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The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design, First Place

Once an abandoned industrial bakery, the UNO Veterans Memorial School Campus is now a unique link between past and future, industry and community, need and opportunity. This school campus comprises two elementary schools and a high school, all within the shell of a former warehouse bounded by residential neighborhoods.

Through brilliant planning strategies at all scales of design, though each creating its own character, a luminous learning environment has been erected for children of all ages. The use of natural light ties the classrooms, offices and hallways ogether into an integrated learning environment while the planning ensures social interaction that is both constructive and informative. A gymnasium that crowns the roof is one of the few additions of new construction to the complex allowing  commanding view of the  eighborhood while erving as the symbolic focus for the institution.

With an inviting glass façade and community space, the building embodies UNO’s commitment to schools as a community focal point, providing wrap-around services to support students, their families and the neighborhood. The project also incorporates a host f environmentally sustainable elements – including a green roof, energy efficiency measures and solar panels – leading to the expectation of LEED Gold certification.

For providing a unique and environmentally sustainable learning environment for students and the community and for establishing a needed neighborhood institution in the Archer Heights community area, UNO Veterans Memorial School Campus and UrbanWorks are awarded this year’s First Place Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design.