The Helen S. Schaefer Building, the landmark home of the University of Arizona Poetry Center and the Humanities Seminars Program, has won a 2009 Arizona American Institute of Architects Award for Design.
Architect Les Wallach and his firm, Line and Space, LLC, received the award at the Arizona AIA awards ceremony held in Phoenix.
"We are ecstatic to have been recognized for this award and truly honored to have been given the opportunity to work on this project," said Henry Tom, the principal for Line and Space.
The UA Poetry Center building, which was completed in 2007, previously won a 2008 Southern Arizona AIA Award for Design. Other recent honors include the Southwest Contractor Best of 2008 Award for Excellence in Interior Design and Arizona Masonry Guild's 18th Annual Excellence in Masonry Design Award.
The 17,000-square-foot facility, located at 1508 E. Helen St., houses an internationally renowned library collection and hosts a multitude of community programs and events, while providing a tranquil oasis for readers and writers.
The design employs a principle called "a progression toward solitude." As visitors move east through the building's meeting and gathering spaces, they experience a gradual retreat into the peaceful solitude of the library collection, where comfortable armchairs and light-filled reading areas invite them to pause with a book of poetry.
Last year nearly 20,000 people from around Arizona and other parts of the country visited the center.
Line and Space, which Wallach founded in 1978, designs and builds innovative and ecologically sound architecture.
The firm is known internationally and has earned more than 70 design awards, which includes the 2009 Arizona AIA Sustainable Firm of the Year Award.