Doug Quackenbush, AIA LEED AP, architect and founder of Quackenbush Architects + Planners, was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), a professional organization of the institutions and individuals focused on multi-disciplinary approaches to creating innovative learning environments.
Announced Sunday, October 15, at the 2023 A4LE LearningSCAPES Conference in Chicago, the Lifetime Achievement Award is a national award and the association’s most distinguished recognition bestowed to an individual A4LE member. Quackenbush was nominated by members of the A4LE Southeast Region chapter.
The annual award recognizes professionals who have made an impact in their businesses and communities, and who have distinguished themselves by making significant lasting contributions to the educational facility planning industry throughout their career.
A highly recognized design professional with over 25 years in planning, design, and construction of elementary and secondary schools, Quackenbush has led his firm’s educational projects, which have received over two dozen design awards, including 10 from A4LE/CEFPI. His work encompasses roughly 2.8 million sq ft. of K-12 design projects that directly serve over 31,000 students, their teachers and school administrators. His master planning and programming efforts have broadly transformed South Carolina education across all school districts.
Since Quackenbush established the firm 19 years ago, he and his successful and award-winning team have completed over 400 projects in communities across South Carolina, from institutional, corporate and commercial designs, to higher education and K-12 endeavors.
“I’m humbled and grateful to be recognized by this prestigious group,” he says. “It’s a validation that the work we’re doing is worthy of this recognition. This achievement also reflects the collaborative work of our incredibly talented team of associates and office staff, each of whom brings his or her own values to the design equation,” he says. “Everything we do is a collaboration.”
A Columbia native, Quackenbush also credits the nationally known and highly specialized design and construction firms that have collaborated with the firm to attain its accomplishments. “We truly value these partnerships,” he says. “We gain the knowledge of their specialty know-how, and they receive the benefit of our regional expertise in how to build in South Carolina. We also recognize our clients who help us push the boundaries to create designs that have purpose and integrity.”
Chuck Saylors, a 20-year board member of the School District of Greenville County, says he lauds Quackenbush’s hard work to bring into balance a quality learning environment, while respecting the resources that are available at the time. “In today’s market, that’s a true talent indeed,” he says.
Jasmeen Shaw, P.E., executive director of Capital Programs for the Charleston County School District, emphasizes Quackenbush’s leadership and vision and his team’s work on multiple projects, most notably, the James Island Charter Career Technology & Education (CTE) Center & Gym addition, which doubled the amount of program offerings. “The CTE space now serves nearly 300 students and provides areas of study in Building Construction Management, Culinary Arts, Health Sciences, Engineering, and Information Technology,” she says. “This project won our Charleston County School District’s 2022 Excellence ‘E’ Design Award and received a Citation in the 2023 A4LE Regional Conference Award.”
Quackenbush earned a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Design at Clemson University. He is a member and past president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and is NCARB certified. A LEED Accredited Professional and an engaged member of the community, he currently serves as the Southeast Regional Governor for the Association for Learning Environments and sits on both the Historic Columbia Foundation Board and the Board of Directors for the 701 Center for Contemporary Art.
Quackenbush Architects + Planners
Quackenbush Architects + Planners is a full-service architecture and planning firm located in Columbia, SC. The firm specializes in institutional, civic, educational, and commercial projects. Its services span from building design to land planning to interior design. The firm’s portfolio includes projects for universities, cities, colleges, government agencies, school districts, and private clients. The team’s work reflects commitment to innovation, sensitivity to our regional context, and the richness that comes from collaboration with our clients and the community.