2012 AIA Design Awards

Peruse the winners of the 2012 AIA Design Awards, and be inspired by what the best architects in 417-land can create.

Architects all across our region are churning out new, innovative design. And from these designs, there are some that just stand out above the rest, whether it’s for great use of color, clean lines or unusual elements. Several of these standout spaces were honored in the 2012 AIA Awards.
AIA stands for American Institute of Architects. This national organization is broken down into smaller areas where local architects can submit their best work for evaluation. According to Matthew Thornton, AIA LEED AP at Dake Wells Architecture and this year’s AIA Design Awards Chair for the Springfield Component, it’s interesting to see what both groups find appealing. “There is no right or wrong answer, it’s just about the conversation,” he says. Projects aren’t in competition with one another—they’re juried based on whether they’ve met set requirements.
After the entries are submitted, both a professional and a public jury evaluate them. While the professional jury studies the projects for architectural concepts and ideas, the public jury looks at more of the user’s point of view. This year’s professional jury consisted of jury chair Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEED AP, principal, Johnsen Schmaling Architects; Bob Greenstreet, Ph.D., RIBA, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning; and Brian Johnsen, AIA, principal, Johnsen Schmaling Architects. Closer to home, the public jury consisted of Springfield Fire Chief David Hall, Community Foundation of the Ozarks President Brian Fogel and Amanda Rehani, finance director with the Springfield Regional Arts Council. They worked with jury liaison Dr. Saundra Weddle, a professor of architecture at Drury University, to choose their honorees.
Here’s the kicker: Neither panel had to select any projects to honor. There’s no limit for awards that could be given, either. However, in the end, the professional jury chose four projects to honor, while the community jury selected three. One honor award, which is the highest accolade, was given this year; merit and citation awards come next in line. Turn the page to see some of the best projects that southwest Missouri has to offer. 

The Nominees



Dake Wells Architecture KLF
Sapp Design Associates Architects Carl Junction Community Center
Sapp Design Associates Architects DWL Library
Bates & Associates Architects, Inc. Early Childhood Development Center
Dake Wells Architecture Student Recreation Center
BNIM Walnut Street Housing
Bates & Associates Architects, Inc. Meyer Orthopedic Center
The Clark Enersen Partners Agricultural Center Expansion
AECOM (formerly Ellerbe Becket)  JQH Arena
Dake Wells Architecture K9
Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Interstate Grocer Building
Renolds, Smith & Hills, LLC Springfield–Branson Airport
nFORM Architecture, LLC Greene County Archives Expansion
Sapp Design Associates Architects AECI
Sapp Design Associates Architects AMA
Cannon Design University Rec Center
Dake Wells Architecture Carringong
Dake Wells Architecture Andy’s
Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Springfield 11 IMAX
Sapp Design Associates Architects Nixa Summit Elementary
Dake Wells Architecture Cheek Hall
nFORM Architecture, LLC Chiles Residence
Dake Wells Architecture Reeds Spring High School Addition
BNIM  Garst Dining Hall
Sapp Design Associates Architecture Monnett Elementary School



To make the building seem less intimidating, Wells and Wheeler worked to manipulate the scale of the building. They accomplished this by pushing the building into the slope of the site, so it seems shorter. There’s also another benefit from that tactic. “It kind of makes you seem safer,” says Wells. To break up the building, they struck a line approximately 8 feet from the ground and textured the concrete above and below it.

Honor Award

Student Recreation Center
Dake Wells Architecture
Andrew Wells, FAIA, Design Director
Mark Wheeler, Design Associate;
Kirk Dillon, Project Associate

Andrew Wells, Mark Wheeler and Kirk Dillon were faced with strict regulations when designing the Student Recreation Center at Missouri State University’s West Plains campus. Not only was the building to serve the students, but it was partially funded by FEMA as a safe room. “It’s designed to withstand an EF5 tornado, just like what hit Joplin,” says Wells. Because of this, there were many construction restrictions and requirements, including an extensive use of concrete. That presented a challenge for the architects, who were faced with meshing a large concrete building in with a nearly all-brick campus. To do this, a line was struck between 8 and 10 feet from the bottom of the building. From that line up, they heavily textured the concrete to look like tree bark; from that line down, they included a plywood texture. Those additions paid homage to several large trees that were removed during the construction process, as well as to the city’s former logging industry.

In addition to serving as a safe room against tornados, the Student Recreation Center contains basketball and racquetball courts. The roof of the building doubles as a holding place for storm water runoff, avoiding a loss of green space and keeping the water from affecting anything downstream.


Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) Engineer
Smith Goth Engineers
3855 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, 417-882-2200, smithgoth.com

Structural Engineer
Meridian Structural Works
1200 E. Woodhurst Dr., #L100, Springfield, 417-883-0744

General Contractor
Crossland Construction
833 S. East Ave., Columbus, KS, 620-429-1414, crosslandconstruction.com

Precast Concrete
Springfield Prestressed Casting Company
1600 S. Farm Rd. 137, Springfield, 417-869-7350

Corten Steel Cladding
Loveall Sheet Metal
405 N. Nettleton Ave., Springfield, 417-832-1160

Athletic Flooring
Mondo Flooring

Delray Lighting
3216 S. Brentwood Blvd., Webster Groves, 314-531-3500, delraylighting.com


As a result of the lounge’s success, university officials approached Dake Wells the next summer about rehabbing a portion of the third floor as additional collaborative space. The team incorporated many similar elements upstairs, including the use of color to open up the space to make it feel larger.

