Fentress Architects wins national AIA award for DC project

Royal Norwegian Embassy recognized in American Institute of Architects Interior Architecture Award 2024

The Royal Norwegian Embassy was named an AIA Interior Architecture Award 2024 winner at the AIA Conference on Architecture & Design 2024 in Washington DC, recognizing the year’s best in interior architecture and design.

“The award-winning interior architecture for the Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation provides a sustainable, functional, and accessible 21st century office environment for foreign diplomats and staff.” – AIA Interiors Jury

Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation (aia.org)

AIA’24 National Conference Awards Gala June 7, 2024. From left to right: Patrick McCue, Steve White, FAIA, Laura Grafel, AIA, Curtis Fentress, FAIA, Agatha Kessler and Toriano Davis, AIA. of Fentress Architects receive the AIA Honor Award – Interiors for the Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation.

The renovation and addition to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, DC provides a sustainable, functional, and accessible, 21st century office environment for foreign diplomats and staff;  imbued with the values of Handlekraft (vigor), Arbeidsglede (joy of work), Profesjonalitet (professionalism), and Åpenhet (openness).

The LEED Gold project significantly enhances the Embassy’s functionality: with a program that stresses improved security, internal communications, universal access, and sustainability. Expansion spaces occur largely behind existing walls, capturing under-used courtyard spaces and containing them behind a residential-scaled, rhythmic façade that introduces subtle interest and variation into the constancy of DC’s Embassy Row neighborhood. 

An existing limestone garden wall was renovated to form the street façade of the new, signature Atlantic Ocean Hall. A patinated copper roof, recalling Norway’s gift of copper used for the Statue of Liberty, spans the mass-timber framework of the hall with a distinctive mansard shape. The country’s enduring shipbuilding and woodworking traditions are reflected in the exterior façade, interior finishes, and in the mass timber structure of the Hall.

Architecture can play a profound role in the diplomatic environment. The renovated Embassy promotes health, wellbeing, openness, transparency, craft, dignity, and respect; first for their diplomats and staff, for their guests, and ultimately has the power to shape diplomatic relationships in the future.

“Finding solutions together is diplomacy’s core…Our Embassy provides the perfect surroundings.”  His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Haakon at the Opening of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C., Wednesday 8 December 2021

Project Team

Architect + Interiors:  Fentress Architects

Landscape Architect: Lee and Associates, Inc.

Contractor: Whiting-Turner Contracting

Structural Engineer: SK&A

MEP/FP Engineer: Girard Engineering, PC

Civil Engineer: Bohler Engineering

Façade Consultation: SK&A MD

Specialty Lighting: Flux Studio

Copper: DLSS Manufacturing

Timber: Wiehag & South County Post and Beam

Founded in 1980, Fentress Architects is a global design firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado; with five studios located throughout the United States. Our talented team of professionals have designed over $43 billion in significant architectural and interior works worldwide, that are visited by more than 750 million people each year, and which have garnered over 650 awards.

Project Photos following pages: © Alan Karchmer / OTTO

Garden and Atlantic Ocean Hall (Photo © Alan Karchmer / OTTO)

Atlantic Ocean Hall (Photo © Alan Karchmer / OTTO)

Mass Timber Detail (Photo © Alan Karchmer / OTTO)

Renovated Lobby (Photo © Alan Karchmer / OTTO)

AIA Colorado Award of Merit Goes to Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation

AIA Colorado selected Fentress Architects’ Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation for an Award of Merit. This award recognizes exemplary projects that reinforce the value of outstanding architecture and its positive contributions to the community.

The Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation added an at-grade main entrance, a versatile indoor-outdoor ceremonial space and exterior enhancements that maximize natural daylight. The renovation also provided a comprehensive interior remodel and the addition of the Atlantic Ocean Hall.

The primary goals for the renovation were to provide a sustainable, functional, and contemporary office for foreign diplomats and staff. At the same time, the renovation also sought to preserve the embassy’s historic character. Upgrades such as an improved thermal envelope, energy-efficient windows, and sustainable landscaping align with the project’s environmental objectives. These features also ensure the building maintains a dignified yet distinctive presence on Washington D.C.’s Embassy Row.

Denver Art Museum’s Martin Building Renovation Museum Wins Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner

The Denver Art Museum Martin Building Renovation has achieved yet another remarkable milestone by winning the Architizer A+ Awards Popular Choice Winner accolade. This recognition highlights the project’s profound impact on the world of architecture and art. Through an unique blend of visionary design and meticulous execution, the renovation breathes new life into the museum. The Popular Choice Winner title reflects the overwhelming support and admiration from the public and the design community alike. This accomplishment further solidifies the Martin Building Renovation’s status as a transformative work of architecture.

