Letter From AIA Arkansas President David McKee

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 12:00 am  

David McKee, AIA

As AIA Arkansas President for 2013 it gives me great pleasure to present this year’s Design Awards publication. The projects showcased within exemplify some of the best creative talent in the field of Architecture found here in Arkansas. These awards coincide with the AIA Arkansas Convention, this year held in northwest Arkansas. The association’s annual convention brings together not only design professionals but also a diverse group of men and women involved in the construction industry. Distribution of this publication by Arkansas Business throughout Arkansas will provide far-reaching exposure for the excellent design firms receiving awards as well as businesses that are engaged in this multi-billion dollar industry.

As is the tradition, this year’s cover features the winner of the 2012 Members’ Choice Award. AIA Arkansas members attending the 2012 convention in Hot Springs gave the award to Fennell Purifoy Architects for their Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at Birdeye. While meeting all of the function requirements of a cemetery facility, the facility goes further in the way it establishes a quiet dignity and repose suitable for a building with this purpose.

The AIA Merit Award recognizes an individual who is not an architect but rather someone who through their personal endeavors advances the cause for good planning and design.

This year’s recipient, Mrs. June Freeman, has brought to central Arkansas a heightened appreciation of architecture through her organizing efforts at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Her passion for the arts includes architecture and the lecture series she has nurtured has become a centerpiece for appreciation of good design.

The Emerging Professional Award this year goes to James Meyer, Assoc. AIA. This award is intended to recognize a new professional, practicing for 10 years or less, who has expanded the role of the architect through civic participation and professional mentorship. James certainly exemplifies these qualities.

This year, 46 firms submitted their projects in the Design Awards Program. The fact that so many projects were submitted is evidence, I believe, that the health of the construction industry is improving. That large number also makes the selection project by an independent panel of jurors all the more difficult. This year’s jurors were Richard Archer, FAIA, Overland Partners; Heather McKinney, FAIA, McKinney York Architects; and Juan Miro, AIA, Miro Rivera Architects. We appreciate the time and effort that they have given us.

As we look forward to an improving economy that will allow all of our businesses to prosper rest assured that the architecture community of Arkansas will continue to provide leadership in pursuit of our common goals; quality in our built environment, conservation of our natural resources, and ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of the public is always at the core of our efforts.

David McKee, AIA

AIA Arkansas President



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