Just as they were settling into their seats Doug and Mike had to get up not once, but twice to the podium to receive design awards. It was a nerve-wracking experience since the top awards are announced last, but well worth the wait.
Claiming one of the two top awards selected from a competitive field of 71 projects across the state, the St. Landry Parish Visitor Center in Opelousas received an AIA Louisiana Honor Award at the annual Design Conference held recently in Lafayette. To top off the night, the project was also awarded the Members’ Choice Award by the AIA membership. This marks only the third time that a project has received both top honors in the AIA Louisiana awards program history.
The projects design roots began with the commitment to jointly develop landscape and building concepts side-by-side from the outset. Through a continuous collaboration with Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects and Eddie Cazayoux of EnvironMental Design, the site was envisioned as a singular integrated concept where the interweaving of building and landscape enhances the visitor experience. As a testament to this concept, the implemented sustainable building strategies and natural resource management principles are communicated by the Visitor Center staff along with the promotion of cultural and ecological tourism.
We can’t thank our clients at the St. Landry Tourist Commission enough for their vision to do something different and their support of our design team’s effort. A special thanks go out to the Director of Tourism, Celeste Gomez, for her perseverance in seeing the project through from inception to completion. Additional thanks go out to our MEP engineers, M&E Consulting Inc. and the contractor, Ratcliff Construction for producing an exceptionally well-crafted building.