Orlando International Airport’s South Terminal Complex Wins A+ Awards Special Recognition Architizer

The Orlando International Airport’s South Terminal Complex wins a Special Recognition Architizer A+ Award. This accolade celebrates the terminal complex as a innovative architectural project that redefines air travel experiences. The project’s state-of-the-art design to create a seamless blend of functionality and aesthetics, setting new standards in airport architecture. The Architizer A+ Special Recognition Award highlights the complex’s role in shaping the future of travel infrastructure, and its recognition showcases the collaborative efforts of architects, engineers, and designers who have brought this visionary design to life.

Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation Wins AIA Award in Architecture

The Royal Norwegian Embassy Renovation is an extraordinary architectural achievement. In fact, it just won the 2022 Grand Award from the Washington DC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. This project effortlessly blends historical significance with contemporary design, showcasing a harmonious marriage of past and present. The award underscores the meticulous restoration and state-of-the-art architectural solutions that have breathed new life into the embassy. The renovation not only preserves the embassy’s cultural legacy but also transforms it into a symbol of modern sophistication and functionality.

Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building wins Excellence in Construction Award

The Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building stands as a beacon of architectural excellence, recently honored with the prestigious Excellence in Construction Award. Recognized in the esteemed category of “Mega Projects over $100 million.” Named after the distinguished statesman Fred D. Thompson, the courthouse and federal building seamlessly marries form and function, embodying the principles of justice and transparency.

AIA Western Mountain Region Recognizes Fentress Architects

25-Year Award for Denver International Airport’s Passenger Terminal Complex and the Special Recognition Award for Miami Beach Convention Center

The 2021 American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Western Mountain Region (WMR) Design Awards were presented last Thursday, October 1 at the annual AIA WMR Summit, which was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

­2021 AIA Western Mountain Region Twenty-Five Year Award: Denver International Airport (DEN) Passenger Terminal

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Western Mountain Region selected the Denver International Airport (DEN) Passenger Terminal as the recipient of the 2021 Twenty-Five Year Award. As one of the most prestigious honors for Colorado’s built environment, the award is presented annually to a project that has “significantly influenced design and lifestyle in Colorado” and features a “timeless and enduring design that has created a sense of place” for at least 25 years.

“Our vision for DEN’s Passenger Terminal was to create a memorable design—a gateway to Colorado and the West,” said Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA, Principal in Charge of Design at Fentress Architects. “Twenty five years later, the design continues to transcend time and is known around the world. I would like to thank AIA Colorado Honor Awards Jury, the entire project team, and my former partner Jim Bradburn.”

Completed in 1995, Fentress’ design for DEN’s Jeppesen Terminal stimulated a paradigm shift in the way architects and the public perceive airport design. Previously, airports were conceived as ‘people processors’—nondescript warehouses comprised of low ceilings and dim lighting. Fentress sought to change this notion by creating an airport that serves as a symbol of Denver and a gateway welcoming all to Colorado and the West; architecture as memorable as it is functional.

To create a significant airport, the terminal’s design embodies forms and materials native to the Rocky Mountain region. Peaked roof forms rise 130 to 150 feet, evoking a sense that one has stepped onto the snowcapped mountains that inspired the building’s architecture. This context-driven design marks the first time an airport became a timeless icon of a region through expressive forms.  It inspired the architecture of hundreds of airports worldwide.

2021 AIA Western Mountain Region Special Recognition Award: Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami Beach Convention Center won the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Special Recognition Award for 2021. Located in the heart of the city, the 1950’s-era Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) needed a transformation befitting its reputation as a world-class entertainment destination.  The venue has become renown for hosting preeminent annual events including Art Basel and eMERGE Americas. The Fentress team, together with Arquitectonica, mined the surrounding culture and context to create a design that is quintessentially South Florida, and has become a contextual representation of the city.

One of the greatest challenges was harmonizing the 1.4-million-square-foot, grand scale building with the intimacy of human scale to create flexible, intuitive, and daylit spaces. Inspired by undulating ocean waves, exterior façade “fins”—angled aluminum linear forms—filter light to create a dappled effect within the building’s daylit lobbies and pre-function spaces.  This provides visitors with a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor environments. Contextual inspiration was brought inside with colors and patterns that emulate receding water, sea foam, and local coral reef patterns.

BNA’s New Concourse D Receives Top Award

Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives Names Concourse D ‘Commercial Airport Architectural Project of the Year’

Less than a year after opening, Nashville International Airport’s state-of-the-art Concourse D has earned airport industry acclaim for excellence. The Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SEC-AAAE) this week announced Concourse D as the recipient of its 2021 Commercial Airport Architectural Project of the Year Award, an industry-recognized mark of distinction for BNA’s fourth major concourse.

BNA received the award among peers at SEC-AAAE’s annual members conference in Savannah, Georgia. SEC-AAAE is the largest chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives and represents airport management professionals in 12 Southeastern states, including Tennessee, in addition to the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia.

