By ALEXANDRA SACCONE
Undergraduate English major
Published May 25, 2023
Kelly Hayes McAlonie, director of campus planning, and One World Café have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects New York State (AIANYS) with 2023 awards for design and professional excellence.
Hayes McAlonie received the Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller Award, one of AIANYS’ two Professional Service Awards. It honors licensed architects employed in the public sector whose work on projects within their jurisdiction has furthered the cause of design excellence in public architecture.
One World Café (OWC), UB’s international eatery and community space for faculty, staff, students and visitors, received an Excelsior Award recognizing new publicly funded construction projects and public art. OWC received an honor award in the new construction category.
Hayes McAlonie was a member of the Steering Committee that conducted design reviews of OWC and is responsible for implementing UB’s 2020 comprehensive Master Plan.
She says the award affirms the work being done by the team UB has created under the leadership of Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration; Tonga Pham, associate vice president for university facilities; and other directors at University Facilities.
Completed in 2022 at a total cost of $37.8 million, OWC is the third phase of UB’s “Heart of the Campus” initiative to enhance the student learning experience by creating a learning landscape in the center of the academic spine. CannonDesign was the architect for the project.
In recognizing OWC, AIANYS called the project the fulfillment of “UB’s commitment to delivering excellence to its diverse student population by housing a variety of culinary offerings with menus and scheduling all built on student input.”
OWC was cited for effectively blending with existing campus architecture, and for an interior space that “sparks connectivity through intentional public art.” Much of the art inside OWC, which is designed to stand out against the neutral color palette of the building, comes directly from current and former students, showcasing the uniqueness of UB “through their personal experiences and perspectives.”
“We wanted to acknowledge the modern heritage of the campus and yet provide a very contemporary space that is a beacon on the spine,” Hayes McAlonie says of the OWC project. “The award is a validation of the priorities established in the UB comprehensive Master Plan and our stated goal of enhancing the campus environment and the student experience.”
The Rockefeller award is not the first AIANYS award Hayes McAlonie has received: She is the recipient of the 2021 James William Kideney Gold Medal Award — AIANYS’ highest honor — for her lifetime of contributions to the field, the professional society and the community.
Hayes McAlonie is currently treasurer of the National Architecture Accrediting Board and has served as president of AIANYS and the AIA of Buffalo and Western New York.
In her role as director of campus planning, Hayes McAlonie advocates for design quality in new buildings, renovations and the campus environment in general. The AIANYS jury cited the South Campus Revitalization Plan, OWC and her new book, “Louise Blanchard Bethune: Every Woman her Own Architect,” in selecting Hayes McAlonie for the Rockefeller award.
“Public architecture is more difficult to realize than private projects, which is partly because of the bureaucracy inherent in public work, as well as the age, scale and complexity of most public buildings,” Hayes McAlonie says. “These projects require the collaboration of hundreds of people, starting with administrative leadership, teams of architects and engineers at University Facilities, our colleagues at the SUNY Construction Fund, our design consultants who perform the design services and the contractors who build the projects.”
Also celebrating the award is the OWC Steering Committee, led by Graham Hammill, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School; Carrie Woodrow, director of policy, compliance and internal controls; and Christina Hernandez, senior associate vice president for student life.