Quackenbush Architects receive A4LE Southeast Region design award

April 11, 2022

Quackenbush Architects + Planners has received a 2022 Design Award from the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) Southeast Region for its design of the new Heyward Career & Technology Center Culinary Arts Addition in Richland County School District One. This is the fifth award received for the Addition since its opening, having also received an Excellence Award from A4LE’s South Carolina chapter in 2021, as well as an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects South Carolina chapter (AIASC) in 2021, a Citation Award from AIA’s Columbia chapter in 2020, and an Interior Architecture Citation Award from AIASC in 2020.

“Career Center Culinary Arts programs are traditionally relegated to ‘back-of-house’ type spaces, with little thought given to spatial quality and the impact on the learning environment,” says Q+ project architect Spencer Hutchinson, AIA. “We wanted to turn that concept around and instead highlight the program by siting the addition in a prominent location at the front of the campus and thinking of the lab as a space that could be beautiful, as well as functional.”

The showpiece of the addition is a daylight-filled Culinary Arts Lab designed around three large stainless steel cooking suites integrating counter space, storage, and cooking equipment. The layout and attention to visibility throughout the space allows students to actively engage during instructor demonstrations, an innovation over the traditional teaching model which relied on students observing a demonstration at one station before moving to a separate location to apply the material learned. A generous expanse of glass provides daylighting to the lab and visually opens up the corner nearest the main entrance to the parking lot, offering views of student activity within and animating the school’s street front presence.

The award was presented at the A4LE Southeast Region Conference in Roanoke, VA on March 8, 2022. The Southeast Region of A4LE includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“We’re honored to receive this recognition for design excellence from the Association for Learning Environments,” says Q+ President Doug Quackenbush, AIA LEED, AP. “We take pride in the collaborative work we do with our educational clients- and we’re delighted to see it celebrated by our peers!”