We are honored the Knox College Whitcomb Art Center has been recognized with a 2022 AIA Committee on
the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Award. The AIA COTE Top Ten Awards recognize ten innovative projects each year for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance. Lake|Flato leads the industry with 14 COTE Top Ten Awards, demonstrating our commitment to design performance & sustainability.
The Whitcomb Art Center creates a new home for the Knox College art program and serves as a civic bridging agent welcoming in and melding together the diverse cultural identities of the neighborhoods and districts surrounding the site: Knox’s traditional academic campus, Galesburg’s central business core, and the adjacent industrial warehouse district. The facility integrates the studio art and art history departments of Knox College in a new, light-filled, cost-effective, modern building anchored by a landscaped event and work courtyard. Inside, a series of double height studios, galleries, and critique spaces foster a vibrant interdisciplinary art community and program.
With an extremely lean project budget, the Whitcomb Art Center reflects the self-described scrappy and unconventional community of Knox’s art department. Within this lean mindset every design decision contributes to multiple performance goals in a highly integrated way. The building is a high-performing workhorse shaped for efficient daylight capture and made of simple industrial materials assembled in surprising and elegant ways.
"This is a traditional form re-imagined in a unique and refreshing way. By using economical steel frame and reusing finishes, they made something special, taking a brown field and restoring the natural ecology, done beautifully. ”
- 2022 COTE Top Ten Award Jury
Upon completion, the Whitcomb Art Center received LEED Gold certification. With the new facility up and running, art department chair Mark Holmes summarizes his department’s collective sense of success with the project and what the design team set out to do:
"A year or so into its life, the building has a palpable effect on students and faculty alike. For one thing, everyone loves to be there – we all spend more time helping or talking informally with students and just indulging our interest in the light, space, and shapes. The amount of daylight is a huge benefit."
Congratulations to the 2022 COTE Top Ten honorees! To see all 2022 AIA COTE Top Ten projects, click here.