Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
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Architect group honors excellence in design, designer

Renovations at four northwest Ohio buildings - two libraries, a hospital, and a church - will be recognized for design excellence tonight by the Toledo chapter of the American Institute of Architects during its annual awards program dinner at the Toledo Club.

In addition, Robert Fessler, a principal of The Collaborative, Inc., and a 35-year veteran of a number of high-profile projects, is to be honored as Architect of the Year.

The project receiving the AIA Toledo Honor Award will be the additions and changes to the Way Public Library in Perrysburg, with architectural work by Munger Munger + Associates Architects, Inc.

The panel of judges from the Chicago area particularly liked the addition of a loggia, an open gallery on the side of the building, as well as the decision to put the activity rooms on the perimeter of the building so that people can drive by and see the library being used, said Chuck McLaughlin, an AIA member and jury liaison.

Receiving the chapter's Citation Awards will be:

wThe renovations of the main library of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library downtown, with architectural work by Munger Munger + Associates. Last year, the AIA Toledo recognized the library and Munger Munger for the addition to the main library. This year's judges said the architects should be commended for maintaining the essential character of the building by restoring the grand hall and exterior architecture.

wInterior renovations to St. Ann Church, Fremont, with architectural work by Poggemeyer Design Group, Inc., Bowling Green. The judges said they thought the alterations inside the building “breathed new life into the space while respecting [its] historical character.”

wThe renovation of the pediatric intensive care unit at Toledo Hospital, with architectural work by SSOE Studios, Toledo. The judges said the use of color, wood, lighting, and ceiling treatments all worked to “invoke a residential sensibility, both comforting and functional.”

The chapter instituted the Architect of the Year award to recognize someone who has made special contributions to the architectural profession and Toledo's quality of life. Mr. Fessler was chosen because of his advocacy for downtown revitalization and his contributions to Toledo's public arts community, said Walter Hales, association president.

Mr. Fessler worked on a number of downtown buildings and led early studies to save Fort Industry Square, the Valentine Theatre, and the former Toledo Edison steam plant. Recent projects include the Toledo Mud Hens stadium, the re-spiring of St. Patrick's Historic Church in downtown Toledo, and Corpus Christi University Parish Church at the University of Toledo.

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