WTS projects earned three AIA Columbia awards Thursday evening, October 13: an Honor Award for York Technical College’s Building C Addition, a Merit Award for South Carolina State Museum’s Windows To New Worlds, and a Citation Award for the UNC Charlotte Johnson Band Center. This marks the fourth AIA Award for the SC State Museum project, and the third for the Johnson Band Center.  Having just passed its 50th anniversary, “Building C” was the first building completed on the York Technical College Campus. The renovation and addition project not only serves to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the college, but is the first time in the college’s history for one of its buildings to be recognized for Design Excellence by the American Institute of Architects.  Jury chair, Brian Bell, AIA, founding principal of BLDGS architects in Atlanta, shared the following jury comments about each of the projects:      

York Technical College Building C:

“This was a very important project, giving a new face to this technical college, with a new appearance, and five wonderful classrooms, with sensitivity to how it plugged into the old building. Existing materials were either maintained or redeployed. It transforms the campus as well as just the building. The interior classroom spaces are wonderful. The sloped ceiling provides an exuberant sense of connection with the outdoors.”

SC State Museum Windows to New Worlds:

“The jury was taken by the careful connections and contrast between new and old structures. The way the glazing is detailed, and the moments of connection is a theme that is taken into the interior, in the way the new elements were carefully inserted into the existing structure.”

UNC Charlotte Johnson Band Center: 

“The interlocking of two different types of brick, and the way openings are created at the moment of exchange between them, creates a nice building defining a small quad. The resulting porosity of the buildings opens nicely to the campus.”

The awards gala was held at The Nickelodeon Theater on Main Street in Columbia. Watson Tate Savory principals Sanders Tate and John McLean accepted the awards on behalf of the firm.


Click these links to see the full award presentations:York Technical College, SC State Museum, Johnson Band Center