LI-Commissioned SOM design study wins AIA Chicago Award

October 29, 2018


On Friday, Oct. 26, at AIA Chicago’s annual Design Excellence Awards, Skidmore, Ownings and Merrill Design Director Eric Keune accepted an Unbuilt FORWARD Award for SOM’s proposed reuse of Bertrand Goldberg’s Elgin Laundry Building, which was a design study commissioned by Landmarks Illinois for the City of Elgin. Landmarks Illinois Director of Advocacy Lisa DiChiera joined Keune in accepting the award.

In 2008, Landmarks Illinois included the state-owned Elgin Mental Health Center campus on its “Chicagoland Watch List” to bring attention to architecturally significant buildings that had been vacated by the state, including the distinctive Laundry Building, designed by renowned Modernist architect Bertrand Goldberg. In 2016, Landmarks Illinois commissioned the Laundry Building reuse study to provide to the city of Elgin, which now owns the Laundry Building, potential concepts in keeping with city’s plans to expand its parks and recreational facilities.

AIA Chicago states that the purpose of the Unbuilt FORWARD Award is to recognize architectural design for projects that have not been completed, “yet address relevant social, cultural and environmental challenges, as well as technological innovations that drive the architecture profession into the future. The award recognizes that design excellence is not limited to completed projects.”


(Photo: AIA Chicago board member April Hughes, LI Director of Advocacy Lisa DiChiera, AIA Chicago board member Jen Park and Eric Keune of SOM. Credit: SOM)

Read the Elgin Laundry Building Reuse Study

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