GBBN Honored With Cincinnati Magazine Interior Design Award

It was recently announced that Cincinnati Magazine has once again honored GBBN Architects with an interior design award, this time for the University of Toledo Ottawa House Residence Hall project.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Ottawa House was selected for an award,” said Greg Otis, AIA – GBBN’s Higher Ed market leader and Project Manager on the UT project. “To be recognized for our design efforts on one of our higher ed steeple projects really validates our expertise in the market.”

The initial plan for UT’s new residence hall was one building to house 600 students. Instead, GBBN’s design team proposed and designed eight wings for 75 people for better connectivity and sense of community.

“Let’s face it, the student residence halls of today are much different than those designed and built in the 1970s and 80s, or even the 90s for that matter,” said Matthew Schottelkotte, AIA, LEED AP, chief designer on the project. “The design had to meet the changing needs of the students and what is becoming expected on college campuses all over the country.”

As part of a master plan direction to improve the interconnection of the housing with the academic core, GBBN implemented a design to nurture three pillars of development: Social, Physical/Health, and Academic.

An example is the 150 four-person suites include, on-site laundry facilities, fitness centers, kitchens and modern security systems. A 200-seat Marche-concept dining hall offers a variety of prepared-to-order foods, and a casual dining room featuring a hearth fireplace and raised floor level that also serves as a stage. The students can also enjoy a 100-seat ‘Panera-style’ café with longer operating hours for early risers and late night studying. Outside the social experience continues with an outdoor patio, complete with a wood-burning fireplace.

“This isn’t the kind of housing facility I lived in,” said Otis. “But then that’s what our design goal is, to provide today’s (and tomorrow’s) college student with the ideal on-campus housing experience.”

Members of GBBN’s award-winning design team in addition to Otis and Schottelkotte are Paul Shirley, Project Leader and Brooke Behnfeldt, Interior Designer.

Past GBBN projects that have been honored with a Cincinnati Magazine Interior Design Award are: the American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge Community Resource Center, Rosmur Vue Condominiums, and Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center.

The Cincinnati Magazine Interior Design Awards have been established to recognize outstanding interior design projects by professional designers in 13 independently judged categories based on the following criteria: scale and proportion, color composition, innovation, creative use of space, functional use of space, effective use of lighting, appropriate design solution and relationship of materials, textures and patterns.