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Manning Environmental Field Station Wins Top Architectural Award

November 8, 2006

Manning Field Station CSO.jpgNovember 8, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - The Manning Environmental Field Station at DePauw University is the recipient of the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects' "Honor Award," the highest honor given in the state-level program. DePauw and architectural firm CSO Schenkel Shultz (CSOSS) were presented with the award over the weekend at the Regional AIA Convention in Covington, Kentucky last Friday. The Manning building is located in the DePauw University Nature Park and was dedicated in April 2006.

The Manning Environmental Field Station was made possible by a gift from Tim and Denise Manning Solso, both 1969 graduates of DePauw.

"It's a bit of a coup for our 3,300 square foot project, which was built very economically, to win top honors in the state-wide competition," says CSOSS'Manning Station Award CSO.jpg R. Randall Schumacher. He points out that "the only other project to receive an Honor Award was the Indianapolis Museum of Art," which carried a $74 million price tag. (l-r in adjacent photo: Schumacher; Dick Speller, DePauw Vice President for Finance and Administration; and Vanessa L. Artman, assistant professor of biology at DePauw and program coordinator at the Nature Park)

"This is an outstanding award recognizing the design and architecture of a wonderful addition to the DePauw University Nature Park," says Neal B. Abraham, executive vice president of DePauw University. "The team of architects and local project overseers, particularly professor of biology Wade Hazel, richly deserve this recognition. The Manning Environmental Field Station has already contributed to a substantial growth in our enrollments in environment and ecology courses, to the number of majors and student-faculty research projects in these areas, and to our outreach programs to members of local schools and the neighboring community."

Jurists who judged the entries called the Manning Field Station "quite elegant. It is simple and clean. It has a nice perimeteManning Field Station Students.jpgr of small spaces around larger lab spaces." Another comment noted the building was "well thought out; there was no wasted motion," while still another stated, "The inside reflects the exterior. Each piece is sliding all the way through, which is nice. The architect not only brought in the natural light, but the natural materials, too." A judge asserted, "I have a hard time imagining how this project could be better. They made a lot of great decisions. It seems like a really great place."

"The jury comments seem to indicate that the environmentally-friendly, sustainable features of the building's design helped to earn their recognition," Schumacher assesses. "I know that sustainable design for the Nature Park buildings has been a big interest to many on the DePauw campus, so we are pleased that CSO's design for the Manning Environmental Field Station was recognized for this particular design feature."

The Field Station is named in memory of Denise Solso's father and grandfather, Thomas Manning '40 and George A. Manning '11, respectively. It is a laboratory building with approximately 3,800 Manning Interior CSO.jpgsquare feet of space and facilitates the teaching of environmental science, environmental biology and ecology.

Established in 1892, the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects was founded with the intent to advance the organization's mission "...to promote the aesthetic, scientific and practical efficiency of the profession of architecture, work to advance the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of the architectural education, training and practice."

Visit the DePauw University Nature Park online by clicking here.

In recent years, two other DePauw-CSOSS projects have received architectural awards: Rector Village in 2005 and the Richard E. Peeler Art Center in 2003. You'll find CSO Schenkel Shultz on the Web here.

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