Professor Jeffrey L. Day, AIA from the University of Nebraska’s College of Architecture and his student design team were honored with a citation in the 66th Annual Progressive Architecture Awards from Architecture Magazine. Day’s FACT design/build studio project entitled “The Grocery” was one of 10 selected from over 200 submissions. Annually the magazine selects projects that were fully fleshed-out and developed, but not yet realized in physical form for the P/A Awards in an effort to highlight the up and coming design trends.
“The Grocery” project was a collaborative effort involving UNL’s Fabrication And Construction Team (FACT) design/ build studio, Actual Architecture Company and the Sandhills Institute of Rushville, Nebraska, to transform an old, defunct, main street grocery store into an art gallery/exhibition space and community culture center.
The art and cultural center was the brainchild of Mel Ziegler, grocery store site owner and founder and executive director of the Sandhills Institute which supports and serves as a catalyst for the creation of civically-engaged, integrated art in and around the agricultural community of Rushville. Currently in the Rushville area, there are no art galleries or exhibition spaces where artists can gather, create, exhibit and innovate. The new center will fill that void with a needed cultural hub for residents to enjoy and hopefully be a unique destination for tourists and artists to visit.
For phase one of the project, the interior will include space for programming, activities, meetings, exhibitions and special projects, plus an area for an office and café. Future programming for phase two will include building a visiting artist residence attached to the art gallery and culture center and developing a community outdoor space where the grocery store parking lot now stands. The outdoor space development is being led by landscape designer Kayla Meyer, with FACT contributing to its conceptual design.
“This project’s drawings are simple and clean, like the building itself. The use of plain forms and materials gives it a rough, minimalist feel,” said competition juror Paul Andersen, AIA. Day was thrilled with the jury’s selection and the national exposure it would bring to their work.
“I was somewhat surprised. I submitted it, but I didn’t have very high expectations due to the competitiveness of the P/A Awards,” said Day. “This will be a really big recognition boost that is much needed. So I’m very proud of it. I think it is a big deal, and I’m hopeful that it will elevate the status and help raise the profile of our students, the Sandhills Institute, the college and Actual Architecture Co.”
This is the second time a faculty member from the College of Architecture has won this prestigious and elusive award. The last faculty members to win a P/A award were Thomas Laging and Roger Schluntz in 1978 for their project ““The Nebraska Capitol and Environs Plan”.
Project: The Grocery (Rushville Arts and Cultural Center), Rushville, Neb.
Client: The Sandhills Institute. Mel Ziegler
Architect: Actual Architecture Company, Omaha and FACT, Lincoln. Jeffrey L. Day, AIA (Actual Architecture Co. principal and FACT director); Dennis Krymuza, Andrew Goldsmith, Brett Lehr (Actual Architecture Co. project team); Magdalena Vazquez, Joseph Croghan, Scott Kenny, Megan Michalski, Brooke Sayler, Hasan Shurrab, Assoc. AIA (FACT project team, University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Architecture graduates)
Interior/Lighting Designer: Actual Architecture Co. + FACT
Structural Engineer (Conceptual Design Phase): Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner
Landscape Designer: Kayla Meyer