The use of a high-performing envelope and on-site energy generation add to a wonderful community story.”

Bullitt County Central Library is a civic destination that establishes BCPL as a leader in sustainability while creating a distinctive and inviting community crossroads through features like a maker space, a Library of Things, an after-hours multipurpose suite, a history room, and casual seating areas throughout the building. Because the site is surrounded by big-box stores that hinder the views of the nearby rolling hills, the design recreates a lost landscape through four inward-looking, distinctive courtyards that support discovery, interaction, and connection to the natural landscape. Patrons encounter the impact of sustainability through the high-performance envelope and an energy dashboard showcasing numerous sustainable systems, such as an acre of solar panels and a geothermal well field. Upon reviewing the design, the jury commented, “Just an overall strong project. There are several nice gestures nodding toward sustainability coupled with civic fun. It is a clear, legible solution that many would feel comfortable navigating through and experiencing.”

The Honor Awards Program of AIA Kentucky, the Kentucky Society of Architects, seeks to honor and bring to public attention distinctive works of architecture created by Kentucky AIA Architect Members. For over 50 years, the program has been dedicated to recognizing and applauding works of architecture exhibiting design excellence and promoting public awareness and appreciation of the diversity, quality, and scope of Kentucky architecture. The Kentucky Society’s “Honor Award for Achievement of Excellence in Architectural Design” is the highest professional honor bestowed upon a Kentucky architect by their peers, and it distinguishes the architect as one who is dedicated to making architecture the best it can be. The Merit Award recognizes projects that demonstrate a level of design that exemplifies superior achievements, and the Citation Award acknowledges projects of notable accomplishment, similar to Honorable Mention.

Long recognized as one of Kentucky's leading design firms, Omni Architects has received more awards from AIA Kentucky than any other firm in the Commonwealth. According to Omni president Eric Zabilka, "The success of these two projects was only possible with the collaboration of a dedicated team of architects, designers, and partners. Their collective expertise and commitment to realizing these exceptional designs have been instrumental in achieving these prestigious accolades."

Omni Architects looks forward to continuing its mission of reshaping the architectural landscape, creating inspiring spaces, and delivering architectural excellence to clients and communities across the region.