2020 Commercial Design Awards: Commercial design matters, even in a crisis
Winning CDA projects demonstrate the business and societal value of high-level commercial design.
From the pages of In Business magazine.
With the community, state, nation, and the planet virtually shut down, our annual Commercial Design Award program was among the many coronavirus casualties. So, we’ve issued a change order to honor the 2020 winners, including Project of the Year and a Project of the Decade, in this online presentation.
As we note in our April 2020 print magazine, quality commercial office design is many things — a branding opportunity, a way to reinforce your organization’s vision and culture, a workforce attraction and retention tool, and an opportunity to bring energy savings and give back to community with sustainable design. That’s the spirit in which we present the CDAs.
Once again, statewide projects were considered along with those in Greater Madison, and impressive commercial design work in locales such as Fish Creek and Stevens Point emerged as strong contenders (and winners).
Special thanks should go to our panel of design judges, which included: Mark Fenton, senior vice president, Leopardo Interiors Group, Chicago, Illinois; Marc Manack, principal, Silo AR+D, Charlotte, North Carolina; and Russell Manthy, principal, IA Architects, New York City.
Waunakee Public Library
Project of the Year, Best New Development or Renovation — Education
Even in the digital information age, public libraries are places of discovery, and they serve as a community center for millions of people. In connecting people to information and to each other, they are no longer just warehouses for books, they serve local residents of every age, income level, and ethnicity with opportunities for cultural engagement.
When the Village of Waunakee invested in continuing Main Street improvements and saw its population continue to rise, a long-standing conversation about the need for a new, forward-thinking library was reignited. That conversation finally led to the construction of a modern, 40,000-square-foot library that not only became a CDA category winner, but our Project of the Year.
The new space was designed for community gathering and social learning. It features an open and flexible two-story design that contains an abundance of room for library collections. Among the better design features are tall windows with exterior plazas that provide natural light and take full advantage of the views of Six Mile Creek, which flows through the library campus, a surrounding tree line, and a more active downtown.
The 2,400-square-foot community room, which can seat up to 200 people, opens to an outdoor patio overlooking Six Mile Creek, and a large staircase takes visitors up to the second level to the technology hub, private study rooms, cozy fireside seating, a gaming room, and views of a 2,484-square-foot green roof garden. “I liked this project quite a bit, and I liked a lot of things about it,” notes one CDA judge. “I liked the pieces of materiality, which seemed like a very honest use of material. I like the fact that there was a lot of light that came in, and that it was speaking to more of a modern library, a library of the future, not a library of the past.
“The green roof was a good idea,” he adds, “but what I really liked was the central atrium with the stairs. It’s a nice two-story space, and it drew you up through the building to the upper meeting spaces and the reading spaces down from the main floor.”
Waunakee Public Library benefited the environment simply by transforming a blighted industrial site. Waunakee Alloy Castings Corp. ceased operations in 2009 and abandoned the property. The Village of Waunakee discovered a toxic mix of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls in addition to various unsecured flammable and corrosive materials. Other green-built features are daylighting controls and 105 solar panels that produce 36,162 kilowatt-hours annually, enough to power 10 houses.
Looking at the finished product, you’d never guess the property needed extensive remedial attention. One CDA judge felt this was the most complete project submitted this year. “It clearly had a strong design concept,” he says, “and it was well detailed, refined, and well executed.”
LOCATION: 201 N. Madison St., Waunakee, WI 53597
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Village of Waunakee
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Vogel Brothers Building Co.
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: OPN Architects
ENGINEER: Snyder & Associates
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Rebholz
COMPLETION DATE: July 2019
Sentry Insurance Corporate Headquarters Expansion
Best New Development — Office
Accommodating continued growth, Sentry Insurance partnered with Flad Architects to design a new office building, located diagonally across the street from its main headquarters building in Stevens Point. The design attempts to infuse Sentry’s corporate identity to create an amenity-rich, technology-driven campus for the purpose of fostering innovation. The 290,000-square-foot office building will immediately house up to 600 Sentry employees with capacity for up to 800, and it serves as an economic driver in central Wisconsin.
It also serves as a national example of cutting-edge workplace design. The design is a parallel bar scheme of interlocking wings, a direct response to Sentry’s new brand and logo, which emphasizes “two equal parts to every conversation.” Communication and collaboration are encouraged through open office environments and ample social gathering areas. To maximize openness, the north and south wings are organized around a six-story atrium. By opening the center of the facility, collaboration and interaction is enhanced while providing staff with access to natural daylight, office views, and a strong sense of connectedness across the entire floor.
