Travel Salem project wins Merit Award for CB|2 Architects

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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Salem Chapter awarded Travel Salem’s Travel Café a merit award during the 2009 AIA Salem Design Awards banquet at the Northwest Viticulture Center on January 21, 2010.

A jury of three distinguished architectural CB|2 Architectsprofessionals selected Travel Salem’s Travel Café, designed and built by CB|2 Architects & Construction in Salem, for its demonstration of a consistent hand in the development and execution of an idea of reuse and renovation. The design provided a level of attention and refinement that was successful in creating a welcoming area for people to gather and obtain information about the Salem area. A kiosk area was established using existing wood columns, and the existing brick walls brought warmth and material expression to the space and also gave further reference to the existing structure. The jury further comments that the design of the ‘Jewel Box’ glassed-in conference area feature successfully extends and unifies the space.

“The 2009 architectural design award of the Travel Salem interior, places this elegant space; one that brings historic preservation and modern design together into a seamless and well-thought out design, into the top tier of Salem and Portland architectural interiors,” said Peter Strauhal, AIA Salem president-elect. “Salem is truly blessed to have such a well-crafted public space to learn more about the vibrant communities and diverse activities and attractions in the region.”

Travel Salem’s Travel Café is one of only four projects to win an award. A design-build process with CB|2 Construction allowed the project to meet the demands of a limited budget and tight schedule. The design vision was to express the character of the historic building by opening up the space and exposing brick walls and wood columns that had been concealed from past renovations in what Ron Cooperuse to be a downtown bridal shop. CB|2 Architects created a bold, progressive expression with a central reception pavilion, glass conference room, and rich material and color palette. The Travel Café was designed with sustainability in mind, including: use of recycled materials saved from demolition; earth-friendly options when purchasing new materials; electrical and HVAC zoning changes to conserve energy and maximize resources; and creative use of natural light to minimize energy consumption. The design creates a variety of spaces that can evolve depending on use and function. Diligent attention to details and craftsmanship was a goal, which is reflected throughout the project.

“The Travel Salem project provided an opportunity to celebrate key Salem-area sights and businesses in a prominent historic downtown location,” said Garth Brandaw, principal of CB|2 Architects. “Angie Morris came to us with the vision, and we were committed to making sure it reflected the quality and character of our community.”

“This award reflects and comments on Travel Salem’s desire to blend the old with the new in visioning the Travel Café,” said Angie Morris, president and CEO of Travel Salem. “While the project was intended to reinvent how our community could connect with the visitor through a vibrant and dynamic space, it also reflects Travel Salem’s continued commitment to the tradition and history of our region. CB|2 brought extraordinary talent and vision to masterfully blend old with new and design a space that takes form and function to a whole new level.”

Travel Salem’s Travel Café is a full service visitors center aimed at connecting with visitors and consumers in new and exciting ways. This one-of-a-kind visitors center offers a wide array of services — personal assistance, event ticket sales, wine tasting, GPS rentals, free Wi-Fi — and provides the platform for innovative partnership, events, and technology to mash up and ultimately drive economic impact for the Salem region.