2017 IDIES Awards

The Alabama Chapter of the International Interior Design Association held its biennial IIDA awards, recognizing designers in 11 categories. The event was held in April at Iron City in Birmingham with Chad Moore, of Moore Solutions, serving as host.

In addition to the winners, IIDA also honored Carmen Preston, of Shaw Contract, with the Award of Excellence.

Best of Retail

In remodeling outdoor apparel store Mountain High Outfitters at the Galleria, bDot Architecture focused on visibility. Rejecting a straight run of storefront window displays, bDot designed massive frames around the displays and shifted them out towards shoppers, providing visual interest with vertical elements to help break the monotony. Natural materials stripped down but maintaining a rustic appeal helped bring the outdoors inside the mall. The use of reclaimed heart pine was important to both the client and designer, as it gave a warm natural feel to the store. The use of river stone along the storefront sills, and charring as a finish to help differentiate the entrances, paired with a more powerful and contemporary massing, all fell in line with the notions of outdoor living without becoming too heavy-handed. As a final twist, to help delineate the sales counter, a chandelier made from carbineers was used. For more on bDot Architecture, visit bdota.com.


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  • Gresham, Smith and Partners: Vulcan Park & Museum Improvements
  • RayHarsh: A’mano

Best of Hospitality

The popular 1950's hangout Eli's Sky Castle Drive-In was a DJ booth in the sky that took song requests from kids in parked cars that ordered burgers and fries from the drive-in menu. Constructed on the same site 65 years later, today's Sky Castle is a 150-seat, $180-per-square-foot upscale sports bar in Birmingham, serving locally-sourced cuisine and seasonal cocktails. Black Design Architecture created a retro-chic swanky lounge but with masculine elements. The challenge was to set the Sky Castle apart from its neighbors in the Lakeview district. A 50s-style arrow directs customers to the front door, while inside vibrant blue lights help define the lounge area. The Chevy seat-inspired banquette is backed by linoleum-clad walls that highlight the whimsical retro style. The showpiece of the restaurant is a floor to ceiling graphic wall displaying images of the original drive-in, complete with a DJ booth replica. For more information on Black Design Architecture, visit blackdesignarch.com.


  • Williams Blackstock Architects: Cahaba Brewing Co. and The Florentine
  • Deborah Roy Design LLC: Dauphin's
  • Davis Architects: Sewell-Thomas Stadium
  • Black Design Architects: Surin West

Best of Healthcare – Small

The first of its kind in Alabama, Medical West's Freestanding Emergency Department, in Hoover, was build to provide emergency care in a hospitality-like atmosphere. Design Innovations Inc. opted to introduce materials inspired by nature to create a connection with the outside environment. As patients enter the lobby, they are welcomed with floor-to-ceiling daylighting and reflective materials, such as decorative stone and terrazzo. Dark wood paneling and curved lounge seating give a sense of warmth to the lobby. Organic floor patterns curve throughout hallways and act as wayfinding for patients and their guests. A large nurse station is centrally located for easy communication between staff members and patients. Colorful artwork placed throughout provides the finishing touch. For more information on Design Innovations, visit di-interiordesign.com.


  • ŸFuqua & Partners Architects: Magnolia Trace Dining and Bistro Renovation
  • Goodwyn Mills Cawood & Hatcher Schuster Interiors: Pulmonary Associates of the Southeast PC
  • Goodwyn Mills Cawood: Sonos Imaging
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham: UAB School of Dentistry Wellness Clinic
  • Design Innovations Inc.: The Children's Hospital at Midtown Medical Center and UAB Multispecialty Clinic, Baptist Medical Center South

Best of Healthcare – Large

TurnerBatson Architects wanted to create an atmosphere where a patient's rehabilitation at Aspire Physical Recovery Center in Vestavia Hills felt like a luxury vacation with the comforts of home.  Located on six acres, the two-story facility pays homage to European architecture through the use of stone veneer facades, cast stone details and hand hewn cedar brackets. The interior continue the “old world lodge” concept with stone fireplaces and wood beams. A tranquil palette of blues, greens and tans let organic textures and patterns take center stage, creating a diverse and visually rich experience for residents. Each of the 120 guest rooms has custom millwork and view of either the courtyard or manicured green space, which surrounds the facility. Each wing has a different aesthetic, which helps orient the guests by prompting memories and acting as landmarks. For more information on TurnerBatson, visit turnerbatson.com.