Merit Award

Cheek Hall
At Missouri State University
Dake Wells Architecture
Andrew Wells, FAIA, Design Director
Mark Wheeler, Design Associate 
Amanda Snelson, Project Associate

Cheek Hall at Missouri State University has been a part of campus since 1955, when it was constructed as the university library. Now, more than 50 years later, it’s home to the mathematics department, and the building needed a face lift. After university officials approached Dake Wells Architecture about adding a student lounge, one of the first discussions revolved around one thing: What is the color of math? After much debate, the team came to a conclusion. “No one really knows, so we landed on green,” says Andrew Wells. The next question: Who is the grandfather of math? While there were several candidates up for consideration, Issac Newton won out in the end. That’s why his picture is now on the wall. “He kind of keeps an eye on the activities in the lounge,” says Wells. 

Left:  In addition to the green space, students and faculty can take advantage of fritted glass panels, which can be written on with dry erase markers, to solve problems. 
Right: One of the goals of the project was to create a space that students would want to use to work with each other as well as with professors. They must have accomplished their mission, because the jury noted in their remarks that small interventions really helped create a powerful sense of place. 


Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineer
Smith Goth Engineers
3855 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, 417-882-2200, smithgoth.com

General Contractor
Nabholz Construction (phase 1)
2223 W. Sunset St., Springfield, 417-886-3745, nabholz.com
and Kenmar Construction (phase 2)
1637 W. College St., Springfield, 417-863-1313, kenmarconst.com


VCT Flooring


Springfield Glass
2503 N. Oak Grove Ave., Springfield, 417-883-6555, spfdmoglass.com

Tack Surfaces
Golterman & Sabo
3555 Scarlet Oak Blvd., St. Louis, 314-781-1422, goltermansabo.com

Interface Flooring


The lobby of the gymnasium is filled with maple, which helps provide warmth to the space. However, that wood isn’t what you’d normally expect. “We chose to use pre-finished wood flooring instead of standard millwork construction in an effort to save money,” says Dake. “Those types of moves are a little unusual but they allowed the owners to go a long way.”

Citation Award

Reeds Spring Highschool
Dake Wells Architecture
Brandon Dake, AIA;
Matthew Thornton, AIA;
Alison Buckley, design associate

When Reeds Spring High School needed some additional space, they decided to add a new gymnasium. Instead of pushing the new facility up against the existing structure, a glass hallway was added to connect the two buildings. That glass hallway includes a nod to the school’s mascot, the wolves, which is inscribed on the wall leading to the gym. The inclusion of natural light was an important part of the project and was accomplished inside the gymnasium through a continuous horizontal slice out of the wall that provides daylight to the interior.

Left: Outside, weathering steel screens provide an aesthetic element to the space, and they also serve as a barrier between the sidewalk to the gym and the service yard. “It was a different approach to doing a fence, says Dake. “But because we thought about it differently, we were able to get them a look that they really liked.”
Right: According to the jury, “the sculptural treatment of the wood wall transforming into seating is quite wonderful.” The second weight room is evident in the lobby, as is the name of the school’s mascot, the wolves.


Civil Engineering
White River Engineering
600 W. College St. #104, Springfield, 417-862-3355, whiterivereng.com

Wooden Benches
Stoneridge Flooring Design
1550 N. Main, Nixa, 417-724-2444, 562 Gretna Rd., Branson, 16838 State Hwy 13, Reeds Spring, 417-272-8155, stoneridgecarpets.com

Glass Tint USA
1815 W. Sunset St., Springfield, 417-889-8468, glasstintusa.net

Steel Wall
Doing Steel
2125 N. Golden Ave., Springfield, doingsteel.com

A & M Concrete Corporation
43760 Trade Center Place, Suite #160, Dulles, VA, 703-544-0850, amconcrete.net

Fitchue Masonry
11670 Dubuque Rd., Omaha, AR, 870-426-1158


 In keeping with Andy’s representative colors, red and white are prominent throughout the building. Here, a waxed steel reception desk welcomes visitors, and is inscribed with Andy’s tagline.

Citation Award

Andy's Frozen Custard Company
Dake Wells Architecture
Andrew Wells FAIA, design director; 
Mark Wheeler, AIA, design associate

It’s nearly impossible to live in 417-land and not know about Andy’s Frozen Custard. But there is more behind those cones of frozen goodness than meets the eye: There’s an office building, located in downtown Springfield. And it was this 3,400 square foot space that Dake Wells Architecture had the opportunity to revamp. Open office space was a priority, as was hiding sewer and electrical lines connected to loft apartments above the office space. “We organized the space so we would conceal the lines visually but would preserve the tin ceiling,” says Andrew Wells. The design, which was limited to a $25 per square foot budget, was divided into three distinct bands and focused on things such as allowing views to the street from deep within the space.

