Madeira Beach City Centre wins prestigious architecture award

By Josh Rojas, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, November 05, 2016, 6:46 PM EDT

The City of Madeira Beach won the highest design excellence award from the American Institute of Architects for its City Centre on Thursday.

  • The City of Madeira Beach opened their City Centre in 2015
  •  Design won an award from American Institute of Architects
  • The $13 million project took 14 months to construct

“To get this prestigious award, it’s outstanding,” said Mayor Travis Palladeno.

Wannemacher Jensen Architects designed the $13 million complex that took 14 months to construct. The centre opened up in October of 2015. Architect Jason Jensen said it’s the first time a Bay area city hall has won the H. Dean Rowe Award.

“It’s an extreme honor for any project but specifically for a city hall this is really exciting,” he said. “A city hall has never won any design award. No less the highest honor that the AIA provides.”

Jensen said many city halls are designed to represent strength in government, but the City Centre was designed to represent service to the community and environment.

“Instead of stone, we have glass," said Jensen. "Instead of enclosed spaces, we have open walkways. Instead of just offices, we have fitness centers and community rooms. Places for people to gather, have weddings, have activities and really come to city hall to enjoy it.”

The old city hall stood for about 50 years and was demolished in 2014.

“The original city hall had very few windows," explained Jensen. "Can you imagine a building on the water that really didn’t take advantage of that view? So, we pulled the city hall apart, made it long against the water, opened everything up to the water, everybody has a view. The chambers is fully glassed. You have a true transparency in government.”

City Manager Shane Crawford and his staff oversaw the construction of the City Centre.

“We reached our goal," said Crawford. "We created a complex, not just a building, that people like to come to. You’re not just coming for a building permit or a code violation. You can come here and hang out and have a good time.”

The City Centre features a gym, waterfront pathways, a park, concert stage and softball fields. The complex is designed to last 75 years.

“Kudos to this commission, to the city manager, to the community here,” said Palladeno. “The great thing is we’ve taken care of the next few generations at Madeira Beach.”

A presentation of the award will be made to the board of commissioners on December 13.