Materials and color finishes — including neutral tones and wood accents — create a warm, approachable experience inside and out. To visually unite the existing headquarters building, the new building uses the same exterior stone cladding and a vertical feature at the west stair tower.
CDA judges applauded the atrium and the way the building was designed to maximize natural light. “It’s not a box-type building,” notes one judge. “A lot of these larger tenants are building a campus tent to go into a four-square, rectangular building, incorporating minimal materials, and use it as a people factory, especially insurance companies. What I liked about this design is its warmth for the people who work there, rather than just sitting at a cubicle and processing paperwork.”
LOCATION: 1501 N. Point Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54481
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Sentry Insurance
ENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: Flad Architects
ENGINEER: Pierce Engineers (structural), Rettler Corp. (civil)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mark Herboth Photography
COMPLETION DATE: March 2019
GE Customer Experience Center
Best Renovation — Office
The late Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, always had kind words about the strong work ethic of the company’s Wisconsin workforce, but customers were always top-of-mind, as well. GE’s new Customer Experience Center in Madison was designed to transform a drab and dark area of its existing facility into a world-class customer experience center for its anesthesia equipment division.
With this 2,927-square-foot facility, GE set out to create an environment that immersed customers in the company’s history and brand story while showcasing its technology. The design team packed a good deal into a relatively small footprint and did so with the help of natural light, bright walnut accents, and sleek furnishings. The bright, energizing interior offers a creative and educational space for training — enhancing GE’s recruitment and retention efforts — and product demonstration.
The introduction of natural wood elements marries the outdoors to a modern, clean-lighting design and to the sweeping curves of the space. In addition, custom panels on the back wall showcase company history and feature graphics of its patents and its most notable technology developments. Large windows spanning two exterior walls allow the aforementioned natural sunlight to flood the facility, reducing the need for artificial lighting.
Hundreds of employees, customers, and future clients are expected to interact with this space, and they aren’t likely to walk away disappointed. CDA judges were impressed by what was accomplished with a small space, especially with the colors and use of materials.
“Of the entries, I thought this one was the most sophisticated in its design and its use of materials,” notes one evaluator. “The curving wood ceiling element, and the way the lighting was installed, really highlighted the equipment and highlighted what they are trying to display. It also had a certain dynamism in terms of the overall look and feel of the space.”
“When you see the before spaces and what they were able to do with that, it’s pretty incredible,” says another judge. “They seem to integrate a lot of technical equipment in a very seamless way. It had a few moves with that wood halo and the accent wall.”
LOCATION: 3029 Ohmeda Drive, Madison, WI 53718
OWNER/DEVELOPER: GE Healthcare
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Campbell Construction JD Inc.
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: Potter Lawson Inc.
ENGINEER: Lighting Ergonomics
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Rebholz
COMPLETION DATE: November 2019
Northern Sky Theater Creative Center & Gould Theater
Best New Development or Renovation — Retail
Even while its operations grew, Northern Sky Theater Creative Center & Gould Theater operated for 29 years without a permanent home. The company continued to expand into more and more rental facilities, which were spread out all over the geographic area of Door County in ways that made day-to-day operations logistically difficult.
The purpose of developing a new, two-building campus was to give Northern Sky a single place for administration, storage, rehearsals, and events while personalizing the performance venue for thousands of people who annually attend its productions and providing a companion to
its outdoor venue.
The new facility is not shy on design creativity. Those inside the theater and onstage get a glimpse of the activity happening in the lobby with a view that even extends outward into the landscape and surrounding woods. These nearly floor-to-ceiling windows on the theater’s south wall serve to marry the new space to the outdoor venue and offer the option of using natural light when desired.
Specially designed shutters provide an architecturally stunning feature to the venue and also allow for “black out” when desired. The theater company ritually leaves open the shutters when patrons are seated, closes them once the performance is about to begin, and reopens them at intermission to allow for transparency to a patio outside the windows.
Since Northern Sky’s other venue is in an outdoor amphitheater within a state park, it was important to complement its natural surroundings. Trees were preserved and native plantings and organic “hardscaping” served to meld the buildings into the natural setting.
But it was the clever use of windows in the theater space that most impressed our CDA judges. “It was very nice to bring the outside in for an environment like that because it’s in a beautiful, wooded setting,” says one judge. “Bringing that nature inside the building, where you normally don’t have it, is really nice.”
