Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning 2011 Gresham Smith Design Competition Winners

Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning 2011 Gresham Smith Design Competition Winners
Courtesy of Colin Marshall, Matthew Nichols - Team Award of Excellence

Through the Gresham Smith Competition (an annual program sponsored by Gresham Smith and Partners), the Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture, with support from the College of Architecture and Planning, Indianapolis Center (CAP: IC) has offered to assist the Julia Carson Legacy of Love Foundation in consolidating the objectives of its mission to realize the Julia Carson Community Center by facilitating community participatory engagement through a programmatic and conceptual design competition. More about the project and competition winners after the break.

The proposed Julia Carson Community Center (JCCC) is to be located in the Mapleton – Fall Creek Neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana. The 57,000 GSF multipurpose facility is to be designed and constructed to the serve the community in honor of the late U.S. Representative, Julia Carson. The Julia Carson Legacy of Love Foundation, Inc. is to be the sponsor of the community outreach facility, under direction of Congresswoman Carson’s son and Indianapolis’ Mayoral Candidate, Sam Carson. The JCCC’s mission represents the best of Congresswoman Carson’s national and global vision of a just and inclusive society, commitment to community, and love of family. The primary purpose of the Center is to provide compassionate support for the success of families, youth and seniors. It will be a visible catalyst for community health and well being providing three main components including the abovementioned Julia Carson Legacy of Love Foundation and their community service partners; community center social and cultural networking; and community center recreational programs. Each of these is an extension of a larger network of partners serving the community.

© Matthew Caleb Wild

Awards of Exellence:

One of the team awards of excellence was given to Colin Marshall and Matthew Nichols for their project : a structural frame supporting or containing something (rendering seen above). This center is a framework set in place to support the aims, goals, and dreams of the community, through ing, ing, ing, and ing. The structural frame supports and receives various uses and programs as the community sees fit. The building also acts as a monument to Julia Carson and her legacy of love, symbolically through its presence, and physically through a landmark tower fitted with community recognitions and names. The framework allows everything from a structured work environment, to planned events, to pickup games and freedom to openly socialize. The structural integration expresses the framework both figuratively and physically, becoming a part of the landscape by sinking into it and inviting the community to experience the various purposes within.

Also awarded with a Team Award of Excellence were Matthew Caleb Wild and Taylor Metcalf, focusing on boldly displaying reuse and rehabilitation to community in need. Situated in a run-down, economically challenged neighborhood, the project sought to become a clear illustration of renewal to the inhabitants of the community through the reconstruction of existing materials found onsite and in the surrounding area. The concept was centered on reuse and how it can be fearlessly communicated and displayed to the neighborhood. Both the gabion walls and the wood panels are comprised of reused materials from the area. Therefore, by taking the existing resources of the community and reusing them in the construction of the community center, it exemplifies to the neighborhood that renewal and restoration are possible for anyone and anything. Even the most adverse and unwanted structures can become something beautiful when given a second chance.

Courtesy of Matthew Caleb Wild, Taylor Metcalf - Team Award of Excellence

Chris Baile and Jordan Inman were also rewarded with a Team Award of Excellence for their proposed Julia Carson Community Center that utilizes characteristics exemplified by mothers to organize and program the large site. The built environment represents their protection and strength, and the outdoor spaces symbolize their love. In order to provide this struggling neighborhood with an identity that can be recognized by both the community and the city as a whole, the built is situated to the south along Fall Creek Blvd in the form of an iconic tower. The vertical space created by the tower is left open, visually and physically connecting each of the services provided by the Legacy of Love, while encouraging interaction within the community. With much of the program focused to the south, the northern part of the site has been opened up as usable community green spaces. The beauty of a mother is how these different characteristics, love and protection, become one. This is represented in the center of the site where the landscape and the built meet, and where the Legacy of Love, the rec center, and the landscape become one.

