Plantations' Nevin Welcome Center wins architects' award

Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, the designers of the Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center at Cornell Plantations, will receive a Design Excellence award from the Ontario Architects' Association (OAA) in May for their work on the new building.

The 2011 awards will be presented in Toronto at the OAA Conference May 20.

This year marks the first time that OAA awards' entry criteria included buildings located outside of Ontario, designed by Ontario architects. The 2011 entries reflected a number of important aspects in architectural design and practice: an increased effort to address sustainability criteria, innovation when working on tight budgets and a collaborative approach in working with clients.

"From the inception of the concept, it has been critically important to us that this building be a model of sustainable design, meet all of the needs of our visitors and fit organically into the site," said Donald A. Rakow, the E.N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations. The welcome center is "gold" certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, as judged by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The public can vote for the Nevin Welcome Center as part of OAA's Peoples Choice Awards at

The Nevin Welcome Center was dedicated Oct. 28, 2010, and is now open to visitors. A grand opening celebration for the Ithaca community will be held May 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Earlier in the year the architects received an Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine and online journal for the building's design.

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John Carberry