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Norfolk Student Center wins major design award

The Norfolk Student Center is the recipient of a Merit Award as part of the 2013 America’s Best Buildings of the Year (ABBY) Awards.

The ABBY Awards presented by BUILDINGS magazine annually honor American buildings that create a new benchmark for other facility owners to emulate. Award winners exhibit qualities such as emphasis on energy efficiency, streamlined facility operations, commitment to sustainability, forward-looking designs, innovative solutions and purposeful renovation.

The 57,100-square-foot Norfolk Student Center, located at 310 Granby St., opened in May 2011. It includes a ground-level plaza with an outdoor gathering and dining area. as well as a public-access walkway to Granby Street and Monticello Avenue. The five-story building blends seamlessly with the commercial and historic neighborhood in downtown Norfolk

“The Norfolk Student Center goes above and beyond to meet the unique needs of its commuter-based student population with a host of appealing amenities,” said Jennie Morton, associate editor for BUILDINGS magazine.

TCC President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani said, “We are proud of the design that says to the Norfolk community, ‘We are right in the middle of the community where the heart of Norfolk beats,’”

A self-serve buffet and dining area, child minding,study rooms, open lounge spaces and a fitness center are among the features offered to TCC students inside the building. The student center also houses the Women’s Center on the Norfolk Campus and the Student Activities office.

The Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach campuses will also each open student centers this upcoming school year.

“The team that developed the Norfolk Student Center – Cannon Design working with Ballou Justice Upton Architects and S.B. Ballard Construction Company – took the college’s aspirations to provide our students with a place of their own and a constrained site, and they produced a facility that sets a high standard architecturally and functionally for the three student centers that will follow,” said TCC Executive Vice President Frank Dunn, who oversees the college’s capital projects and facilities.

“The design complements the surrounding urban fabric, while a swooping, transparent north façade engages the plaza and showcases the hub of student activity concentrated at the building’s center,” said Roland Lemke, principal at Cannon Design.

The Norfolk Student Center will be one of nine elite buildings profiled in the October issue of BUILDINGS magazine. The Norfolk Student Center previously received the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate’s Best Institutional/Public Building Award of Merit. Cannon Design also received an Association of College Unions International Facility Design Award for the Norfolk Student Center.