We are pleased to announce that our Interior Design Studio has received First Place in the LEED category of the 2012 ASID IDEA Awards for their work at Washington and Lee University’s Hillel House.

Constructed in 2010, the Hillel House is located on Washington and Lee University’s campus in Lexington, Virginia. Washington and Lee University has a vibrant Hillel organization that, until recently, did not have a dedicated space to call home. The University commissioned a building dedicated to Jewish student life to advance the University’s commitment to diversity. The facility’s purpose is to support the cultural and religious experience of Jewish students as well as welcoming Washington and Lee’s non-Jewish members. As part of the University’s commitment to sustainability, the building was designed to meet LEED standards and achieved a LEED certification in 2012.

The primary goal was to create a building that serves as a home for the Hillel organization by providing a space to foster community. Since the University’s Hillel organization desired to welcome both Jewish and non-Jewish students to the facility, the design aspired to reference Jewish culture and religion in a non-literal way. Rich materials such as mahogany café windows, a Jerusalem limestone entry wall, and a wooden bowl for Jewish ritual hand washing reflect authenticity and craftsmanship. These elements also incorporate sustainability features, utilizing low-flow plumbing technology and sustainable forestry practices. In addition to these materials, the wood flooring throughout is rapidly renewable strand woven bamboo, a material that supports clients the environmental initiative as well as providing a warm, elegant and practical flooring solution.

An illuminated acrylic panel is located at the central entrance. Inscribed with Hebrew text, this panel captures the essence of the Hillel mission – “Shalom”, meaning peace, completeness, welfare and greetings of welcome. The vibrant colors, textures, materials and furnishings enhance the beauty of sharing through collaboration and celebration of community. Additionally, an elevated terrace provides a place for social interaction and soaking in the natural beauty of the distant mountains.