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Home West O‘ahu Happenings Academy for Creative Media Facility enjoys successful awards season

Academy for Creative Media Facility enjoys successful awards season


Photo credit: ©Gensler / Ryan Gobuty Image courtesy of Ryan Gobuty

The Academy for Creative Media Facility at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu received a slate of design awards for its creativity, high quality of work overall, and positive impact on the community.

The facility received honors from the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, AIA Honolulu, NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Hawaii Chapter, International Interior Design Association Hawaiʻi Pacific Chapter, GCA of Hawaii, and Engineering News Record. The $33.3 million, 40,000-plus foot design-build contract for the structure was awarded to Kiewit Building Group. The architect of record is Honolulu-based Next Design LLC. UH Office of Project Delivery Project Manager Brandon Shima, ACM System Founder and Director Chris Lee, and UH West Oʻahu Director of Planning Bonnie Arakawa oversaw the project on behalf of UH.

The Creative Media Facility at UH West Oʻahu consists of production spaces that include a two-story sound stage for filming, multi-purpose lobby, 100-seat theater with Dolby Atmos mixing capability, Foley stage for sound reproduction, editing suites, sound mixing suites, digital intermediate color grading, eSports Arena, incubator for student-run companies, outdoor amphitheater, emerging media lab, and mill shop to create film sets and equipment cages. The ACM Facility will link complementary facilities and programs throughout the 10 UH campuses and across the state as a catalyst for Hawaiʻi’s intellectual property workforce.

“This was very much a team effort, particularly as this was one of UH’s first Design/Build Projects,” said Chris Lee, Founder and Director of the Academy for Creative Media System. “Major kudos go to Kiewit’s Alika Fujimoto, Next Design’s Stanford Lee, and AV Consultant Sextant Group’s Mark Grassi, their colleagues, and all of their vendors for bringing the project in on time and on budget in spite of covid protocols. On the UH side, Brandon Shima and Bonnie Arakawa and UHWO ACM Director Sharla Hanaoka were there every step of the way of design and construction. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the funding of the State Legislature and the Governor. The ACM Facility at UHWO is truly the hub for creative media education in Hawaiʻi and offers our students industry standard production capabilities second to none.”

UH West Oʻahu’s Creative Media program embraces digital media literacy and storytelling as experienced through video, animation, video games, design, social media, web and app development, virtual and augmented reality, and other new forms of media communication and design through concentrations in communication and new media technologies, design and media, game design and development, and general creative media.

“This space is imagination’s newest playground and solidifies everyone’s hard work from building the degree program, academic articulations, and the actual facility for future generations,” said UH West Oʻahu ACM Director, Sharla Hanaoka.

Building Industry Association of Hawaii (BIA)

The UH West Oʻahu ACM Facility was a recipient of the 2021 Building Industry Design & Construction Awards competition, in both the Public Works category and the Overall Grand Award.

The competition is one of the most prestigious building and design competitions in the state. The esteemed awards recognize and celebrate the achievements of industry professionals in a variety of categories representing a cross section of the building and construction spectrum. Entries are judged on creativity, use of materials, craftsmanship, functionality, and design principles. The award-winning designs incorporate the latest technologies and products on the market today.

Members of BIA are developers, general contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers, Realtors, architects, financial institutions, and a host of other professionals who service the building industry. This unique mix enables members to network across their respective sectors and also provides the bridging of diverse interests into a common whole allowing the BIA to address the many challenges facing the industry with a uniquely balanced perspective.

AIA Honolulu Design Awards

The ACM Facility received the Award of Merit at the 2021 AIA Honolulu Design Awards.

The Award of Merit, which requires consensus from the jury that a project is deserving for a high quality of work overall. It is granted to projects that display a high standard of architectural quality and design.

Since 1958, the AIA Honolulu Annual Design Awards Program has provided an avenue for AIA Honolulu member architects to be recognized by their peers for their outstanding achievements and dedication to excellence in architectural design.

NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Hawaiʻi Chapter

The 2021 Kukulu Hale Awards recognize accomplishments in Hawaiʻi’s commercial real estate industry, including Awards of Excellence for new and renovated commercial, nonprofit, and public projects statewide. The Creative Media Facility received its award in the Public/Government Project section. One juror commented that: “This project is going to put Hawaiʻi on the map and will be a great addition to the UH community. The team met up to the challenge of a design build project all while working under the constraints of a public entity. It has created a premier destination for creative learning.”

Factors considered by the jurors included the project’s design concept, the degree of success to which a project relates to and contributes to the community, and creativity in design and addressing problems and issues.

NAIOP is the nation’s leading trade association for developers, owners, investors, asset managers, and other professionals in industrial, office, and mixed-use commercial real estate.

International Interior Design Association Hawaiʻi Pacific Chapter

The ACM Facility received the Impact Award – a Juror’s Special Award that is chosen by the jury with an emphasis on creating a positive impact on the community – at the 2021 Hoʻohuli Awards. The jurors based their decisions on but not limited to the submission’s Concept, Impressions, Innovation, Functionality, Response, Aesthetics, Presentation, etc.

The IIDA Hawaiʻi Pacific Chapter is a professional organization and community that strives to demonstrate design’s impact on the health, safety, well-being, and virtual soul of the public.

GCA of Hawaii – Build Hawaii Awards

The Creative Media Facility won the Award of Excellence in the Design-Build/ Design-Assist Construction Under $50 Million category, selected by the General Contractors Association of Hawaii (GCA of Hawaii). An “Award of Excellence” is presented to the top project in each category, based on a scoring system.

The Build Hawaii Awards is the GCA’s annual signature awards program that showcases the outstanding construction projects completed in the previous year. Despite the pandemic last year, so many great firms proved their resiliency and commitment to safety protocols and were able to complete a number of projects.

Engineering News Record for the Higher Education/Research in the California/Hawaii Region

The Facility also received the Award of Merit – Higher Education/Research in the California/Hawaii Region by Engineering News Record.

Projects were reviewed by a panel of judges comprised of construction industry experts, and awarded based on the following criteria: overcoming challenges and teamwork, safety, innovation and contribution to the industry/community, construction quality and craftsmanship, and functionality of design and aesthetic quality.

Photo credit: ©Gensler / Ryan Gobuty Image courtesy of Ryan Gobuty