Courtesy of Chris Baile, Jordan Inman - Team Award of Excellence

Nicole Miller was among the recipients of the Individual Awards of Excellence with her design that celebrates Julia Carson’s vision of an inclusive society, commitment to community, and love of family. Both building and site were designed with her ideals in mind. The ultimate goal of the center is to provide a supportive environment for families, youth, and seniors of the Mapleton-Fall Creek and surrounding communities.  The design supports themes of healthy living and interaction featuring playgrounds, community gardens, outdoor classrooms, open green spaces, and bicycle facilities. The large central atrium is an open, lively space to which all of the services and facilities are connected. From this space, visitors can see and access the Legacy of Love Foundation services, café, lounge, library, and theater. The building’s layered façade system incorporates perforated metal panels to filter east and west sunlight, while allowing daylight to enter unobstructed from the tall northern façade. A rainwater garden was designed in the site to control storm water runoff that flows seamlessly from the building’s green roofs.

Courtesy of Nicole Miller - Individual Award of Excellence

Also a recipient of an Individual Award of Excellence, Andrew Anderson paid tribute to Julia Carson by expressing her guidance, safety, comfort, and support as a mother and a representative for the area. The Center not only places new architecture on the site, but features renovated existing homes on the site as well. These renovated duplexes comprise the residential component of the Julia Carson Community Center, thus providing a lifestyle that is reminiscent of a permanent home for those passing through. Renovating the existing homes on site will also set a precedent for the primarily run down homes in the community, revealing the potential of these beautiful antique homes. The center also serves to inform the community of eco-friendly architectural potentials by incorporating a variety of interactive passive and active systems.

Courtesy of Andrew Anderson - Individual Award of Excellence

Kevin Tempelman, another Individual Award of Excellence winner explored a protective layout through site planning and a study of repurposed materials. The program spaces are organized into a series of east-west blocks, which correspond to the urban street grid. The building facades are brought right up to the street front, increasing natural supervision on the areas surrounding the community center. It is separated into a series of individual components that are tied together through shared plazas and green spaces. The high visual accessibility of each building onto the plaza spaces and street level provides a level of safety in the areas around the community center. A recycled material wall provides security while also presenting a front that the community can relate to, generated from the place itself and celebrating the history of the area. The JCCC complex embraces the surrounding built environment through materials reuse. Rubble from the buildings that were demolished off of the site is used to fill gabion walls which run the perimeter of the site and establish the boundaries of the center. Benches, bus stops, and planters will be built into this wall, making it inviting to the outside community. This recycled wall protects the people who come to the community center while still being inviting to those outside. Wood members harvested from the demolished buildings are reused as shading devices, trellises, and walkways. In doing this, the community center becomes evocative of its community while repurposing waste stream materials.

Courtesy of Kevin Tempelman - Individual Award of Excellence

Honorable Mention Awards:

Michael Bramer / Paul Desmond Lauren Diaz / Michelle Novotny Dru Furbee / Brittany Leamer Craig Genet Justin Gross Joshua Stowers

More images of the Honorable Mention award winners in the gallery.


Issac Bracher, AIA, LEED AP, OPN Architects, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa Dustin Eggink, Graduate Architect, LEED AP, Ratio Architects, Indianapolis, Indiana Michael Halstead, AIA, President Halstead Architects, Indianapolis, Indiana Craig Wilkins, PhD, AIA, ARA, Director, Detroit Community Design Center, University of Michigan Brittany Rasdall, Project Manager, Martindale/Brightwood Community Development Corporation


Olon Dotson, Associate Professor of Architecture, Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning Jackie Nytes, Executive Director, Mapleton Fall Creek Community Development Corporation, Indianapolis, Indiana Samuel Carson, Mayoral Candidate, Indianapolis, Indiana (“Client”) Cheryl Shipp, Campaign Manager/Consultant to Mr. Carson

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About this author
Cite: Taylor Metcalf. "Ball State University, College of Architecture and Planning 2011 Gresham Smith Design Competition Winners" 24 Sep 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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