Shepley Bulfinch’s renovation of the South Rotunda of the Phoenix Financial Center took home top honors in the 2015 Interior Design magazine Best of Year (BOY) Awards in the Designer’s Own Office category. Winners were announced at Interior Design’s Best of Year Gala in New York last week.
The Phoenix Financial Center was designed by Peruvian-born architect W.A. Sarmiento and completed in 1964, and today is one of the city’s most prominent mid-century buildings.
As well as creating a new home for the firm’s Phoenix office, this restoration and adaptive reuse project celebrates an important architectural landmark. Iconic elements of the original design, including its signature surfboard stair and Carrera marble-clad elevator, are once again celebrated, with contemporary materials providing a modern interpretation of the Rotunda’s mid-century forms.
Through research, the team discovered that Sarmiento had designed the complex as a response to the desert climate, incorporating various strategies to mitigate the harsh sun and heat. This included a screen element for shade within the rotunda buildings’ parabolic arches. Although this shading device was not executed when the project was originally completed, the design team re-expressed Sarmiento’s intent by retrofitting screens of exterior shade fabric that fit the arches’ unique shape.
This is the fifth Shepley Bulfinch project to take home honors in the past seven years, and the second winner. The Harvard Innovation Lab was a winner in the 2012 BOY Awards in the Education category.