Carnegie Mellon University
May 17, 2012

News Brief: AIA Presents Honor Award for Gates and Hillman Centers

Contact: Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

Gates Hillman CentersMack Scogin, architect of the Gates Center for Computer Science and Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies, on Friday will accept the 2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award for Architecture at the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C.

Ralph Horgan, associate vice provost for Campus Design and Facility Development; Randal E. Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science (SCS), and Guy Blelloch, professor of computer science, will also be on hand for the awards ceremony at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The Gates and Hillman centers, which opened in 2009, is one of just nine recipients worldwide of this year's Honor Awards, the architectural profession's highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence. The centers, home to four SCS departments, were designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, Ga.

The buildings enclose 217,000 square feet of offices, classrooms and collaborative spaces in nine stories and straddle a terrain with variations in elevation of up to 75 feet. They also serve as a crossroads for the campus, with five main entrances on three levels and two major pedestrian bridges.

"The building not only matches the culture and aspirations of the school, but also provides campus connections that had been clearly missing before," the AIA jurors observed. "The fenestration and zinc exterior skin surprisingly relate beautifully to the campus fabric without being literal."

Last year, the Gates and Hillman centers were awarded LEED certification at the Gold level established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The award for the Gates and Hillman centers is the eighth National AIA Honor Award that Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects has received. Earlier this month, the firm also was awarded the National Design Award in Architecture from the The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. The Architecture Design Award is given to an individual or firm for exceptional and exemplary work in public, commercial, or residential architectural design.