Garvin Design Group’s Jerome Simiyon is the 2023 recipient of the American Institute of Architects – South Carolina’s Student Design Award. Simiyon and his studio partner Andrew Schick developed their award-winning design for an alternative placement rehabilitation center - called Murphy Avenue Restorative Justice Center - while completing their graduate studies at Clemson University. Simiyon and Schick accepted their award at the American Institute of Architects – South Carolina section (AIA SC)’s annual meeting in Columbia on November 2nd at the new Center for Architecture on Columbia’s Main Street.
Presented annually, AIA SC’s Student Design Award recognizes exemplary projects completed by students enrolled in an architecture degree program in pursuit of a degree or academic credit. Projects must be sponsored by a professor or the student’s academic institution. A jury of architects and designers from outside South Carolina select the year’s winning projects. Simiyon and Schick’s design responds to pressing issues of inequality, recidivism, and collective trauma in Atlanta area youth. The project previously won Clemson’s coveted Harlan E. McClure Award for Architecture.
Dubbed the Murphy Avenue Restorative Justice Center, Simiyon and Schick’s project embodies a new rehabilitation model for juvenile offenders that provides supportive housing with wraparound social, educational, and civic services. The Justice Center is designed to occupy a 20-acre former industrial site at the intersection of four underserved Atlanta neighborhoods with low median income and academic test scores and above-average rates of juvenile crime. The building includes a multipurpose atrium, community room, library, consultation rooms, courtrooms, worship spaces, re-entry vocational training rooms, and a covered public market. The building also includes housing for up to 30 young people.
Simiyon and Schick’s design carefully considers how the Justice Center provides users with a holistically health environment. Sawtooth roofs nod to the former industrial site and bring natural light into the building through clerestory windows. Rooflines are oriented and angled to optimize photovoltaic panel arrays and maximize rainwater harvesting. The building employs radiant floor heating, solar shading, and natural ventilation via operable windows and large ceiling fans. Designed primarily in mass timber, the building uses glulam panels, CLT floors, photovoltaic panels, and shaft walls to reduce its embodied carbon energy.
“Our goal for this project is to create a community-based hub that is built on elevating the individual through strategic assessment, treatment, cognitive and behavioral skill development, and re-entry of juvenile offenders through vocational training and mentorship. We recognized the importance of fostering strong ties to the surrounding community,” Simiyon said. “Our desire to create an environmentally sustainable building led us to explore mass timber as the primary construction material. Andrew and I are very keen to advocate for mass timber construction in the Southeast and to apply what we’ve learned in academia in our professional practice.”
Simiyon completed his graduate studies in Architecture at Clemson University in spring 2023 and joined Garvin Design Group as a full-time hire in July.
About Garvin Design Group: Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Garvin Design Group offers comprehensive planning and design services for a variety of project types and sizes. From master planning and programming to interior up-fits and new construction, Garvin Design Group strives to provide client-driven design solutions throughout South Carolina. The firm of 20 people has completed more than $1 billion worth of projects since its founding in 2003. GDG’s contributions to the community and the profession earned it the American Institute of Architects – South Carolina’s (AIA SC) 2019 Firm Award, the Columbia Chamber’s 2020 Small Business of the Year Award, and recognition as a 2021 and 2022 Top 3 Best in Business Award from SC Business Monthly. For more information, visit www.garvindesigngroup.com.
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