BMA wins AIA Tennessee & AIA East Tennessee awards

In 2021, BarberMcMurry Architects has won an AIA Tennessee and two AIA East Tennessee awards — for their work at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and the University of Tennessee. 

For the restoration of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, BMA won an AIA Tennessee Merit Award. The restoration followed a devastating 2015 fire, and included the church’s traditional Byzantine architecture and hand-crafted glass mosaics. The iconic mosaics were restored by the original artist, Sirio Tonelli, as his final installation before his death in 2018. 

The jury stated they were “impressed at how this church was restored after a fire, bringing the community together to rebuild. Craft, carpentry and excellent mosaic work are evident in this restoration – capturing the spirit of the original structure while improving upon it.”

For the renovation of the chapel at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, BMA won an AIA East Tennessee Merit Award. The hospital wanted the new chapel to be inviting for people of all backgrounds and faiths, so the design is calm, sedate and minimal. An alcove includes a designated place to write requests for prayer or messages of hope. Custom benches with acrylic legs “float” above the floor plane, and colored acrylic panels are reminiscent of traditional stained glass. 

“The interiors of the chapel truly convey the project’s design intent of creating a serene and quiet space for meditation and reflection,” the jury said.

Finally, for design of the Student Union at the University of Tennessee, BMA won an AIA East Tennessee Merit Award — in conjunction with McCarty Holsaple McCarty. The Student Union is the largest building ever constructed at UT Knoxville, and it was carefully designed to improve circulation not only in the building, but across campus. The building’s iconic two-story torch sculpture was crafted by Pretentious Glass Company. 

“The design of this new complex gives legible order to a complicated site. Its master-stroke is an emphatic, new pedestrian access that links the university’s historic core to areas severed by the conglomeration of buildings and infrastructure over time,” the jury said.