This past Friday (October 23rd) Epstein was the proud recipient of three design awards from the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The awards were announced during the 60th Anniversary of Design Night, a yearly gala that the AIA Chicago hosts, in which juried awards are presented in 4 categories for design excellence – Architecture, Interior Design, Divine Detail and Ten-Year Award.
Our design of Chicago’s Ignite Glass Studios won two awards – an architectural Distinguished Building as well as a Divine Detail. For Ignite, which was designed by our principal designer, Andrew L. Metter, FAIA, we renovated and expanded a 1970's era industrial building into a 15,000 square foot glass blowing studio. Ignite also features classrooms, an art gallery, and an assembly space named by Crain’s Chicago Business as the best ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Event Space in Chicago.
Additionally, Ignite’s unique lighted entrance path, featuring internally illuminated and embedded glass planks, was honored as an example of Divine Detail. This path allows immediate and intimate visitor contact with the mission of Ignite Glass, which is to promote the glass arts and encourage public knowledge / exposure to the craft of glass making. The glass walkway also emphasizes the material versatility and additional usage of glass. If you’re curious, the plank spacing on this walk is not random either, it’s based on the Fibonacci Series, a sequence of numbers that begins with either 1 and 1, or 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two. Therefore the spacing between each of Ignite’s planks increases in this same manner.
Our other award winner for the evening was OneEleven, a 60-story high-rise residential building located along the Chicago River, which received a Distinguished Building award. For this project Epstein served as the architect of record working in conjunction with Handel Architects, the designers of the building. OneEleven is located 111 W. Wacker in Chicago and was originally designed as a 90-story Shangri-La Hotel with high-end condominiums. Construction began on this structure in 2007 and halted in 2008 after 24 stories of the concrete shell was already in place. In 2010, Related Companies purchased the partially completed property from the original developers with the goal of redeveloping and redesigning the building into a 60-story rental residential tower. Epstein worked with Handel in modifying the existing built structure and creating a new image for the property.
Congratulations go out to all Epsteiners involved in helping make these projects grand examples of the design capabilities of the Epstein organization!