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July 09, 2018
Knox College's Whitcomb Art Center has received another award for its innovative architectural design. The multi-million-dollar facility designed by Lake|Flato Architects won an American Architecture Award for 2018, announced in June by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The Whitcomb Art Center is one of 120 American Architecture Award winners this year. The winning projects were selected from among 340 finalists by a distinguished group of architects and educators.
The art center on the Knox campus in Galesburg is one of just nine American Architecture Award winners in Illinois this year, and the only one outside of Chicago. Other winners include two major Chicago facilities—Wintrust Arena at McCormick Place and the Apple store on Michigan Avenue.
Knox art faculty and students praise the Whitcomb Art Center's attractiveness and openness, achieved through its innovative design and metal frame construction. "The windows and daylight are a huge benefit for student artists," said Mark Holmes, associate professor and chair of the art department.
"The space where you make art is hugely influential," said student Olivia Keneipp '17, shortly after the building was completed. "I like the way that everything is connected, and that it's also very open. It's great for someone who's engaged in creating."
The American Architecture Award is the fourth recognition received since the Whitcomb Art Center opened in January 2017.
Prior kudos include a 2017 Honor Award from the San Antonio Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, a 2017 Metal Architecture Design Award from Metal Architecture magazine, and a 2017 Master Builder of the Year award won by the general contractor, P.J. Hoerr.
In addition, earlier this year, the Whitcomb Art Center received LEED Gold Certification for energy efficiency from the United States Green Building Council.
The $8.7-million art center is named in honor of Dick '57 and Joan Whitcomb '56. Their lead gift, along with gifts from more than 160 other donors, funded construction of the technologically sophisticated building that provides expansive, flexible spaces for studios, classes and seminars in art and art history.
"Everything is connected, very open, great for someone who's engaged in creating."—Art student Olivia Keneipp '17