LOCATION: 9058 County Road A, Fish Creek, WI 54212
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Northern Sky Theater
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Carlson Erickson Builders
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT/ ENGINEER: Strang Inc.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Len Villano Photography; Peter Tan, Strang Inc.
COMPLETION DATE: August 2019
University of Wisconsin–Whitewater New Residence Hall
Best New Development or Renovation — Residential (Multiunit)
The University of Wisconsin–Whitewater’s new residence hall was specifically designed with equity and inclusion in mind, especially for students with varying degrees of mental and physical disabilities.
The five-story residence hall is home to 410 students and two hall directors and their families, but the inclusive approach ensures that students with disabilities do not face barriers to interact with the rest of the student body within living arrangements or other campus buildings. The university’s approach is that standards established under the Americans with Disability Act are just the bare minimum, and the higher accessibility standards of “universal design” are the ideal.
The idea behind universal design is not to design a space to be accessible for most people, but rather to design for individuals who require the most assistance. Therefore, the design factored in sound, scent, and light sensitivities, allowing students with disabilities to feel independent and not bound to specific rooms and requiring people to come to them. High contrast finishes and textured pavement were selected to assist in wayfinding for those with visual impairment, helping to delineate different areas such as a walking path from a seating area.
Even while promoting inclusiveness, the design team did not ignore the occasional need for privacy. Since the residence hall consists of housing areas arranged in pods with two double occupant bedrooms and a bathroom accessed through a shared entry space, students actually have more privacy compared to traditional-style residence halls.
Judges applauded the unusual sight of seeing a fireplace in a student dorm. “What stood out the most with this project was that it brings a whole new meaning to dorm living,” states one judge. “This is no longer just a place to put your head down, go to sleep for the night, and then go out and do whatever you have to do. There is a true home-away-from-home feeling in this learning environment.”
LOCATION: 1234 North Wyman Mall, Whitewater, WI 53190
OWNER/DEVELOPER: State of Wisconsin
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: JP Cullen
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: Eppstein Uhen Architects
ENGINEER: GRAEF (structural); Kapur & Associates Inc. (civil); IMEG Corp. (mechanical, electrical)
PHOTOGRAPHY: C&N Photography
COMPLETION DATE: August 2019
Best New Development or Renovation — Hotel
Hotel Indigo not only repurposes a historic building, it was built to keep pace with the growth on Madison’s near-east side and increase hotel availability in a part of town that was previously underserved. It was designed to honor the building’s past and provide a boutique experience in a unique Madison neighborhood.
Between the 144 guest rooms and the Palette Bar & Grill, Hotel Indigo will see community members and tourists alike, but it was meetings with members of the community that led Potter Lawson to ensure limited disruption to local residents even while helping to “activate the street,” meaning East Washington Avenue. Due to the project’s proximity to downtown Madison, the venue preserves the neighborhood’s view of the Capitol while bringing modern amenities to the area.
The interiors were designed around the story of the neighborhood and the landmark site, and it honors the building’s past as a Mautz Paint factory and the industrial past of the neighborhood along with “colorful characters” from Madison. This experience starts from the outside, with colorful sheers striping each floor of the hotel. Upon entry, art installations surprise guests at every turn, immersing them in history and hospitality, including the existing Mautz Paint building sign that greets guests at the front desk and sets a visual tone for arrivals.
Similarly, each art installation ties to the story while providing a new visual experience for guests, while interactive game tables, ghost paint cans, artistic lighting, custom murals, and 3D pieces — i.e., the custom paint rollers — allow for conversation, learning, and interaction within the space. “This was great!” exclaimed one judge. “It was a really interesting repurposing of a building. It was sort of a renovation and an addition, and what made this project strong was the tie to history. The graphics and the interior design really spoke to the history of the building and the history of the area. The main reception desk was really interesting and made a strong statement as you came in.”
LOCATION: 901 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Kothe Real Estate Partners/Great Lakes Management Group
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Stevens Construction Corp.
ARCHITECT: Potter Lawson Inc.
INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: Gary Brink & Associates
HISTORIC PRESERVATION ARCHITECT: Insite Consulting Architects
ENGINEER: Fink Horejsh LLC
PHOTOGRAPHY: Mike Rebholz, Nick Berard
COMPLETION DATE: June 2019
Best New Development or Renovation — Restaurant/Bar
Considered to be a crown jewel in the city’s continued development of the East Washington Corridor, the Sylvee brings new energy and density to the Isthmus. The intent was to differentiate it from other nearby venues, with a 2,500-person capacity, standing-room-only music venue that lets Madison concertgoers see their favorite performing artists in a remarkably intimate setting.
