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Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana Receives 2020 AIA Kentucky Honor Award

We are excited to announce that Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana has received a 2020 Honor Award for Excellence in Architectural Design from AIA Kentucky. Gilda’s Club is a nonprofit organization offering support to those diagnosed with cancer and their families. They offer group support sessions, but also programming such as fitness, cooking, art classes, community social events, and kid’s activities.


Gilda’s Club needed more space to accommodate their growing membership and program offerings. This project at their new location included adaptive reuse of two existing buildings and a new addition that allows for a centralized main entry and connection between the two existing buildings. The project intent was to thoughtfully repurpose the existing buildings and provide a new space that would unify the combined space. The former market building now houses the staff offices and the former school/office building contains the Clubhouse, which houses member focused programs. In the new addition design, we had the opportunity to create meaningful gathering spaces along with strategically placed accessible connections between the varying finish floor heights of the existing buildings. The main entry for members is situated in the rear of the property adjacent to the parking to provide ease of access.  However, a secondary entry is oriented towards the primary street to greet members approaching from that direction.  Each entry leads to the central living room space, providing all members the same arrival experience. In the Clubhouse, the design included excavation and cutting new openings in the existing foundation wall to create a new lower level patio. This really transformed the quality of the lower level space, introducing a huge amount of daylight to spaces that previously had none.

Jury Comments: “Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana is a refined example of design that enhances the human experience with understated confidence. The architectural solution transforms a complex set of existing conditions into a graceful sequence of spaces. The jury noted how the simple solution masks the amount of forensic work that was required. Before and after photographs highlight the dexterous use of color, daylight, and connections to the exterior in support of the organization’s wellness mission.”

AIA Design Showcase webinar: Due to COVID-19, the AIA award presentation went virtual this year! If you’d like to learn even more about the project, click the link to see architect Megan McCombs, AIA talk about the project design and process:

For 60 years, the AIA Kentucky Honor Awards Program has been dedicated to recognizing works of architecture exhibiting design excellence and promoting public awareness and appreciation of the diversity, quality and scope of Kentucky architecture. The Kentucky Society’s “Honor Award for Excellence in Architectural Design” is the highest professional honor bestowed upon a Kentucky architect by his or her peers, and it distinguishes the architect as one who is dedicated to making architecture the best it can be. At Potter & Associates Architects, we strive to develop our designs to best enhance the community in which we live.

THANK YOU: A successful project requires quality teamwork from all stakeholders. Thank you to our entire project team and to Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana for entrusting us to design their new home. We wish them the best as they continue to grow even while adapting to virtual social interaction in 2020. Gilda’s Club is a tremendous resource to our community and Commonwealth, and we encourage you to learn more about their mission.

Ed Krebs, President of AIA Kentucky, presents the 2020 AIA Kentucky Honor Award for Excellence in Architectural Design to Janet Gruenberg and Karen Morrison of Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana, Henry Potter, AIA (President of Potter & Associates Architects), and Megan McCombs, AIA (Architect at Potter & Associates Architects).