A Winning Place to Study

Windward Community College’s Library Learning Commons earns design and building awards

Windward Community College
Bonnie J Beatson, (808) 235-7374
Mktg & Public Rel Dir, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Jul 30, 2013

courtesy Architects Hawaii
courtesy Architects Hawaii

Windward Community College’s Library Learning Commons received the People's Choice Award at the 2013 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honolulu Design Awards "Shaping Hawaii Through Design Excellence” Gala and celebration on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki.

The AIA Honolulu People’s Choice Award gives the public an opportunity to view AIA distinguished entrants and determine a winner by popular choice. Architects Hawaii, Ltd., principal Terry McFarland, accepted the award for 2013 and described the project.

“We used an integrated design process in which students, teachers and administrators were involved to help establish a design program and design direction,” said Terry McFarland, principal at Architects Hawaii, Ltd.

As the first green library in Hawai‘i, the Windward Community College Library Learning Commons is an example of how architecture can contribute to the advancement of education and technology in the 21st century. The library features elements beyond a regular library including a media center, classrooms, and a coffee shop. Open common areas, including the three-story atrium, bring in natural daylight creating a collaborative and efficient learning environment. As a focal point within WCC, the library maintains the campus aesthetic of Spanish Mission Revival Architecture. Along with state-of-the-art technology, unique features include its furniture made of recycled materials from the previously demolished building. The library is in the process of receiving the LEED® Silver Certification.

Other awards received:

•  Building Industry Association, Renaissance Overall Grand Award for New Commercial      project – 2013
•  Building Industry Association, Renaissance Grand Award, Hawai‘i Built Green Division, National Green Standard Commercial project – 2013

The 28th Annual Building Industry Association of Hawaii’s (BIA) Renaissance Building and Remodeling Awards is the “Voice of the Construction Industry” representing builders, developers, contractors, suppliers and associates whose business is construction. For this award, the focus is on the design of the project, celebrating excellence, and recognizing the collaborative partnerships within the building industry. A total of 38 entrants participated. The Grand “green” award was judged on creativity, use of materials, environmental & sustainability, functionality, design principles, value, interior space, overall quality and workmanship.

•  American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase, Outstanding Designs and Citation Winner – 2013
American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase is a national publication that is part of the American School & University magazine. It is focused on the latest education facility innovations and information.

•  Masonry Institute of Hawai‘i, Project of the Year – 2011
Masonry Institute of Hawaii, a local organization focused on the importance of the use of masonry as a building material. Masonry is sustainable, energy efficient, durable, and provides the most efficient use of materials and labor.

The WCC Library Learning Commons’ multiple award-winning design reflects a commitment to craftsmanship, a dedication to collaboration and an abiding respect for the islands and its people. Many who visit the library say, “I want to go to school here!”

Photos available upon request.