Here Are The Finalists For The 2021 James B. Recchie Design Award

Columbus Landmarks Foundations announced the five finalists for this year’s James B. Recchie Design Award. The award honors excellence in “urban design reflected in historic and new buildings and places, additions to existing buildings, parks, public spaces, and public art.”

The finalist projects are being celebrated for their character and for the improved quality of life they help offer in Columbus. Past winners of the James B. Recchie Design Award include several iconic Columbus landmarks, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus Museum of Art, The Scioto Mile Bridge, and the Lincoln Theatre.

There are 5 criteria that must be met in order for landmarks to be considered for the award: the Creativity of Design, Context, Quality of Materials and Craftsmanship, Contribution to the Urban Environment, and Timelessness.

Here are the five finalists for the 2021 James B. Recchie Design Award.

Budd Dairy
Address: 1086 N 4th St., Columbus, OH 43201
Designer: Shremshock Architects
Owner: Lykens Companies LLC

The Budd Dairy Co. opened in 1916 and operated as one of the largest milk producers in the eastern United States until 1967. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, and awarded State and Federal Historic Tax Credits for its rehabilitation. Located in Italian Village, the adaptive reuse project includes 14,000+ square feet of mixed-use interior space plus a covered rooftop deck and adjacent parking. The open-concept main floor serves as Budd Dairy Food Hall, operated by Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and featuring multiple food vendors, public seating, a U-shaped bar, and a live entertainment stage. The Budd Dairy redevelopment also includes office space and a free-standing restaurant. The rehabilitation retains the building’s historic character and scale while adding new vibrancy to the N. 4th Street corridor.

Photo via Columbus Landmarks

Lower.com Field
Address: 96 Columbus Crew Way, Columbus, OH 43215
Designers: HNTB Corporation / MKSK
Owners: Haslam Sports Group / JW & Whitney Johnson / Dr. Pete Edwards

Lower.com Field is a soccer-specific stadium that serves as the home stadium of the Columbus Crew, a Major League Soccer team. The new stadium is located at the center of the mixed-use Astor Park development adjacent to the Arena District and downtown. The stadium seats 20,000 spectators and includes 30 suites and 1,900 club seats. Features also include 3,356 safe-standing seats in the Nordecke; a 220,000-square foot canopy that covers every seat in the stadium that is designed to keep noise in; a sunken field; a beer garden; the Crew House Pub; high-definition scoreboards; frictionless point of entry; and family space for children with two sensory rooms, two nurseries and a 1,000-square foot play room developed by COSI. The overall stadium was designed to reflect the city’s innovative spirit.


Mirror Lake District
Address: 1760 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210
Designers: MKSK / Acock Associates Architects
Owner: The Ohio State University

Centrally located at the heart of The Ohio State University, few campus locations are as iconic or rich in history and tradition as the Mirror Lake District. The enhancements and renovation of the area began with a commitment to preserving the area’s historic, social, and cultural significance while prioritizing student safety, sustainability, operations, and aesthetics. A series of respite spaces around the lake were introduced to provide improved views and places for study and gathering, including the Lakeside Terrace which preserves the historic spring-inspired grotto fountain and the North Belvedere providing dramatic views into the hollow and lake. An improved pathway network creates visual cross-campus pedestrian connections to the historic Browning Amphitheater, The Hollow, The Oval, and to the recently renovated Pomerene Hall, making the Mirror Lake District a unified campus destination.

Photo via Columbus Landmarks

Rise Brands HQ
Address: 134 E Long St., Columbus, OH 43215
Designer: Archall
Owner: Schottenstein Property Group

Rise Brands is the parent company of bar and entertainment venues, including Pins Mechanical and 16 BIT Bar & Arcade. Its new headquarters are located downtown in a c1875, four-story commercial building that had been vacant for more than a decade. The building was further distressed by damage caused by an automobile accident a few years ago. The rehabilitation project is a mix of restored original features and creatively installed new industrial-style elements. The dropped ceiling was removed from the top floor to expose the original trusses, and beams were sandblasted and reinforced with iron hardware at the joints. The facade was painted black, vintage lights were installed, and the transparent storefronts expose a vibrant interior that is the work home for approx. 40 Rise Brands staff members.

Photo via Columbus Landmarks

The Gravity Project
Address: 480 W Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Designer: NBBJ / Archall
Owner: Kaufman Development

The Gravity Project is a mixed-use community located in Franklinton. Its facade consists of three distinctive sections designed to break up the massing and to create a vibrant new gateway to the neighborhood. Centered on wellbeing, impact, and creative expression, Gravity seeks to elevate the lives of those that live, work, and interact with the community. Situated on 4.33 acres, the development includes 234 multifamily units (36 of which are reserved for those making between 80% – 100% of the Columbus Area Median Income); 48,500 SF of Class A office space; 37,000 SF of retail; and a 564-space parking garage. Gravity features multiple works of art from artists all over the world, including Eduardo Kobra from Brazil, as well as many local artists. Gravity also features an outdoor movie wall, a dog park, a living green wall, and communal rooftop terraces.

Photo via Columbus Landmarks

To learn more about the James B. Recchie Award or the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, please click here.

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