The open space is designed so that no patron is more than 85 feet from the stage, and it is configured to maximize sight lines, but it’s favored by musical acts, as well. The loading dock and stage are immediately adjacent to each other, and this “straight shot” facilitates easy set up and tear down. The lighting grid above the stage can support over 100,000 pounds, easily accommodating even the most elaborate lighting trusses, which is unique for a theater of this size.
Frank Productions has a 55-year history in the concert promotion business, and the design weaves this history throughout. Backstage spaces pay homage to this musical legacy with memorabilia from past performances, and while the performance space itself is generally industrial and spartan to keep the focus on the performance, there are elements here that reinforce history. Most prominently, the bathroom partitions feature tour posters for acts that Frank Productions has promoted.
While the industrial-chic finish keeps the focus on music, the bar is constructed from solid slabs of walnut that are sourced from Northern Wisconsin, providing warmth to contrast with sealed concrete and exposed metals.
Judges liked a number of things, including its street presence, transparent façade, an old-school yet modern marquee, and warm interior spaces. One judge, who once performed in a band, found it hip and cool for a functional reason. “The worst part about doing a performance is unloading and loading, and if a venue is not laid out right or designed correctly, it can be a nightmare.”
LOCATION: 25 S. Livingston St., Madison, WI 53703
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Frank Productions LLC
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Miron Construction
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT/ENGINEER: Strang Inc.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Bill Fritsch, Chris Lotten, Peter Tan
COMPLETION DATE: Spring 2019
First Choice Dental — The Marling
Best New Development or Renovation — Health Care
Taking advantage of downtown Madison’s rapid growth, First Choice Dental decided to build out space in a beautiful new office in The Marling building.
Situated in a prime location on East Washington Avenue, the new, full-service dental office serves as a centralized location for patients. First Choice Dental has several established locations in and around Dane County, but this 7,760-square-foot space houses 15 employees and already serves 4,000 new patients.
With the intention of creating a warmer environment than cold, clinical health care facilities often do, the new clinic also includes a lobby that evokes a greater sense of hospitality. All features of the space — including the planning, material choices, lighting, and furniture selections — deliberately support and reinforce the vision of a dental experience that exceeds expectations.
The intent was that all guests, patients, and staff enter an environment that is welcoming, attractive, and comfortable, thereby setting the tone for the remainder of their experience at the dental clinic.
With its unique location on one of Madison’s main traffic corridors, the office design features a two-story lobby that interacts with the passing motorists on East Washington Ave. and pedestrian and park visitors along Yahara River Parkway. “My feeling about this is ‘so much for the fear of the dentist,’” states one judge. “The warm use of the woods, the wood flooring and the carpeting and tiles, the wall features, and bringing the outside surroundings in, it appears that it could really settle the nerves of an anxious patient. Nobody likes to go to the dentist, but I certainly wouldn’t mind going here.”
“This was a very unusual and very pleasant dental office,” states another judge. “There is a lot of anxiety that people have about going to the dentist, a lot of apprehension. People don’t like going there, and this created an environment that might make that whole experience a little less traumatic. It was actually a nicely designed, comfortable looking, inviting space. Some of the wood flooring and the attractive views outside … if you were there for a procedure, you actually were looking out at something, as opposed to looking into a wall.”
LOCATION: 1809 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53704
OWNER/DEVELOPER: First Choice Dental
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: 1848 Construction Inc.
ARCHITECT/INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: Aro Eberle Architects
PHOTOGRAPHY: Chad Renly, C|R Prints & Photography LLC
COMPLETION DATE: May 2019
Garver Feed Mill
Best New Development or Renovation — Mixed Use
The renovated Garver Feed Mill preserves a piece of Madison’s agricultural and industrial history by reactivating the building as a next-generation food production center, wellness center, and community and events space. The 62,000-square-foot building could have been demolished instead of repurposed, but instead the community was able to transform the old feed mill into a accessible facility that provides guests an intimate experience with the historic building and its array of special tenants.
One of the primary goals of the renovated Garver is to foster entrepreneurship in the agriculture, food, and beverage industry, and it does so by creating a space with critical amenities for this cluster of businesses to grow. Yet thanks to its adaptive reuse design, which addressed 20 years of neglect, Garver also has become an informal and formal gathering space and destination.
