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Legat Architects lauded for Wilmette project

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Photo provided by Jim Steinkamp)
Village of Wilmette’s Public Works Center expansion and renovation.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake-based Legat Architects work on the Village of Wilmette’s Public Works Center expansion and renovation received a Distinguished Building Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago chapter.

The award recognizes achievements in the planning, design and execution of recent building projects.

The village and partners Legat Architects and Epstein Metter Studio accepted the award at the recent AIA Chicago “Designight” ceremony at Navy Pier. 

The Wilmette project was one of four out of a hundred submissions selected for an Honor Award, the highest form of recognition in the Distinguished Building category. Jurors included prominent architects from across the country, according to a news release.  

Chicago Architect magazine applauded the expansion’s “delicate response to its neighbors” and quoted a juror, “This design elevates public service.” 

Before the expansion, cramped and outdated work spaces reduced the Wilmette Public Works department’s effectiveness, according to the news release.

“The department set out to not only improve productivity, but also to reduce energy and water consumption,” said Legat Architects’ Marc Rohde, who served as project manager.

The resulting expansion and renovation enhanced efficiencies, trimmed operational costs and created a healthier workplace. The project included a new 5,000-square-foot administrative office building, various remodeling, and site reconfigurations.

The project also set a sustainable standard: it became one of the nation’s first public works facilities to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the US Green Building Council. The credential recognizes design strategies that promote operational efficiency, reduce environmental impact, and respect occupant health.

The public works campus, set back in a quiet residential community, included buildings dating from a 1950s garage to a mid-1990s addition.

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