  • Goodwyn Mills Cawood: Great falls Hospital Clinic
  • Birchfield Penuel & Associates: New Western Health Center for Jefferson County Department of Health and St. Vincent's Chilton Hospital
  • TurnerBatson Architects: Alabama Orthopedic Spine & Sports Medicine Associates

Best of Furniture Installation – Small

Home to all international programs at Auburn University, Foy Hall recently underwent a renovation process. Keeping in mind that the building needed high impact/durability products and the ability to be easily navigable by people who do not speak English, Office Environments used durable products and materials that were selected to increase the life and cost efficiency of the space. To help those students who do not speak English, Office Environments used subliminal wayfinding cues and natural pathways to encourage students to use all areas of the building. They also created ample areas for group studying and socializing, as well as individual studying areas. They achieved this goal with the use of EKO Collaborative Booths with markerboard privacy panels, EKO Mozzo booths, Source Artifacts chairs and Grand Rapids tables. For socializing areas, they incorporated KI Myway and Sela lounge seating. For more information on Office Environments, visit officenvironments.com.


  • Business Interiors: Corporate Realty, Lewis Communications and Masonry Arts
  • DeKalb Office: DataPerk
  • Ai Corporate Interiors: High Cotton and Surgical Care Affiliates
  • Interior Elements: Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedic

Best of Furniture Installation – Large

The renovated library at Sylacauga High School was designed to not look like a library at all. In fact, at first glance, it looks more like an internet café with a heavy focus on digital media. The goal was to fit the individual learning needs of each student, so furniture played a pivotal role. Interior Elements used multiple worktables of various heights, as well as individual lounge seating to accomplish the goal. In addition, several media sharing platforms were installed in adjoining store front rooms to allow for group meetings or individual learning time. For more information on Interior Elements, visit in-elements.com.


  • DeKalb Office: Brock School of Business at Samford University
  • Innerspaice Architectural Interiors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company United – Chattanooga
  • Office Environments: St. Vincent's Chilton County
  • Interior Elements: Canfor Scotch Gulf Lumber, Cullman High School, Jasper High School, Leeds Elementary, Line-X and Lott Middle School

Best of Corporate – Small

Creating an interior design that is simple, clean and timeless was the goal of Williams Blackstock Architects in its work for Lewis Communications' downtown setting. The new interior brings a contemporary edge and uses natural light to provide a fun, collaborative space. The lobby is anchored by vertical plank wood wall and a bold marble reception desk. The lobby floor is polished existing terrazzo flooring and features the monumental stair with marble walls and cylindrical chandelier, which were restored in keeping with historical guidelines.  This created a sophisticated first impression for visitors and is surrounded by glass executive offices and conference spaces at the mezzanine level. The upper floors house the creative departments and were designed to promote collaboration with glass front openings to offices and hubs for casual creative interaction. Large swinging display and pin-up walls give flexibility to the space. The design also includes an art gallery in the corner of the parking garage and a rooftop pavilion with deck, grill and fire pit and bright accented furniture. For more information on Williams Blackstock, visit wba-architects.com.


  • KPS Group Inc.: Rime/Medjet Assist Corporate Headquarters
  • Black Design Architecture: Strong Automotive Merchandising
  • Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds: The Stockyard
  • Williams Blackstock Architects: Birmingham Retail Showroom, High Cotton and Lloyd Gray Whitehead Monroe

Best of Corporate – Large

ASD|SKY was challenged by their client to create an open, collaborative workspace that was full of natural light and responded to the end user's needs. The Regions Center also needed flexibility and co-working spaces, while keeping the individual's wellness in mind. ASD|SKY was able to create a space that was responsive to the different ways in which people work and move for both focused work and collaboration. A coffee shop helped to encourage work-life balance and ergonomic supportive products were used throughout. For more information on ASD|SKY, visit asdsky.com.


