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MMD is pleased to announce the 2018 Brick in Architecture Awards were released on July 30, and the University of the District of Columbia Student Center was a “Best in Class” winner for outstanding use of clay brick.
The BIA praised the team, starting with landscape architect, Lee and Associates, for the project’s paving and landscaping. The association commended the use of brick for its fine texture, recycled content, sustainability and care. Cannon Design was the project architect, in association with MMD.
The design of the 83,000 square foot Student Center was initiated for the facility to act as a hub for major campus and community activities. The $63 million project contains a large public square. The plaza aims to join students and the community, as a wide brick path extends out to the streets and invites outsiders to use the building’s wealth of spaces including restaurants, activity offices and a ballroom. The path compliments the building’s massive clock tower, as both work together to attract onlookers toward the premises. The clock tower was designed as a symbol of pride, and to mark the campus as an important destination.
The project also promotes sustainability and green design elements. The space thoughtfully incorporates environmentally friendly components that comply to LEED Platinum standards. Once completed, the Student Center was one of only two student centers on the east coast to receive a LEED Platinum certification.
“Fired-clay brick offers unlimited aesthetic flexibility, and is an integral part of any sustainable, low maintenance building strategy,” said Ray Leonhard, BIA’s president and CEO.
The building’s environmentally-friendly landscaping is one of many strategies the project incorporated to promote sustainability. Other features include photovoltaic panels, an energy efficient plumbing system and an underground water treatment system that mitigates and monitors storm water, improving the water supply for the surrounding community.
The Student Center serves as the hallmark of a ten-year master plan for a campus-wide expansion and relocation. As the campus’s heart, and as a “front porch” welcoming the community in, the Student Center has created a redefining moment for the university.
“I am so very grateful for this opportunity to help shape the future of this important institution in our nation’s capital for today’s students and for future generations who deserve a public university of the highest caliber,” Michael Marshall, MMD Design Principal said.
He added: “As an architect this project resonates with me because it reinforces that I am making positive changes, shaping my community and inspiring others through architecture.” Michael said.
View a video showcasing all the 2018 winners here.