2017 Inspirations Awards Winners Announced

(L-R) Contract Editor in Chief John Czarnecki; Jon Heinert of Wheeler Kearns Architects; Kellie O’Connell, executive director of Lakeview Pantry; and Diane Martel, vice president sustainable strategies & planning at Tarkett

The winners of this year’s Inspirations Awards were announced during a ceremony in the Tarkett showroom in Chicago prior to NeoCon, and the clients of the winning projects received grants from the flooring company. The Inspirations Awards recognize a commitment to social responsibility in the design of commercial interiors with the intent to improve the quality of life for people in need. Through these awards, Tarkett has given generous grants to worthy causes.

Tarkett significantly increased the grant funding for winners of the 2017 Inspirations Awards, and the jury awarded four grants to the top projects. This year’s jury was comprised of Vivian Bencich, principal, Square Feet Studio; Scott Delano, design director, Wright Heerema Architects; and Kia Weatherspoon, president, Determined by Design.


The ceremony was held in the Tarkett showroom in Chicago. Photograph courtesy of Oscar & Associates

The Grand Prize of $10,000 was awarded to Lakeview Pantry in Chicago, designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects. Providing groceries and essential social services to residents on the North Side of city, Lakeview Pantry’s mission is to eliminate hunger in the community by not only supplying food but also by increasing the independence of clients through self-help initiatives. The design uses modest materials to create a simple yet beautiful environment. The underlying goals of the project include increased stability for organization, expansion of services and boundaries, and improving client experience. The new space allows Lakeview Pantry to sustain its mission while providing stability for long-term operation.


(L-R) Jon Heinert of Wheeler Kearns Architects and Kellie O’Connell, executive director of Lakeview Pantry. Photograph courtesy of Oscar & Associates

Three additional grants of $3,000, $2,000, $1,000 were also to awarded to Planned Parenthood in New York designed by Stephen Yablon Architecture, Youthscape in the UK designed by HOK, and CounterPulse in San Francisco designed by Jensen Architects, respectively.

Planned Parenthood’s first health center in Queens, New York, features an uplifting facility by Stephen Yablon Architecture that expresses the organization’s commitment to state-of-the-art care, while providing an excellent patient experience that is welcoming to a diverse community.


Andrew Miller of Stephen Yablon Architecture. Photograph courtesy of Oscar & Associates

Located in Luton, a city just north of London, Youthscape is a charity that focuses on helping disadvantaged young people through therapy, coaching, and transformational work. HOK’s design for the youth center provides a space that illustrates the value of community.


Editor in Chief John Czarnecki, Claire McPoland of HOK, and Diane Martel of Tarkett. Photograph courtesy of Oscar & Associates

CounterPulse is a 25-year-old nonprofit working to advance a community movement of performing arts. The new facility by Jensen Architects is part of a grassroots initiative to preserve the arts within the Mid-Market district of downtown San Francisco.


Editor in Chief John Czarnecki, Dean Orr of Jensen Architects, and Diane Martel of Tarkett. Photograph courtesy of Oscar & Associates

To learn more about the awards, visit contractdesign.com/inspirationsawards.