VLK Projects Selected for AIA Fort Worth's Excellence in Architecture Awards

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Fort Worth, Texas ' On October 18th, AIA Fort Worth announced the winners of their Excellence in Architecture Design and Studio Awards. Of the 38 projects submitted, VLK was recognized for the design of Houston ISD's Condit Elementary, which was chosen for a Merit Award and Fort Worth ISD's STEAM Academy, chosen for a Studio Award. The design teams for both projects will be invited to attend a banquet in February to honor all the recipients and their respective innovative projects.

To be chosen for an Excellence in Architecture award, AIA Fort Worth evaluates all entries through a jury made up of prominent architects and designers. The jury members ensure that each submission follows guidelines and abides by set criteria.

Richard Hunt, Design Architect of Condit Elementary, located in Bellaire, Texas, was excited to represent VLK and honored to have this project selected for a Merit Award. Condit's most unique feature is the learning commons which modernizes the traditional design of a library.

'The learning commons at Condit Elementary changes the way the traditional library is used. By weaving and threading the classrooms through the learning commons, learners and educators have access to all the resources a traditional library provides but in a collaborative and open way,' said Hunt. 'Not to mention the space is intended to be fun and playful for the users, rejecting the notion that libraries are basically museums for books.'

The Fort Worth ISD STEAM Academy's conceptual design was chosen for a Studio Award and VLK's own John Brooks lead the team in dreaming up this innovative facility.

'The design focused on supporting the STEAM curriculum in a vertically integrated, collaborative environment. The design intent was to create an environment that brought students together and facilitated collaboration across fields of study as the students moved through the building,' said Brooks. 'We are honored by this acknowledgment of the effort required to create extraordinary learning environments.'

'We are so proud of our team's efforts on both of these innovative projects,' said Leesa Vardeman, VLK Principal. 'They created solutions that redefined traditional educational design to respond to the needs of today's diverse curriculum and student learning styles.'