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James B.Recchie Design Award

30th James B. Recchie Design Award

Congratulations to Columbus Metropolitan Library, winner of the 30th James B. Recchie Design Award for the Main Library renovation and expansion! The project team included architects Schooley Caldwell and GUND Partnership, as well as landscape architect MKSK.


The James B. Recchie Design Award honors excellence in urban design reflected in historic and new buildings and places, additions to existing buildings, parks, public spaces and public art. The award celebrates projects that add to the distinctive character and improved quality of life in Columbus and the designers responsible for them. 2019 marks the 30th time the James B. Recchie Design Award will be presented.

Award Criteria »
Past Winners »
Remembering Jim Recchie »



Owner: Columbus Metropolitan Library
Architects: Schooley Caldwell; GUND Partnership
Landscape Architect: MKSK

The Main Library has been a landmark in downtown Columbus since it was funded by Andrew Carnegie and completed in 1907. The most recent renovation and expansion involved a complete remaking of the library to meet the needs of a 21st century library. Major features include the connection, both visually and physically, with the Topiary Garden; creation of a two-story flexible reading room and public gathering space; the introduction of natural light throughout and view of the outside from within; and connections to and renovation of the historic Carnegie Library building. The grounds of the library also received significant attention with the redesign of the front plaza area and the creation of public spaces connecting the library to the park. MORE »


Owner: City of Columbus
Architects: Schooley Caldwell; DesignGroup
Landscape Architect: MKSK

The Michael B. Coleman Government Center is located adjacent to Columbus City Hall in the heart of downtown. The facility represents a new consolidated city office building that completes the city’s long-envisioned municipal campus providing a cohesive urban presence. The project took a rather neglected block on Front Street and created a welcoming and convenient setting for conducting city business while also making a dramatic imprint on the city’s streetscape. High-quality materials and craftsmanship are evident, with art incorporated into the building, not just as an added element but as an integrated part of the building. The Commons south of the building is a public green space that connects City Hall, the historic Police Station (now city offices), the Police Headquarters, and the new Coleman Government Center.


Owner: Columbus Downtown Development Corporation/National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Architects: Allied Works, Portland, Oregon; DesignGroup
Landscape Architect: Olin Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Exhibits Designer: Ralph Appelbaum Associates, New York, NY

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum is the latest major element in the continued development of Columbus’ downtown riverfront. Replacing the aging Veterans Memorial, which stood on this site in Franklinton since 1955, the iconic structure symbolically rises from the ground in its prominent site along the Scioto River. The creative vision to establish a memorial that honors the stories of veterans has been realized. The building and its site have been designed to be a new center of learning, dialogue, and commemoration for veterans, the city, and the nation. The building’s form, construction, and the intimate green space for quiet contemplation are notable features of the design. Its prominent location creates a visual focal point between the core of downtown and the Franklinton neighborhood.


Owner: The Ohio State University
Architect: Acock Associates
Landscape Architect: MKSK

Pomerene Hall was originally designed by University Architect Howard Dwight Smith and completed in 1922 as the first Women’s Union and Recreation Building at the Ohio State University. The renovation of Pomerene Hall was designed to serve three primary users: Translational Data Analytics, History of Art, and the Mirror Lake Eatery. The project entailed both careful rehabilitation of the existing historic building; a major new addition designed to complement the original; and a new modern atrium to create a connection with the Mirror Lake area and to tie the building together in a contemporary and functional way. Notable features include the retention of historic details such as fireplaces and decorative details; creative reuse of the former gymnasium; and the creation of four attractive elevations of the building.


Owner: View Properties
Architect: Jonathan Barnes Architecture & Design

An underutilized c.1902 brick industrial building was transformed through extensive rehabilitation and creative new construction into 86 residential units. Located in the Discovery District in downtown, the historic character of the original building was retained while dramatic new additions were added to the roof and rear of the building. The cantilevered rooftop addition makes this building a visual termination of Grant Avenue from the south, and makes it visible from Columbus State and from other areas in the northern section of downtown. The project maintains the industrial character of the neighborhood, makes a bold statement via the new addition and color scheme, and provides a coffee shop for neighborhood use as well as 41 indoor parking spaces utilizing a mechanized parking system.

2019 JURORS:
Charissa Durst, AIA, LEED AP, Hardlines Design
Peter Krajnak, AIA, NCARB, Rogers Krajnak Architects
Ed Mickelson, FASLA, NBBJ
2019 Screening Committee Members
Myia Batie, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
Beth Blostein, RA, OSU Knowlton School of Architecture
Matthew Burton, AIA, Burton Office of Architecture + Design
Matthew Leasure, PLA, AICP, LEED AP, Designing Local
Eric Lipschutz, AIA, retired DesignGroup
Tom Matheny, AIA, retired Schooley Caldwell
Joseph McCabe, Woda Cooper Companies
Benjamin Recchie, Community Building Partners, Chicago
Judy Williams, Historic Preservation Consultant

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Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden
Palace Theatre Renovation
River & Rich
Bold Booth Micro Tower
Lear Block Renovation
Hotel St. Clair Renovation
Lifestyle Communities Beatty Building
Joseph Henderson House Renovation