2017’s Design Awards

Our annual awards celebrate the very best in architecture and interior design.

Commercial Interior Design

design awards

GOLD: Smokin’ Hot

Our jurors’ mouths were watering after eyeing the interior transformation of Durk’s Bar-B-Q on Thayer Street, and it wasn’t just all the talk about smoked meat. Using wood as the primary material, designer Libby Slader created a space that transports diners to the deep South and clearly communicates what’s for dinner. Eye-catching features like the red and black signage, the plywood grid in the front dining area and the wall of whiskey — complete with a library ladder to reach the tallest shelf — behind the bar in the rear add interest without going overboard. Our jurors appreciated the smart and consistent use of inexpensive materials and the well-composed layout that beckons diners inside almost as much as the menu.

Interior Designer: Libby Slader Interior Design, Providence
Contractor: Stem Contracting and Design, Lincoln
Millwork Contractor: Jutras Woodworking, Greenville
Artwork: Mark Freedman and James Reynolds
Signage and Menus: Providence Painted Signs
Photographer: Nat Rea


design awards

SILVER: Worker Out

The architects didn’t have to look far for inspiration when designing the new international headquarters for the Warren-based company WaterRower. Instead, they turned to the “functional art” the company aims to create with their namesake rowing machines, while also paying mind to the building’s location on a former farm. The resulting 30,000-square-foot space that houses a showroom and offices incorporates barn-like elements, such as the post-and-beam frame and shingles, along with many of the materials used in WaterRower’s products. The structure’s clean lines and well-crafted details seamlessly integrate product and building into one winning work.

Principal Architect in Charge: Douglas Kallfelz, Union Studio, Providence
Project Architect: Paul Attemann, Union Studio
Design Team: Craig Anderson and Ian Manire, Union Studio
Structural Engineer: Yoder and Tidwell, Providence
Mechanical Engineer: EDS—Engineering Design Services, North Smithfield
Site/Civil Engineer: Waterman Engineering Company, East Providence and Crossman Engineering, Warwick
Builder: Behan Bros., Middletown
Project Management Consultant: Sheridan Associates Design Build, Warren
Photographer: Nat Rea


design awards

BRONZE: Study Session

Brightening up Brown University’s Sciences Library, a 1960s Brutalist-style building with thick concrete walls, low ceilings and narrow windows, would have challenged any designer, but this team handled it with ease. Our jurors noted the vast improvements in the six floors that were made over, including adding several open and closed work spaces that can flexibly meet a multitude of programming needs. New furniture and accent walls add much-needed color, while glass walls keep natural light flowing. Our jurors agreed that it’s a cheery study in how structural limitations needn’t be a hindrance to successful design.

Architect: Architecture Research Office, New York, New York
Construction Manager: Consigli Construction Co., Milford, Mass.
MEP Engineering: Wilkinson Associates, Warwick; Sterling Engineering, Sturbridge, Mass.
Building Code/Fire Protection: Jensen Hughes, Warwick
Acoustics: Threshold Acoustics, Chicago, Ill.
Structural Engineering: Odeh Engineers, North Providence
Lighting Design: Lighting Workshop, Brooklyn, NY
Photographer: Elizabeth Felicella/Esto

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