Judges for the 2022 Gold Nugget Awards have named three Weber Thompson projects as an Award of Merit winner in its annual competition, which honors architectural design and planning excellence and draws entries from throughout the United States and internationally. Orenda received the Grand Award in the ‘Best Mixed-Use’ category while Watershed and the Aurora Bridge Bioswales received Merit Awards in the ‘Best Commercial Project’ and ‘Best Landscape Architecture for a Community’ categories, respectively.
Gold Nugget Awards recognize those who improve our communities through exceptional concepts in design, planning, and development. “Gold Nugget Award winners reflect our industry’s best, brightest, and most innovative architects, planners, and builder/developers,” said Judging Chairman and Gold Nugget ceremonies administrator Lisa Parrish.
Now in its 59th year, GNA is the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind in the nation. It honors design and planning achievements in community and home design, green-built housing, site planning, commercial, retail, mixed-use development, and specialty housing categories. Winners this year were chosen from over 600 entries from around the world.
Orenda is a workforce housing development situated within the Othello Square development unites a vision for housing, healthcare, and early education located by Othello light rail station. The development arose as a direct response to the displacement of long-time residents of the Othello neighborhood in South Seattle.
Inspired by the neighborhood’s cultural diversity, the building’s program design and artistic expression were born out of a deep community engagement effort to reflect the cultural richness of the multiple communities that will use the facility. Orenda’s design is an elegant balance of artistry and modern convivence, rich with color and tactile materials. Outside, the bold artistic expressions demarcate destinations and enhance the character of the streetscape. Inside, the unique color palette and textile-inspired interior finishes create inviting spaces that feel handcrafted.
Watershed, enrolled in Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program and proves sustainable design can be an agent of environmental change while making economic sense. The program incentivizes and measures actual performance for 12 months after occupancy. Stringent water and energy reduction strategies are required along with Material, Place, and Beauty Petal Certification from ILFI’s Living Building Challenge.
The Aurora Bridge Swales highlight the value of green infrastructure in urban areas and demonstrates the need for urban development to improve upon conventional practices to restore the health of the natural environment. This project is an example of how landscape architecture can serve as a change agent, providing communities a call to action, to improve the health of our world.