  • bDot Architecture: AFC Corporate Office
  • Hatcher Schuster Interiors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company United
  • Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds: DataPerk/The Haven
  • KPS Group Inc.: IMS Corporate Headquarters
  • Birchfield Penuel & Associates: Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Office Renovations
  • Williams Blackstock Architects: Surgical Care Affiliates Home Office

Best of Institutional

The renovation to the Liberal Arts Center – Heidrich Library at St. Bernard Preparatory School proved a challenge for Hendon + Huckestein Architects. The three-story, sandstone/limestone building had been vacant for nearly two decades. The objectives for the project were to have the facility become the academic nerve center of the campus, reflecting the school's rich history while using timeless materials to harken back to some of the grand study halls and libraries of eras long ago. The building required remediation of asbestos and a complete replacement of all mechanical, electrical, plumbing and life safety systems. Additionally, ADA, current classroom technology and security needs were addressed. The first floor consists of a two-story study hall with overlooking mezzanine, while the rest of the floor houses an alumni benefactor room and board room. The other half of the second floor, as well as the third floor, consists of eight classrooms and staff lounge. For more information on Hendon + Huckestein Architects, visit hplusha.com.


  • Auburn University: Auburn University Working Labs, Phase 1 & 2
  • Davis Architects: Brock School of Business at Samford University
  • Goodwyn Mills Cawood: Founder's Hall and Pelham Ridge Elementary School
  • Williams Blackstock Architects: Pell City Library and Vestavia Hills City Hall
  • Ward Scott Architecture: The Gateway

Best of Design Detail

bDot Architecture created the Smile Table, which is a custom made table for a child with special needs. The table is tailored to the child's specific reach and range of motion. The movable arm is designed to be able to hug up to the user in order to help support and stabilize as a passive means of physical therapy. Fabricated in-house, the table consists of CNC milled plywood profiles for play surfaces, a 3D printed edge band, 3D printed adjustable legs and 3D printed feet and flexible bumper cushions to keep oxygen tubes and other equipment from becoming pinched. The adjustable legs help cope with uneven surfaces and allows the table to be used on either the floor or a hospital bed. For more information on bDot Architecture, visit bdota.com.


  • Hatcher Schuster Interiors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company United
  • bDot Architecture: Sketch Light

Best of Residential

Studio GoodLight is a historic renovation of one part of a residential duplex and is a live/work arrangement. In creating the home for a photographer and her family, along with photography and video studio space, Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds started with the back half of the building where the alley facing the entrance wall was clad in weathering steel with a second floor addition clad in charred cedar siding and a steel stair turret leading to a roof terrace. At one point in the building's history, the structure was replaced with damaged bridge girders that were struck by a barge. The massive twisted and bent girders were cleaned and lacquered to accent and contrast with the white walls of the studio. The three-story spiral stair passes by the entrance to the residence, allowing guests and patrons of the studio to access the rooftop terrace while maintaining the residence's privacy. An additional rear stair and hidden entrance door serve as a private entrance. Entry to the studio is made through an oversized pivoting door leading to a lobby behind the full height cyclorama wall. Moving into the studio, clients will see the full view of the bridge girders and spiraling stair, all flooded with natural light from a variety of tubular skylights. A full commercial kitchen, garage and wardrobe areas complete the studio. For more information on Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds, visit ccrarchitects.net.

Best of Show

This 11, 000-square-foot office and showroom space for Nike in Birmingham serves wholesale customers who are major retailers of sporting goods shoes and clothing. Williams Blackstock Architects used blue mill scale steel, Sylacauga marble and locally recycled gym flooring and bleachers throughout the interior space to give the showroom a unique Birmingham feel. The marble and steel materials transition to more polished and finished materials to symbolize the shaping of a finely-tuned athlete. The story of Nike is told throughout the space. A thick wall of blue mill scale patterned steel sheet, mechanically fastened with polished stainless steel rivets, wraps the lobby with carved openings infilled with clear butt jointed glass. The sleek, contemporary Alabama marble desk greets visitors. The existing concrete ceiling is left exposed for a tall and uplifting interior space with rustic elegance. The existing concrete floors were polished to complement the exposed ceiling.  The space includes collaboration areas with environmental graphics that complement the interior and promote the corporate branding of the company. For more information on Williams Blackstock Architects, visit wba-architects.com.

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