With the conviction that the greenest building you can build is the one you don’t tear down, Garver’s architectural highlights include an atrium that features exposed original steel trusses and 29 historic windows flanked by a new, 300-foot mezzanine. Inside tenants’ spaces, designers went to significant effort to highlight historic features and utilize natural light, and locally sourced bricks reclaimed from the former French Battery Building were used to give the masonry new life. Artifacts, light fixtures, and old railroad tracks were carefully removed and preserved during the construction process and were reused or repurposed (e.g., a vertical bike rack made from reclaimed railroad).
One judge called the building’s transformation into an architectural gem a “phenomenal engineering feat,” but they all appreciated the way designers brought the building back without overdoing it with excessive bells and whistles. “I just thought they had a really light touch with the existing building, and they used the existing structure in a really super restrained and very powerful way,” notes one judge. “The stuff that they added in doesn’t feel intrusive. It’s nice to see designers not over-designing their projects.”
LOCATION: 3241 Garver Green, Madison, WI 53704
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Baum Revision
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Bachmann Construction
ARCHITECT: SmithGroup JJR
INTERIOR DESIGN: The Kubala Washatko Architects (TKWA)
ENGINEER: Structural Integrity
PHOTOGRAPHY: Wayne Reckard (TKWA)
COMPLETION DATE: July 2019
Wisconsin Structures & Materials Testing Laboratory
Most Innovative Feature
The expanded Wisconsin Structures and Materials Testing Laboratory is essentially a teaching tool, providing UW–Madison engineering students and faculty, as well as industry professionals, with access to equipment and technical support for testing material specimens and full-scale structural components.
One of the keys to fulfilling this purpose is the new lab’s specially constructed, post-tensioned reaction wall. The multistory wall, augmented by a high-strength floor, features a grid of high-strength anchors, a 20-ton overhead crane, and multiaxis load actuators that allow for testing of structural components up to 40 feet in length. The wall and floor are lined with gridded, high-strength anchor points, which are used to connect test specimens.
The purpose of a reaction wall is to remain still while withstanding large forces being applied against it, so it needs to hold strong when a specimen such as a piece of precast wall is being tested. As only the second of two reaction walls in Wisconsin, it was needed because the UW’s previous reaction wall had failed and was no longer useful for the graduate and undergraduate students who routinely conduct research in the testing lab and for the engineering student organizations that frequently use the lab, as well.
The L-shaped reaction wall — 26-feet tall with 10-foot buttresses — might not strike many people as a pretty sight, but when researchers and students evaluate a tested specimen for fractures to understand where it begins to fail, a reaction wall is a thing of beauty. “For what it is, it has a clean and very well-organized design, and the concrete work is beautiful,” states one judge. “It speaks to exactly what it was designed for. Although it’s an industrial type of project, it has a certain art to it in terms of colors, materiality, and the way it was laid out.”
LOCATION: 1415 Engineering Hall, Madison, WI 53706
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: Vogel Bros. Building Co.
ARCHITECT: BWBR Architects
PHOTOGRAPHY: Michael Conway
COMPLETION DATE: August 2019
Electronic Theatre Controls — North Addition
Project of the Decade
Before his untimely passing, Fred Foster left behind several legacies, many of them related to his executive stewardship of Electronic Theatre Controls, a Middleton-based manufacturer of technology products for visual environments. One of the things Foster will be remembered for is the unique building that houses ETC, which in 2018 was augmented by the brilliant design of the company’s north addition, which our CDA judges selected as the 2019 Project of the Year and Most Innovative Feature.
Two years later, our panel of judges still views it that way, as they selected this remarkable upgrade as the Project of the Decade. The entire project is 74,500 square feet across the first floor, mezzanine level, and second floor, and a key design feature is the use of the space in three dimensions — circulating through the facility both horizontally and vertically — allowing employees and visitors to experience the design from multiple levels and angles.
Judges raved about the use of old shipping containers to break from traditional office design. The basic concept is a quad system, similar to what’s found on a college campus, and the desired effect was achieved with a layered, multicolored arrangement of 41 used shipping containers retrofitted into a series of private offices and conference spaces. The organization of these containers created departmental “neighborhoods” within the facility, as color groups were selected to represent each neighborhood, and complimentary colors were added to the mix.
Another design feature, the north-facing, glazed curtainwall, invites in natural light, and it presents a theatrical aesthetic toward adjacent parklands, athletic fields, and bike trails. Peering in through the expansive glass curtainwall, eyes are focused on the multilevel shipping containers, creating a compelling relationship between the exterior and interior.
