MCC Blue River East and University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art Receive the Prestigious 2023 American Architecture Award
Metropolitan Community College Blue River East and the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art are honored with The American Architecture Award for 2023 from The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The American Architectural Awards® is one the nation’s highest and most prestigious public arts, culture, and educational awards programs that honors new and cutting-edge design in the United States.
The Metropolitan Community College (MCC) Blue River East building in Independence, MO, establishes a new campus which is home to the Great Plains OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Education Center and MCC’s CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), Forklift, Linework, and Logistics programs. The new facility serves 800+ students enrolled in these specialized programs.
The design team worked within the constraints and opportunities of a pre-engineered metal building system to create a single sheltering roof under which all programs are housed. Maximizing this pre-engineered structure and building materials, the design team focused on financial and sustainable stewardship within a modest budget. The MCC Blue River East building demonstrates pragmatic and creative design solutions to help strengthen Kansas City’s future workforce, fulfill a high demand for technical skills, and showcase the notable work of MCC students within a transparent, modern, navigable, and human-purposed environment.
The University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art is a new cultural arts destination that returns an art museum presence to the University of Iowa campus after 14+ years following historic flooding in 2008. The new Stanley Museum of Art was thoughtfully designed as a rectilinear solid that is punctuated by interconnected voids, creating a solid form that provides a protective and respectful home for the display, conservation, and storage of the collections that simultaneously finds creative ways to introduce integral connections to daylight and nature within the museum experience. The Stanley Museum of Art embraces the educational turn of teaching museums and is designed as a learning and teaching laboratory for the arts. Engaging public spaces, flexible galleries, outdoor terraces, a sculpture courtyard, and volunteer/staff collaborative space contribute to a vibrant museum experience, community connection, and exploration of art.