WJE Receives 2008 Honor Award for the Restoration of the Illinois State Capitol Chamber

May 9, 2008
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced the 2008 recipients of the AIA Institute Honor Awards, the profession's highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design. Selected from over 800 total submissions, Vinci Hamp Architects and WJE will be honored this month at the AIA 2008 National Convention and Design Exposition in Boston.

The Illinois State Capitol building, designed by French architect Alfred Piquenard, was constructed between 1868 and 1888. Historically, the House chamber included a laylight in the ceiling consisting of horizontal leaded art glass panels backlit by a skylight in the roof above.

However, the laylight was removed and replaced with a plaster ceiling. As part of recent interior renovations of the chamber, the lead architect engaged WJE to review the structure of the House chamber ceiling and roof, and develop a design for the restoration of the laylight.

"The body of work submitted, while connected through the commitment of attention to detail, materiality and form making was refreshingly unique in concepts and focus," said Jury Chair Neil P. Frankel, FAIA.

AIA particularly commended WJE for its commitment to extensive research — as evidenced through the quality of the restoration for the implementation of lost elements of the original design.

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