A design by the Brooklyn architectural firm, Susan Doban Architect, PC, has been named a winner in this year’s Educational Interiors Showcase competition sponsored by American School & University magazine. The outstanding project, the Monroe College Culinary Arts Center in New Rochelle, NY, was featured in a two-page spread in the magazine’s 2008 Educational Interiors Showcase issue, which was published in August.

“It’s extremely gratifying to have the Culinary Arts Center recognized by American School & University,” Ms. Doban said. “Our team delivered to Monroe College a comprehensive package that included everything from the architectural design of the building to the graphic design of the posters on the wall and menus and programs distributed at the grand opening celebration. We wanted to effectively brand the new facility by integrating our design into every part of the building.”

The magazine said the project, which required that the architectural firm convert a former auto repair shop into a culinary education facility, was an exceptional example of a Vocational/Industrial Arts design. Susan Doban Architect, PC, divided the 3,450 square foot space into four classroom/kitchen areas, including two a la carte kitchens, a third kitchen for banquet preparation, and a fourth for pastry preparation.

The American School & University article said of the space, “This state-of-the-art culinary-arts facility, with its daylighting, sparkling stainless steel equipment, and accent colors in a palette taken from the hues of fresh fruits and vegetables, is situated in what had been a dreary auto-repair shop. Its open-plan layout responds to the faculty’s unique vision of a flexible learning space with the concurrent uses typical of a large commercial kitchen.”

The article also remarked on the leadership the firm provided to complete the $1.65 million project. “Close early cooperation among the college, architect, engineers, construction manager, and food service consultant enabled the team to meet the college’s ambitious goal of completing the facility from design through construction in less than five months, just in time for the start of school in September,” the article said.

A jury of American Institute of Architects (AIA) members and education administrators evaluated submissions from architectural firms, schools, and universities across the country. The winning projects were chosen for publication in American School & University, a monthly educational facilities, purchasing, and business administration magazine reaching 65,000 facility planners, school, and university administrators and architects with this issue. This is the 18th year the competition has been held.

Featured projects include designs that take essential elements of education design—security, creating an environment for learning, a healthful environment—and package that into an award-winning facility. The jury used the following criteria to make its selections: sustainability, character, long-term appropriateness of materials and colors, innovation, safety, balancing collaborative spaces, and being adaptable to current and future technology.

The Monroe College Culinary Arts Center also was named Best Small Project of the Year by New York Construction, a McGraw-Hill publication, and was featured in that magazine’s 11th Annual Awards Issue in December, 2007.

Susan Doban Architect, PC, also received the Preservation League of New York State’s 2008 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award for restoring five facades on Main Street in New Rochelle as part of the city’s Model Development Block. The firm also designed 45 apartments above Fairway Market in Brooklyn’s Red Hook Warehouse, a project that received a Masterwork Award for Best Neighborhood Catalyst from the Municipal Art Society, a Building Brooklyn Award from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and a 2008 Energy Star CHP Award.

Susan Doban Architect, PC is a Brooklyn-based architectural firm focused on new construction and adaptive reuse projects in the commercial, residential, and educational fields. The firm has designed a number of buildings for Monroe College, including dormitories and an administrative building, and 45 apartments in the award-winning Red Hook Stores Warehouse, a Civil War era building in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Other projects include the restoration of the facades on 19th Century structures on a model block on Main Street in New Rochelle and the creation of design standards for adjoining blocks, funded by the New York State Main Streets Initiative. The firm also designed the offices of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in a 19th Century building that originally housed a major department store, which received a 2004 Building Brooklyn award. More information about Susan Doban Architect, PC is available at 718-797-1041 or www.susandoban.com.