Reclaimed wood flooring serves to connect the elevated break room space with the rest of the facility. 


Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineer
Olsson Associates
550 E. St. Louis St., Springfield, 417-890-8802, olssonassociates.com

General Contractor
The Bailey Company
4940 S. Farm Rd. 189 #100, Rogersville, 417-887-6177, baileybuildingcompany.com

Custom Tables
Bailey Construction
4940 S. Farm Rd. 189 #100, Rogersville, 417-887-6177, baileybuildingcompany.com


Carpet Tiles


A circular theme is found throughout the building. Walls, halls, decorative items, reading nooks and windows can all be found to follow this idea. When one enters the lobby, three arteries serve to direct visitors throughout the facility.  

Public Recognition Award

Early Childhood Center
Bates & Associates
Architect: Jarod Michel, LEED AP

Warmth, inspiration and an inviting atmosphere were all goals for the Early Childhood Center in Springfield. The facility is housed in a converted grocery store, but it certainly doesn’t look like it. For architect Jarod Michel, one of the main challenges was figuring out how to fit what they wanted to do inside the structure. Bright colors reign supreme throughout the building, as well as a kid-friendly circular pattern. The facility now houses 13 classrooms, speech pathologists, physical and occupational therapists and the Early Childhood Special Education assessment and administrative staff. 


Missouri Supermarket Builders
435 E. South St., Ozark, 417-581-7873

Interior Designer
Creative Design Consultants
4143 E. Linwood St., Springfield, 417-886-4258

MEP Engineering
Latifi Engineering
815 N. Kenneth St., Nixa

Structural Engineering
Miller Engineering
300 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, 417-866-6664, millerstructures.com

Civil Engineering
Anderson Engineering
2045 W. Woodland St., Springfield, 417-866-2741, aeincmo.com


White cabinetry hides wiring and provides ample storage space along the wall, and FLOR carpet tiles fulfill the role of an area rug. Instead of traditional cabinetry, the couple primarily installed ones made from bamboo.  

Public Recognition Award

Dake Residence
Dake Wells Architecture
Architect: Brandon Dake, AIA

Brandon Dake regularly designs spaces for a living. But things became a little more personal in 2009, when he and his wife, Casie, began revamping a Southern Hills home to live in. It was kind of a coincidence how things worked out—the couple, along with their two daughters, Addison and Darcy, actually moved into the neighborhood in 2004. At the time, the family lived directly across the street from where they do now, and became friends with the lady who lived in their current house. After she passed away in 2008, the Dakes purchased her home. However, even though the home was twice the size of their former house, it was quite outdated. That’s when Brandon and Casie went to work. The couple did the vast majority of the remodeling themselves, working in the evenings after getting off of their day jobs. The family lived in the basement throughout the renovation, which they did in a series of steps: First, the kitchen, then the living room, bedrooms and then all of the upper level.  




William Cashmore,
Independent contractor

Travis Campbell,
Independent contractor


Not only does the main entrance allow visitors to enter the building, but it also houses an outdoor classroom and impromptu gathering area. Inside, there’s a gymnasium, a media room, council chambers, a fitness center and dining facilities. The lobby was built big enough to house a replica of a woolly mammoth, which was created by a local artist in commemoration of the fossilized remains of a real woolly mammoth that was discovered nearby in 1892.  

Public Recognition Award

Carl Junction Community Center
Sapp Design Associates Architects
Kristi L. Beattie, architect, AIA, LEED AP;
Michael R. Hampton, intern, AAIA, LEED BD+C;
Eric J. McCune, project manager, AIA LEED AP

The Carl Junction Community Center isn’t just for one demographic of people; It’s for everyone, from kids to senior citizens. The building was constructed to house Carl Junction’s city hall, as well as its senior center and recreation center that holds after-school and youth programs. Since the groups were willing to combine funding and space, the result was a facility that’s used for most of the day instead of only sporadically. Goals for this project included visibility to each space, as well as creating a sense of synergy. “Because it was a community center, we didn’t want it to feel corporate,” says Kristi L. Beattie, who worked on the project. To achieve this, wood was found throughout the facility and prominently featured in the welcome area. Since transparency was also important, various types of glass were used in strategic places. Historic symbolism was also a key element, since the building sits on the crossroads for two railroad sections from years ago. 


Recast concrete subcontractor
Prestressed Casting Company
Springfield, 417-869-7350, prestressedcasting.com

General contractor
Larry Snyder & Co.
4820 N. Towne Center Dr., Ozark, 417-887-6897

Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineer
Colvin Jones Davis
2101 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Suite B-105A, Springfield, 417-887-1700, colvinjonesdavis.com

Structural & Civil Engineer
Mettemeyer Engineering
2101 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Suite B-105, Springfield, 417890-8002, met-engr.com

Gayle Babcock, Architectural Imageworks, 417-869-1178, aillc.biz

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