“We are honored to receive this award from SEC-AAAE and are immensely proud of the Concourse D project,” said Doug Kreulen, BNA’s president and CEO. “This award represents more than two years of hard work that resulted in a multi-faceted modern concourse for BNA travelers. It also signifies $55 million in contracts for small, minority and woman-owned business enterprises (SMWBEs), a 72 percent local workforce and a commitment to sustainability. It’s BNA at its best, and we thank our SEC-AAAE colleagues for this tremendous recognition.”

Concourse D is a major component of BNA® Vision, the dynamic expansion and renovation plan for Nashville International Airport. The $292 million facility opened in July 2020 with 115,000 square feet of new terminal space, six domestic aircraft gates operated by Southwest Airlines, compelling public art displays and a variety of customer conveniences. It was built in tandem with a 200,000-square-foot terminal expansion that added new ticketing and baggage claim space to the north and south ends of the central terminal, a 136,000-square-foot renovation of existing terminal space and an 11,000 square-foot central utility plant.

This award from SEC AAAE comes only three months after Concourse D received another noteworthy recognition: LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for green design and construction. Upon achieving LEED Silver, Concourse D became one of only nine newly constructed airport facilities in the world to attain this distinction under USGBC’s rigorous LEED v4 standards.

Traveler amenities and special features include high ceilings, two compelling public art installations, art cases showcasing selections from BNA’s permanent collection, Wi-Fi, restrooms, a mother’s room, an indoor service animal relief area, compelling airfield views, dynamic electrochromic technology that blocks out excessive heat and sunlight, and new terrazzo flooring. Additional space is available for future concessions.

Concourse D was built by Hensel Phelps Construction Co. and designed by Fentress Architects. Other key partners included Corgan (master architect for BNA® Vision), I. C. Thomasson Associates Inc. (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer), Smith Seckman Reid Inc. (commissioning agent) and S&ME (civil engineer/landscape designer).

The Concourse D and Terminal Wings Expansion was the first major terminal expansion project completed as part of the ongoing BNA® Vision program, which is dramatically remaking the airport to meet future demand and existing needs. Other BNA® Vision projects to be completed by 2023 will include a larger central terminal, a state-of-the-art International Arrivals Facility, expanded central security checkpoint, an on-airport hotel, top-to-bottom terminal renovation, a variety of new dining, retail and service amenities and a massive terminal parking garage complex.

Source: Nashville International Airport®

Fentress Architects’ Director of Sustainability, Deborah Lucking, Elevated to AIA College of Fellows

Fentress Architects is proud to announce that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has elevated Director of Sustainability Deborah Lucking, FAIA, to the prestigious 2021 College of Fellows, the AIA’s highest honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the architecture profession. With 102 member-architects elevated to the College of Fellows this year, Deborah was the only AIA Colorado member to receive this honor.

“Deborah has single-handedly elevated and advanced discourse around sustainable design, leading Fentress Architects to constantly reach beyond our past achievements to place our firm’s work at the forefront of green and resilient design for large, energy-demanding structures,” said Fentress Architects Principal in Charge of Design Curtis Fentress, FAIA, RIBA. “She is not only an important part of our firm, but to all the communities where she works.”

Since joining Fentress Architects in 1996, Deborah has successfully contributed to the design for award-winning projects including the LEED Platinum Green Square Complex in Raleigh, NC; the Denver Art Museum Martin Building Renovation and Sie Welcome Center in Denver, CO; the net-zero energy Contra Costa County Administration Building in Martinez, CA; the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, FL; the Colorado Convention Center Phase II Expansion in Denver, CO; and the Concourse D and Terminal Wings Expansion at Nashville International Airport.

Throughout her 40+-year career, Deborah has been an advocate for sustainable, high-performance buildings and spaces that enhance user experience, contribute to the larger community, and model exceptional design. Her leadership in practice has resulted in the over 24 million square feet of diverse building types—including airports, courthouses, convention centers, and museums—designed for sustainability and resiliency through a variety of programs. Deborah has helped Fentress project teams achieve over 40 LEED certifications, including 18 LEED Gold and 5 LEED Platinum.

“I am deeply honored to have been elevated to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows,” said Deborah Lucking, FAIA. “Sustainable design is all about good design that improves the human experience; I am committed to delivering good design and creating a better tomorrow for future generations. I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have been able to work on projects that have significant impacts, both locally and nationally. Most of all, I have benefited from the inspiration and collaborations among my peers, clients, and the communities where I have worked, and for this I am both grateful and humbled.”

As a founding member of the AIA Colorado Knowledge Community on Resilience (now the Committee for the Environment) and a past Chair of a LEED for Airports Working Group, Deborah is actively sharing her insight within the practice to reach wider audiences.