While the new space allowed for an additional 200 new desks for the growing company, our judges consider it a triumph of both form and the function that creates an ideal working environment in which to engineer and create innovative products. Since the use of lighting and lighting controls is at the core of ETC’s business, it was important that the design solution demonstrate its expertise.
“It is a really innovative use of materials and repurposing of shipping containers,” notes one judge. “I thought the geometry that they were able to achieve on the interior of the building was pretty interesting, and although it has a very industrial feel, it also had a comfortable feel, as well.
“I just thought it was a really pleasant repurposing,” he adds. “There are so many [containers] that get piled up, or disposed of, or put into landfills that it’s always great to see someone take many of them and reuse them in a new way.”
LOCATION: 3031 N. Pleasant View Road, Middleton, WI 53562
OWNER/DEVELOPER: Electronic Theatre Controls
GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION FIRM: 1848 Construction Inc.
ARCHITECT: Sketchworks Architecture LLC
INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECT: Frank Miller, Electronic Theatre Controls
ENGINEER: MP-Squared Structural Engineers LLC
PHOTOGRAPHY: Chad Renly, C|R Prints & Photography
COMPLETION DATE: November 2018
Meet the judges
Marc Manack, AIA, NCARB, principal, Silo AR+D, Charlotte, N.C.
Marc Manack AIA is the founding principal of SILO AR+D, an architecture, research, and design practice whose work has been awarded nationally and internationally and has been recognized as a “Next Progressive” by Architect magazine and an “Emerging Voice” by the Architectural League of New York. Manack is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte School of Architecture and previously taught at Ohio State University’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture.
Mark Fenton, senior vice president, Leopardo Interiors Group, Chicago, Ill.
Mark Fenton manages the day-to-day operations of Leopardo Interiors Group. As senior vice president, Fenton is involved in preconstruction, project management, subcontractor relations, quality control, and staff training. He joined Leopardo in 1997 and has worked with clients of varying sizes on interior construction, renovations, restorations, and buildouts. With more than 30 years of overall experience, he has managed several million square feet of interior construction for private-sector and nonprofit clients.
Russell Manthy, principal, IA Architects, New York City
Russell Manthy’s 30 years of project experience span a significant range of project types and industries, including technology, manufacturing, educational, and not-for-profit institutions and organizations. A native of Chicago, Manthy has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and he has worked with many well-established clients on large-scale projects, including Marsh & McLennan Companies, Bank of America, Facebook, the American Medical Association, and Salesforce.
The 2020 Commercial Design Awards are presented by:
Plan now to enter the 2021 CDAs
The annual Commercial Design Awards celebrate the best commercial building projects and designs of Greater Madison architects, engineers, and builders. Looking ahead, work on the April 2021 CDA presentation, for projects completed in 2020, is already underway.
Next year’s program will mark the CDAs’ 14th year, and we will recognize a Project of the Year, a Most Innovative Feature, and a first-place winner in several categories. The categories will be listed online by the end of April, and worthy projects can be submitted for more than one category if applicable.
As part of the nomination process, we will ask for a summary of the project’s notable features and community impact, including photographs of both the interior and exterior for consideration by our panel of judges. For renovation entries, we ask that photographs be taken at the beginning and at the conclusion of the construction project. This helps our judges assess the quality of refurbished buildings.
Winners in each award category will be unveiled at an awards reception in April 2021 and will be featured in the April 2021 edition of In Business magazine. IB encourages architects, general contractors, and engineers with projects due for completion in 2020 to contact Events Manager Jessica Hamm (email@example.com) to keep their projects on our radar screen. IB will provide entry forms, nomination materials, and other information as soon as they are available.
Coming next month: Special C&D report
Watch for the May 2020 edition of In Business magazine, which will feature a special report on the state of commercial construction and development in Greater Madison.
Panelists from C.D. Smith Construction Co., the Boardman Clark law firm in Madison, and IA Management will offer their insight on a range of topics, including the construction and development trends that local business operators should pay particular attention to.
We’ll explore those trends and topics such as the trade war’s impact on project timetables and costs, tax incremental financing and alternative financing, emerging issues pertaining to mixed-use and multifamily development, the extent to which robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are helping construction firms deal with the labor shortage, remaining opportunities for adaptive reuse in Madison, and what’s new in the realm of green design and sustainable buildings.
Given all the factors that influence commercial construction, there are many moving parts in this industry, all of which impact our ability to afford the offices of the future. Our panelists will do their best to make sense of it all. So, if a building project is in your company’s future, one that could shape the future of your branding and your success as a business, be sure to check the May edition of In Business magazine for answers to these questions.
Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.